This year, for the first time, we have Christmas trees available from the vineyard. The trees have been growing patiently nearby for a few years and are ready for the lights to be strung up and the presents to sit beneath them this Christmas. Here’s our top tips for caring for your Christmas tree, to make sure it lasts as long as possible.
- Our trees were grown just 3 miles away from the vineyard, but as soon as they are cut down it naturally starts to seal its own stem. Before putting your tree up, cut an inch (2.5cm) off the bottom of the tree and place in your stand with water.
- Cut straight across the stem with a sharp saw to ensure the tree stand can grip the tree well. Don’t try to cut ‘v’ shapes or holes into the stem, this wont aid the trees ability to drink more water and will make it much more difficult for the stand to get a good grip on the stem.
- When in position, remove the netting to allow the tree to take its natural shape. The netting we use at the vineyard is biodegradable so put it on a compost heap (if you have one) to break down into the soil.
- Keep your stand topped up with water throughout the Christmas period. It only takes 5 hours for the tree to re-seal its stem so keeping the tree hydrated is rather important. When you cut the tree for the first time it will be super thirsty so keep it topped up as much as possible.
- Eat, drink and be merry over the Christmas period! Perhaps join us for a festive treat in the vines? You can see what else we have going on in the vines here.
- There are lots of ways to dispose of your tree once you’re finished with it. From composting to helping to protect beaches from coastal erosion or creating a haven for birds and wildlife. Below are just a few ideas to put that tree to good use once you’ve finished with it.
Create a wildlife haven.
If you have the space in your garden, you can prop up the old tree up against a hedge, or wall near a bird feeder. String up slices of orange, bread, crackers, fat balls and nut dispensers creating a haven for robins and finches. Ideally, position the tree near to a window with a nice comfy chair, so that you can sit with a lovely cup of tea (or a glass of wine) and watch the birds as they enjoy their treat!
Help to prevent coastal erosion by dune thatching.
Each year, organisations such as The Wildlife Trust and The National Trust organise Christmas tree beach planting days across the country. The idea is fairly simple, the old trees are planted at the base of eroding dunes. The trees act as a stabiliser to prevent the dunes from further erosion and as the wind blows the sand over the trees, the dunes can actually grow in size. Dunes are an important part of a beach, providing protection from erosion as well as being home to many important and protected plants and species. Find out more here.
Creating new habitats in ponds.
If you have a large pond or lake, placing your old tree in the waters can provide a wealth of hiding places for fish and other creatures. Be sure to ask permission if you don’t own the pond though!
Make your home smell nice
You can stuff small fabric pouches full of the needles from the tree once you’re finished with it. Add other scented foliage too and place in drawers or cupboards to freshen and make them smell lovely.
Our Christmas trees are available here at the vineyard right up to Christmas week (subject to availability). Why not pop in to choose one for yourself?