Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Living Christmas Tree

One of the things I love most about gardening is how we can utilize a plant in our green spaces for more than just shade or color.  Over the years, I've watched people plant their live Christmas trees into the ground after the holiday season.  As the years pass by, their trees grew larger and larger.  Here in Tucson, we have several kinds of pines that will surprisingly do well. So I took their cue and planted my own Christmas tree into the ground in front of our dining room window where it also grew larger and larger each year.  Its' sole purpose was to act as our Holiday Tree.  The space in our home is limited so I had to look outdoors to capture that holiday magic.  By placing the tree outside the window, we were able to "extend" the holiday feel without compromising any room inside our home. 
Now I've placed several kinds of living Christmas trees into the ground with a very high success.  Tucson gardeners just need to make sure that these trees are watered during our hot summer months.  I chose the Leyland Cypress to create this magical space and it has done well.  It's a moderate grower making most of its new growth in spring like most plants.  It is now established and requires very little maintenance.  This year I placed solar lights on it and will be adding bird seed ornaments to it next year once it has established more height.   Several pine trees, like the Aleppo Pine, can grow quite large so be careful where you place your living Christmas trees.  Some trees produce shade.  Some trees produce fruit.  And some are used for seasonal purposes.  Consider using a living Christmas tree in your own garden.  OR check out this cool Agave stalk idea!
 Sorry about the less than stellar photos.  These were the best that turned out, but at least you can get an idea on how to set something like this up.
So going green really means "Going Green".  A living tree that will serve holiday needs using solar lights from our intense sun and bird seed ornaments.  It doesn't get greener than that:) More tomorrow....
A video from last year....Luminaria Nights at the Botanical Gardens


  1. oh a delight! If only you had a bit of snow on those branches....oh so pretty to behold snow on pines....happy and blessed christmas
    may you always plant desire

  2. That video was beautiful! And I love your Xmas tree idea! How wonderful it looks!

  3. Enchanting! I love living Christmas trees too.

  4. What a great way to acquire trees and celebrate the season.

  5. I am so glad that you appreciated the agave stalk Christmas "tree." Funny story about that particular agave...while cutting it down, there was an accident. It landed on my head! Almost funny now, 4 weeks later, (as I'm still in therapy for the head/neck injury), but definitely still beautiful. It's currently on display at the Tucson Botanical Gardens (where I work as the Curator of Horticulture).

  6. Thank you for sharing that great story. I hope everything heals and that you're back to full speed. For whatever it's worth, the stalk looks amazing as a holiday piece and it was one of my favorites in the garden. Get better and hope you have a great New Year!


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