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Advice from Baytree Garden Centre of Weston on planting a Christmas tree in your garden

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In the weekly Out In The Garden column, Mark Cox of Baytree Garden Centre, Weston, tells us how to plant an outdoor Christmas tree...

As I sat on the sofa watching Santa Claus the Movie with number one daughter we both couldn’t help feel just a little festive.

The Christmas tree was decorated, the mantelpiece was adorned in seasonal fair, the walls were covered in Christmas cards which all belonged to number one daughter – you see, as it turns out, the present Mrs Cox and I have no friends.

An outdoor Christmas tree (53714377)
An outdoor Christmas tree (53714377)

Looking around the room, there wasn’t a space left that hadn’t been festified... yes I’ve made that word up.

Number one daughter then had a brilliant idea, we should go out and buy a real Christmas tree that we could plant in the garden and view from the patio doors – that way, technically, we’d decorated the world.

The great thing about this idea is the tree would be there year after year to admire... well that’s the hope, anyway.

Coat on and car keys in hand, we sped off to you know where to purchase said garden Christmas tree.

After asking the assistant at Baytree to un-net just about every potted tree they had, number one child finally made a decision on a four foot Nordmann Fir.

As with all planting, don’t plant the tree when the ground is water logged or frozen – thankfully when we planted our tree it hadn’t rained for a few days so conditions were perfect.

Before we planted the tree, number one child gave the root ball a really good watering to make sure that the roots were well and truly hydrated.

Whilst digging the hole for said tree I on the other hand kept myself hydrated with several large glasses of alcoholic eggnog.

The hole needed to be a little wider than the root ball and deep enough so that the base of the trunk would be level with the ground. If you bury the trunk too deeply, there is a risk of rot setting in, so be careful.

I thought choosing the tree took an eternity but that was nothing compared to positioning it in such a way so that it looked best when viewed through the patio doors.

After what seemed like days of twisting the tree left and right, we eventually settled upon the position we had the tree facing in at the very beginning.

Though if I’m honest, the Eggnog had now kicked in and I’d gone past caring.

It didn’t take too long after that to back fill the hole and give it another watering to settle the tree into place.

To help with moisture retention whilst the roots establish themselves, I laid a little mulched organic matter around the base of the tree but left a good inch or two gap around the trunk.

This was the really exciting bit now as we decorated the tree with battery operated lights.

I had thought about wiring up some mains powered lights but the present Mrs Cox reminded me that DIY was not my strong point and that she was not prepared to enjoy Christmas day in darkness like last year when I blew the electrics whilst re-wiring the plug to her new Dyson hair dryer.

The time for the grand switch on had arrived, I’d invited many celebrities and local dignitaries along with the promise of homemade mulled wine but alas not even the BBC Look North crew turned up. Oh well, their loss was our gain as the tree and the lights were spectacular.

Merry Christmas.

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