Here’s a pro tip: If you’re planning to decorate and later plant a live balled-and-burlapped Christmas tree, dig the hole ahead of time before the ground freezes hard. That means, in Ohio, you can do that as soon as right now.
Another option: Make a pile of leaves or straw in the spot where you want to plant your tree. Doing that can keep the ground from freezing—and the hole from filling with water—before you plant.
Want more pro tips? Watch this video by Paul Snyder of CFAES’ Secrest Arboretum. It’s an easy-to-follow 10-minute how-to on what to do.
Best planting practices
Shot three years ago, the instructions remain spot-on today. “They still meet ISA standards for tree planting,” Snyder said. ISA is the International Society of Arboriculture.
So, how is the video’s co-star doing? Snyder checked in with it recently to see. He also shot this selfie with it.
Happy and healthy
“It’s quite happy, healthy, and growing well,” Snyder said of the Norway spruce, which he planted in the arboretum as a demonstration for the video. “It’s about 4 feet taller than when we planted it.” It shot up some 2 feet last summer alone.
“Growth depends on many factors,” Snyder said, “but I anticipate the tree continuing to put on 1–2 feet of growth per year until it reaches maturity.”
For a Norway spruce, maturity can mean a height of up to 60 feet tall, so give one plenty of room in the landscape. For smaller, slower-growing Christmas trees for smaller yards, try white spruce and balsam fir, among others.
Big and tall
What do Christmas trees look like planted in the landscape? Once they’ve gotten big and tall? See them on this photo tour in Secrest Arboretum.
The arboretum is part of the CFAES Wooster campus. In-person visitors to the arboretum are welcome during the pandemic, as long as they’re on foot—pedestrians only. The arboretum’s Taylor Pavilion, slide, and surrounding area, however, are closed. Proper social distancing is required throughout the grounds.
Admission is free and open to the public, daily during daylight hours. Learn more.