• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Opine on the Permaculture Answer to the Christmas Tree

 
George Collins
Posts: 88
Location: South Central Mississippi
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It being the Christmas season and all, I was wondering if there are any here that plant their own Christmas trees and if so what type(s) do you plant?

I'd be especially interested in types would be good to grow in South-central Mississippi (Zone .
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
88
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This won't help you at all, it's just a chance to go on about how great my hemisphere is. Again.
We have an early summer Christmas in New Zealand. Think barbeques (the NZ kind, not a pit of pork), swimming and lunch outside. Nyanananyana!
Anyway, some people grow a pohutukawa, aka 'NZ Christmas tree' in a pot and drag it into the house...they've got very pretty red flowers about then.
They need to be root-pruned every few years. I'm sure you could do something like that with a local tree, and conifers are particularly happy to be pot-grown and root-pruned (think bonsai).
 
George Collins
Posts: 88
Location: South Central Mississippi
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Leila,

That sounds a lot like Christmas in The South (the reverential South, the Confederacy, God's Country, not the southern hemisphere).

(Since we are off topic already and bragging about where we live) I walked around bare-footed, in shorts and bare chested today, smoked three racks of ribs, expanded on my ruth stout garden bed, moved my pig tractor, laid out a swale and taught my second oldest son and middle daughter how to butcher a rabbit.

And my initial thoughts on the matter was more along the lines of planting five(?) trees of some type every year. At some point in the future and each year thereafter, when they have reached sufficient size, harvest them in rotation. I could keep one for myself and give away the others to family and friends if they are of sufficient quality.
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
88
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey George, that sounds cool!
I was supposed to put some kind of friendly emoticon in my post, as it could look a bit rude. Just being silly, I promise!
Is it always warm down your way? The U.S. climate differences blow my mind!
 
Fred Morgan
steward
Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Leila Rich wrote:Hey George, that sounds cool!
I was supposed to put some kind of friendly emoticon in my post, as it could look a bit rude. Just being silly, I promise!
Is it always warm down your way? The U.S. climate differences blow my mind!


Do you really want me to comment on the weather from the land of eternal spring? Usually I find people like me more when I don't talk weather this time of year. Always hard since we start to dry out, it is a touch cooler than normal which makes it incredibly nice.

Back to OP, we have an artificial tree, which he have had for 15 years or so. Very small, about 2 feet tall if I recall. Some years we haul it out, others, we don't. We don't have children at home anymore (youngest will be 30 this year ) and we don't even exchange gifts.

I would be afraid to haul a plant inside the house, who knows how many critters would come with it in the tropics?
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
286
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I once toyed with the idea of buying several hundred "premium" Christmas trees from a State nursery. Raise them a few years in pots, and the winter before planting out, rent them out (for $1-2 per week). People would save some $$$, and do a 'green' thing, while at the same time, subsidizing my operation. Sounds like a Win-Win to me.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9445
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
163
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sometimes we cut one of the native junipers as a holiday tree. They always need thinning out.

 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
88
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
John, I like that idea. One could also do a 'small, medium, large' option amd after a 'large' tree is too large, you turn it into mulch or whatever
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
286
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would probably charge a $10 refundable deposit (to keep everybody honest). I'll bet that a good percentage would just keep the tree, which would accomplish my ultimate goal of selling them.
 
Jacob Nielson
Posts: 18
Location: Texas - Zone 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just this last weekend my family and I went out to a local tree farm and cut a Christmas tree. We had the same idea to plant half a dozen trees every year and harvest a couple as they mature enough.

I spent a little time looking through some of my tree/seed catalogs, I can get 5-2 yr old seedlings for around $10 and I can get 10 for around $14. Compared to the $45 I paid to cut down a 6 footer, (which I will later incorporate into my Huglebeds.....)

The though crossed my mind at the tree farm.... what a lot of wasted space among all those trees. There are a handful of sell-able items they could grow among the trees to pull multiple yields out of the land.... both in product and in overall soil fertility.
 
Ken Peavey
steward
Posts: 2524
Location: FL
88
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Being single with no kids all I did this year was duct tape a couple of pine cones to the fridge.
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
Posts: 9049
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
682
bee bike books duck forest garden greening the desert solar trees wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think I'm going to buy a juniper tree in a pot, bring it into the house for a few days, and then go out and plant it on the new bit of land as soon after Christmas morning as seems appropriate.

