Holiday Green

Going Green This Holiday Season This year I wanted to buy a live "green" tree for our holiday season. I thought it would be wonderful to have a live tree in the living room for the holidays. I could nurture and care for this tree throughout the year, and bring it inside in December, for an intimate few weeks. There is something so special about having a live tree inside your home. This evergreen beauty exudes the holiday season. Just look at the captivating shadows it leaves on a wall, in the photo.

I stumbled across this potted Oriental Spruce, Picea orientalis "Atrovirens" grown by the wholesale nursery brand, Monrovia, at Green Gardens Nursery, 4910 Cass St., San Diego, CA, 92109, Pacific Beach area, (858) 483-7546. This is truly a wonderful little nursery chock full of unusual plants for the holiday season, and throughout the year. You can find unusual tabletop topiaries, live christmas trees, hollies, garlands, and much more to accent your home and garden.

This beautiful Oriental Spruce reminds me of the Noble Fir tree in appearance. It is a slow grower, and ideal for keeping in a pot or container outside throughout the year, and bringing inside for a few weeks. It has dark green shiny needles, and grows in a pyramidal form which is fully branched to the base. It likes to be watered regularly when the top 3" of soil is dry. Be aware, however, if you ever plant this tree in the ground with optimum growing conditions it can reach 60-80 feet high and 20-30 feet wide. It does best in zones 2-8.

The Oriental Spruce came in a 3.6 gallon sized pot. I took it home and transplanted it into a slightly larger container that drained and had a saucer. Before transferring it to it's new container I did a little preparation. This Oriental Spruce was incredibly root bound, so I loosened the roots a bit, scored the entire root ball, and gave it a good drink letting it soak in a tub of water. I placed my newly potted spruce into a beautiful copper patina bucket to bring inside. The Oriental Spruce is so pretty, I am going to decorate simply with a single strand of tiny white lights. It needs nothing else.

Buying a live ornamental tree such as the Oriental Spruce is an investment, at least 2-3 times more expensive than a cut tree, maybe more depending on the tree. It is a worthwhile investment. One, you have a year-round tree. Two, you have an exceptional tree for the holidays. Three, you are being green, and kind to the environment. After the holidays, you don't have to dispose of it, recycling it with the garbage. Live trees are generally smaller in size, than cut Christmas trees. This Oriental Spruce will fit beautifully in our living room, and it won't be out of scale in size either.

The beauty of this tree and it's simplicity, reminds me to embrace "the spirit of the holidays", and seek other ways to be holiday green this season.