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Displaying live Christmas tree

Q. How can I display a live Christmas tree this year?

A. A live Christmas tree cannot be kept in a heated house for more than seven days, or it will break its dormant state. If you purchase it balled and burlapped or even in a container, place it in an unheated garage or on a porch a few days before Christmas. On Christmas Eve, move it into a large container (to facilitate watering) and bring it indoors. Make sure the rootball stays moist while the tree is in the house. Avoid decorating it with heavy ornaments or lit candles. A few days before New Year’s, move it back to the garage for a few days. On New Year’s Day, you can plant it outside in an already prepared hole, and be sure to water it well. If the ground has completely frozen, you can heel the tree in with a heavy mulch until spring. Monitor the tree over the winter to be sure it remains straight and is receiving adequate moisture. Do not fertilize it for the first year.