Might start a good habit...
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
88
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ken Peavey wrote:Being single with no kids all I did this year was duct tape a couple of pine cones to the fridge.

My Yuletide celebration involves hanging a fantastically hideous 50s plastic wreath on the front door, leaving town for a month and seeing if it's still there on my return
 
Brad Davies
gardener
Posts: 213
Location: Clarkston, MI
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ken Peavey wrote:Being single with no kids all I did this year was duct tape a couple of pine cones to the fridge.


Hahaha that's awesome! Reminds me of last year, I had a friend visit from out of town. My friend thought our little 4' fake tree was alittle dull so he made his way to the liquor cabinet, polished off a bottle of vodka, drew a star on it with a sharpy and put it on top of the tree. The bottle was so heavy it bent the tree over making it really look like a Charle Brown tree. We laughed so hard at this, might have been the vodka, that it is now the "traditional" tree top decoration at my house.
 
jacque greenleaf
pollinator
Posts: 489
Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Many years ago, I was living in a household that was both impecunious and of a satirical turn of mind. We took a large piece of blank newsprint, taped it to the wall, and used colored markers to draw a tree complete with ornaments and draped a string of lights around it. It's still one of my all-time favorites!

For a few years, I kept a potted tree, but eventually I had to find a place to plant it. Last time I saw it, it was pushing 20 feet.

I've known people who used those little alberta spruces, which grow very slowly. I've also seen people use large houseplants, especially scheffleras or angel wing begonias. And there are people who collect and grow naturally dwarfed conifers, you can find them online. Wouldn't be a bit surprised if a species happy with your climate didn't have a dwarf form.

Or skip the inside tree altogether, and just decorate an outside one. Drape some boughs or swags on the living room wall and call it christmas.

We've gotten to the point in this world where there are fake trees that look more real than those over-pruned bushes you find in the commercial tree lots.
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
88
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My immediate family don't have a tree.
There's no kids around on Christmas day and no pressies (we all put in for an Oxfam Christmas gift. This year, it's a village well in Papua New Guinea).
All very warm and fuzzy and I'm guaranteed no-one gives me something I can't stand!
Instead we focus on liquor and food. I'm stowing a venison salami, an entire gouda cheese and a couple of liters of local olive oil in my pack.
Considering our interests and the no-kids thing, maybe we should lop off a pohutukawa branch and hang meat, cheese and booze off it. Very festive!
 
Charles Kelm
Posts: 170
Location: Western Washington (Zone 7B - temperate maritime)
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You might consider buying something like potted Korean pine shortly before Christmas (arrange this with the nursery to make sure it can happen), enjoying it decorated in your house for a few days, and then putting it outside to wait to be planted on your property in the spring. I believe Korean pines are the tree which bear the popular and expensive pine nuts which are one of the main ingredients in pesto sauce. They are very slow to bear, but if it was a family tradition, and you had the room on your property, you might be able to get a nice collection of them over the years. Alternately, it may be possible to keep it potted on your deck most of the year, and just bring it in for a week around Christmas. I believe they grow very slowly. Just remember to limit the amount of days you leave it in your warm house as you want to minimize the chance of breaking the tree's dormancy.
 
Mick Cressman
Posts: 23
Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We cut a small eastern white pine down for this purpose, as we have a grove of them and our field is dotted with them, and they are not as useful as the trees we are planting. After serving as a Christmas tree, our pine shall be placed in our paddock with shetland sheep, who like to munch the needles off. When the tree is denuded, it shall be broken up and placed in our orchard as coarse mulch.
 
Lisa Paulson
Posts: 258
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We have about a 30 year old Alberta Spruce planted near our front door that is now over 7 feet high that is the perfect symetrical conical Christmas tree most people dream of , decked out. At our back door we have a white needled pine that is growing in a concrete pot and is about 16 years old and only about 4 feet high and looks exactly like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree decked out in more lights and balls than it has needles I think. I love having both trees .

I am hoping to get a few more Alberta Spruce to plant just in case something happens to the one we have , we will have a few extras growing,

Cheers!
 
Dennis Mitchell
Posts: 48
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A couple of years we used sagebrush. One year we hung a huge tumble weed from the ceiling. One year I made a wooden cross for a Christmas tree. The past few years we have been doing dried weed arrangements. One year we even had a pine tree.
 
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!