Live or artificial? Which Christmas tree to choose?
The traditional theme for December is Christmas trees. A lot of texts and beautiful pictures, I will allow myself to speak out about this. True, I will make a reservation right away that I will not insist and promote any one, definite idea. Everyone should choose and decide for themselves, because there are always pros and cons. But in order to choose, you need to have some kind of information. So, which Christmas tree to choose? In the article I will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of the most popular options today.
Artificial Christmas tree
Very beautiful and durable, usually bought for a long time - 10 (15, 20) years. Advocates of this idea argue that by buying such a "forest beauty", they take care of nature and save the forest from deforestation.
But it is quite obvious that most of these plastic jewelry is made in huge volumes in China. And there, they are not yet very concerned about emissions of harmful substances and other "greenhouse effects." Such production is not only harmful to the environment, but it can also be toxic to workers and buyers. Add transportation around the world by planes and cars to get a sad picture.
But they, sooner or later, are thrown away. Particles of plastic, in the end, become part of the soil and the oceans. Birds and dolphins massively die, swallowing such food. In general, plastic Christmas trees do not fit into modern trends, when people begin to understand the danger of plastic bags and disposable plastic dishes.
For me there is another important aspect - aesthetic. A synthetic Christmas tree is just as ridiculous as plastic flowers in a cemetery or plastic Dieffenbachia in an office.
Experts advise: even if you buy a synthetic Christmas tree, then at least 20 years, then it is environmentally justified. And note, all these 20 years you need to store and clean it from dust somewhere (pleasure, say, so-so).
How to decorate a house for the New Year without a Christmas tree? See photo material of 50 bright ideas for New Year's decor with your own hands.
Most probably know that those plants that fall on Christmas tree bazaars are specially grown for this purpose in nurseries. Only, unlike the cultivation of cut flowers, this process takes several years and the plant dies.
Well, what is there to regret? Indeed, to replace the felled, thousands of new seedlings will be planted. Moreover, sometimes you need to clean the forest from excess plants or to clean the vegetation under power lines. It turns out - good for nature and beauty in the house.
Only now many people are so arranged that yesterday they feel sorry for the still living plants that today stand on the asphalt. I'm personally sorry. After all, I grow plants with my own hands and I know how much effort, patience and time you need to spend to grow a 1.5 meter coniferous plant.
Another, in my opinion, an important question. What to do with "worked out" Christmas trees after the holidays? If you are a zealous gardener, then everything goes into business, and a dried and chopped tree is an excellent mulching material. And if you are an urban resident of a high-rise building? Demolished it on January 15 and put it near garbage containers? All? Is the problem resolved?
Not certainly in that way. It turns out that the disposal method is very important. If you believe the information from various web resources, a standard 1.5-2 meter Christmas tree, decomposing in a landfill, emits 16 kg of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This is because methane is released during wood decay, the greenhouse effect of which is many times stronger than from carbon dioxide (carbon dioxide). It is in the forest that dead Christmas trees are beneficial, and the processes there are slightly different, not the same as in a landfill.
Another important aspect for me is our children. My daughter, already in childhood, asked the question: “Has the Christmas tree already died?” Or, as it was sung in that old song, “they cut down our Christmas tree under the very spine, and now it came to us for a holiday” ... Some kind of absurdity. How can they explain all this to them? Especially about the benefits of sanitary felling?
By the way, it is worth remembering that you need to ask the sellers for documents: what kind of trees are these? Where from? In order not to encourage poaching cuttings.
Live coniferous plant in a container
Buy a live (truly live) Christmas tree. Here I will make a reservation. By the word Christmas tree, I mean any coniferous plant suitable for this New Year's role: spruce, fir, juniper, pine, cypress, thuja, etc. So, buy a live Christmas tree in a container, celebrate holidays with it, and then solemnly plant the whole family to plant it in your garden for permanent residence. Beautiful and noble ... Sounds.
Only this option, in my opinion, is from the series “the road to hell is lined with good intentions”. It seems to me that it was invented by marketers from garden centers in order to sell goods in the off-season, when people have little interest in gardening. Why? The answer is simple - not everyone has the right conditions for this, and not everyone has the necessary experience to bring this, in general, expensive, purchase to landing in open ground. Most of these plants die.
