Let the Christmas cheer live on in your backyard!

The end of Christmas doesn’t have to be the end of your tree! If you chose a natural living tree for this year, consider planting it in your yard. Not only is this a more environmentally-conscious way to celebrate the season, but you can literally collect memories of seasons past in your own backyard.

It’s important to note that not just any natural tree will do. A fresh-cut tree cannot be planted in your yard, but a living tree with a root ball or container is easily plantable after it’s done its duty in the living room. This means it’s best to plan to plant before buying your tree; if it’s too late now, then consider a living tree next year!

When bringing a natural Christmas tree indoors, you ought to let it spend some time in the garage before letting it indoors to acclimate to the temperature and environment–and we recommend the same before bringing it outside again. Let your tree sit in the garage or a sheltered porch for about a week the day after Christmas.

Pick your plot by looking for a planting site that gets full sun. There should be enough space for the tree’s size, and the soil ought to be well-drained. Dig a hole that’s the same depth as your root ball, but at least twice the width of the ball or container. You can save the soil you’ve dug out by putting it in a tarp or tub.

Remove the tree’s container or root ball; peel off any burlap and loosen roots by cutting them. With the tree in the hole, fill the hole back in with the soil. The soil you’ve dug up should be loosened from the digging, and will be good to use without adding any extra nutrients. Work in layers, firming the soil as you go, then water thoroughly.

If the ground freezes after planting your tree, throw down a two-to-three-inch layer of mulch. Water your tree regularly (at least twice a month in winter, and weekly in the growing season), and it’ll stay happy!