Choose a living Christmas tree

Dare to be different this year by buying a festive tree for keeps

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There is a lot of choice these days in what you can choose as your festive tree for decoration. You needn’t get a cut tree at all – container-grown and containerised ones are now available for a more permanent solution. The latter are trees grown in the ground then transplanted into pots for sale. These trees are naturally more robust at the roots than container-grown, having been allowed to grow freely and healthily.

A living tree can last in a pot for a good few years if you care for it well. Bring it in for decorating, keeping it as cool as possible indoors for 10 to 12 days over Christmas. Put it in a pot large enough for its root system – about 45cm (18in) is the largest it’ll need. Good, soil-based compost, like John Innes, will be most natural and suitable for it.

Once outside you can turn your tree into a decorative garden feature – have you thought about hanging bird feeders and treats from its branches? This can be year-round use for it. Simply prune to shape if needed, and keep it watered in dry spells – don’t forget about it in the summer months!