And now in more detail. To begin with, it is worth recalling the physiology of plants. Deciduous crops have a period of deep physiological dormancy. When a plant is literally completely disconnected from the outside world, and even high temperature cannot bring it out of this state. So it is genetically incorporated in it, and in different plants this period has a different duration.
For example, if in November grape cuttings are brought into a house and put into water, then even if they stand above the battery, the kidneys will not open on them (deep physiological calm). But if these same cuttings are brought into the house closer to the New Year, then the buds will open safely and begin the vegetation (the period of deep dormancy is over).
Coniferous plants (winter-green) are completely different, they do not have this phase. And their “winter dream” is only the effect of low temperature. And here you are, armed with good intentions to green your house, garden, and at the same time the planet, go to the garden center and buy for a lot of money a full-sized (1.5-2-meter) New Year's beauty in a container. Note that she stands on the street at low or even freezing temperatures.
Bring in a house where the temperature is above +20 degrees. What's happening? The plant, having got into the warm atmosphere (in every sense) of your house, receives a signal - "spring" and begins to come to life. Sap flow increases, the kidneys begin to develop. Of course, all this does not happen in one day, the plant needs time for these metamorphoses.
But we buy the tree in advance and hold it until the old New Year, that is, 2, or even 3 weeks. But this is already enough to get out of hibernation. Holidays are over, where is it now? Plant in the garden? Yeah, in the cold! It is clear that the awakened defenseless kidneys will immediately freeze. And conifers are very vulnerable, almost something is wrong or they die or "get sick" a couple of years.
Keep at home at high temperature? As I said, not everyone has the conditions and experience for this. Well, the Christmas tree - the "desktop version" - put on the windowsill and keep until spring, and in the spring - in the open ground. But what if you bought exactly the full-size version, bulky?
The seller will advise you to keep the coniferous plant away from heating appliances and spray it daily with water (with electric garlands then !!!). Only unlikely to help. The most optimal option: such a tree, woken up by holidays, is again placed in the cold, but not in the cold. Approximately + 5 ... + 8 degrees, and if wider - no lower than 0, but no higher than + 10 degrees, and keep until spring.
Do you have such a cold room? I have. A great place for wintering container seedlings of conifers (and not only) plants. The standard window provides a small portion of the light that they need.
If the Christmas tree has successfully taken root in the garden ...
Another interesting and silent aspect of this option. Well, well, suppose you were able to safely bring this New Year tree to spring and planted it in the ground. Will history repeat in a year? Children grow up for a long time, and mostly we put Christmas trees for them (and then grandchildren will go). So it turns out that for many years in the spring you will plant conifers in your garden, turning your garden into a small coniferous forest.
Can everyone like this? Does it suit everyone? Personally, yes, I love these noble, beautiful and, in general, unpretentious plants. Someone will object, they say it’s not necessary to plant in your garden, you can plant a wasteland, a park and even a forest. I have few acquaintances who are ready to pay a lot of money for a seedling of a coniferous plant, and then carry it to the forest. Well, it’s left there, because they’ll dig up in hot pursuit, that’s insulting, and they’ll take it to the market.
My choice is to decorate the Christmas tree in the garden
So what to do? Generally celebrate without a Christmas tree? Also a mess. My version is this: we plant a beautiful conical plant of classical conical shape in the open ground near the house so that it can be seen from the windows. Choose the type, grade, size, based on your tastes, the size of the local area and the size of the wallet.
We decorate this Christmas tree for the New Year and we always hang special street, safe electric garlands. On holidays, we dance around her, open champagne and take selfies. Are you cold? We return to the warmth of the house, sit down at the table with Olivier and continue to celebrate, and the sparkling Christmas tree outside the window creates the necessary festive mood.
There is, however, one more option, also popular today. Make a kind of Christmas tree with your own hands from all sorts of improvised means (pieces of wood, paper and even wine corks). But here you need to have hands, some kind of creative mindset and materials. So try it. High-quality electric garlands will hide all the shortcomings.