We are now seeing those TV ads for the holidays. As we fast approach the season for coming together, think about replacing that Irma storm damaged landscape tree with a live evergreen tree.
Live evergreen trees are steadily increasing in popularity with each holiday season. Live trees serve a dual role of giving your family a live tree for the holidays and having a landscape tree to plant after the season is over. Locate your live holiday tree in the best possible light source in your home as near a patio door or window that receives some bright light during the day. The potted live tree should have its decorative foil around the base of the pot removed or puncture the foil so that good drainage can be assured. Avoid overwatering. This is one of the most common cause of trouble with potted plants. The soil should be allowed to dry moderately between waterings. Since it is necessary to keep the tree indoors for many weeks, move it gradually to the outside where it will be planted. Direct outdoor sunlight on trees that have been kept in the house will cause the needles to brown up and fall off. The Southern Red Cedar- Juniperus silicicola is a native evergreen tree that is available as live holiday trees. The southern red cedar can be planted into the home landscape after the holidays are over. This tree is drought tolerant when established and can provide good cover and nesting sites for birds. The tree comes as separate female or male trees, only female trees bear fruit eaten by 50 species of birds as tree swallows, cedar waxwings, mockingbirds, yellow-rumped warblers, bluebirds, flickers, yellow bellied sapsuckers. If you have questions on picking a live holiday tree call the Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension Service Master Gardener Volunteer hotline 233-1750 M-F 9am-4pm.