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My Christmas tree is sprouting, can I replant it?

My Cut Christmas Tree is Growing or Budding…Can I Plant It?

December 12, 2017

Rummaging through your box of Christmas ornaments brings back so many memories. Stars made from children’s hands, who have long since grown. Ornaments passed down from generation to generation. Local decorations collected from your travels around the country and the globe.

It’s tough to decide which ones belong on the tree this year! Swept up in the festivities, sometimes even our trees chime in! They can add a few fixings of their own, like fresh buds and darling pine cones.

When a cut Christmas tree grows in your home, it can feel a lot like a Christmas miracle. Question is, can you replant a Christmas tree to keep the holiday bliss going? Unfortunately, no, but there is another way you can bring your Christmas tree back to life.

My Christmas tree is growing pine cones or budding. How’s that possible?

Wait! Don’t trees need healthy roots to bud? Without roots, how does a Christmas tree plant grow?
Although it may seem like magic, it’s all about the science of how trees react in the dormant season. Trees need to go through a stint of cold weather before they get the signal in spring to grow again. For conifers, the typical cold period is about eight weeks.

Once trees clock in all their dormant hours, they’re just waiting for temperatures to heat up, so they can start growing again. If Christmas trees were inactive for long enough outside, the heat inside could prompt them to begin growing as if it’s springtime. Cool, huh?

Can you replant a Christmas tree growing buds? Or can you replant any tree without roots?

Sadly, planting Christmas trees doesn’t work. But, it is possible to grow a new plant from one of the tree’s branches.

How to replant a tree branch—or propagate spruce trees, pine trees and fir trees

Replanting a branch is like starting a new tree from scratch. It’s not an easy job and takes a ton of patience.

How to plant a Christmas tree from cuttings:

  1. Use branches of a fresh-cut tree. To propagate your Christmas tree, get a branch shortly after you cut down your tree and no more than a few days later.
  2. For best results, try this with several stems since not all will successfully develop roots.
  3. Using shears, cut a branch that is about 6-to-10 inches long and has the thickness of a pencil.
  4. Remove needles from the bottom half of the stem.
  5. Fill a pot with potting soil and moisten so that it’s damp to the touch. Then, use a pencil to make a hole in the soil.
  6. Cut a few vertical slits into the bottom of the branch, then dip into hormone powder, which you can pick up at your local home and garden center. Finally, push the stem into the soil.
  7. Put the pot in a sheltered location without too much sunlight.
  8. Lightly mist the needles with water a few times a day. Every few weeks, add water if the soil is dry to the touch.
  9. Continue spritzing the needles and tending the soil as the roots develop. It takes a while for roots to form, so you likely won’t see them for three or more months after planting.
  10. When roots have developed, move the plant to a larger container with potting soil and a little fertilizer. The young tree should be large enough to move outdoors after a few months.

In the meantime, here are Christmas tree plant care tips that keep your tree fresh all season!

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