Can You Replant a Christmas Tree, and Should You? With vs Without Roots

Woman with a shovel and a christmas tree looks at the ground and wonders can you replant a Christmas tree after you've used it?

Can you replant a Christmas tree?

This is a question many people ask each year, for a number of reasons. However, whether or not the tree has roots will often dictate whether it an be replanted.

As nice as it would be, replanting a Christmas tree is difficult, even when the roots remain intact, such as those trees with a root ball attached.

This guide explains can you replant a Christmas tree, whether you should try it, and how to replant a Christmas tree with or without roots.

Is It Possible To Replant a Christmas Tree (Can You Replant a Christmas Tree?)

It is possible to replant a Christmas tree in your backyard.

However, the success of the process depends on many things, and the root of the matter is…roots.

Unfortunately, it’s pretty impossible to replant a Christmas tree that doesn’t have an attached root ball. You can take a branch cutting from the tree and use a rooting hormone to try to encourage root growth so that the cutting can be replanted, but this is very, very difficult.

The condition of the tree also plays a role, including how well you’ve watered it during the holiday.

Can You Replant a Christmas Tree Without Roots? Replant Christmas Tree Cuttings (Can You Replant a Cut Christmas Tree?)

Can you replant your Christmas tree without roots? No. But you can regrow the tree through propagation.

If the ‘tree’ is a very small cutting, then a root hormone simulator can help. This is usually a powdered substance that is purchased at growing centers or online.

However, this will not guarantee that the tree will survive. Even with a fully attached root ball, there’s a degree of luck involved

Replanting a Christmas tree without roots requires a lot of commitment and luck to see it sprout and grow again. Here are some tips.

  • Ideal growing conditions

If you bought a cut Christmas tree, you should get the soil from where it was harvested. It’ll help you recreate the growing conditions the tree had in its previous habitat and therefore have a better chance of survival.2

If this is not possible, speak with your local nursery for the best soil mix for regrowing a fir tree cutting.

  • A fresh cut

The cutting should be done freshly, so don’t cut the branch and then try to grow it two weeks later.

It won’t work.

Replanting Christmas Trees With Roots: How To Plant Christmas Tree Cuttings With Roots

Replanting a Christmas tree with roots is not as hard as one without them.

However, you also have to be careful about the growth conditions. If you bought a Christmas tree with roots, replanting it should not be too difficult, as long as you follow the protocol.

Photo of a Christmas tree lying down on the ground after being cut.

(Image: Christin Hume7)

Also, the tree’s chances of surviving are higher than trying to propagate a cutting.

Replanting the tree anywhere in your backyard will require a lot of commitment in maintaining the tree, and you should definitely check to make sure you live in a growing zone that is propitious for growing the type of tree that you purchased.

If you replant a Christmas tree in growing zones that won’t support it, it will not make it.

Can You Replant a Christmas Tree: Grow Your Own Christmas Tree

Growing your own Christmas tree is amazing and convenient. It also saves you a lot of money buying a Christmas tree yearly.

You will also have plenty of tree cuttings to put all over your house for Christmas, making your home feel beautiful and ready for the season.

How To Plant Christmas Trees

Planting a Christmas tree is not hard as long as you follow the best practices for tree growing.

Image of the growing instruction of a Christmas tree.

You can also buy a cutting and replant, but that might not be the best way to do it. Using a tree with roots makes your work much easier and has a better chance of survival.

Step 1. Choose a tree that will grow where you live.

Step 2. Care for the tree indoors until it is ready to replant in early spring.

Step 3. Make sure to choose your location wisely.

Consider how tall the tree can grow, as well as any other obstructions, such as fencing, that might hinder it as it gets larger.

Step 4. Did the hole at least twice as wide as the root ball and deep enough so that the top of the root ball will not protrude from the surface of the soil. But not so deep that the trunk is buried.

Step 5. Fertilize the site based on the tree’s specific needs.

Step 6. Use a perforated hose to make sure that the tree stays well watered.

You can also water the tree by hand, but the key is to ensure that the ground remains moist, but not soggy.

Step 7. Prop the tree using stakes, if required.

These tree planting tips are standard for most trees, but it can also help to contact your local nursery to ensure that you provide the best chance of survival for your Christmas tree.

Finding the Best Indoor Christmas Tree Plant

Finding the best indoor Christmas tree depends on how you want your Christmas tree to look and whether you want to replant it.

If you plan to replant it, choose a tree from a local grower that has the root ball attached.

Image of the Christmas tree in a dim area of the house.

(Image: CJ8)

When choosing, remember that one you plan to replant requires a little more effort to select because of the different factors involved. You do not want a tree that creates too much mess with its needles; it should be strong enough for your decorations.

You can visit different nurseries and ask friends to recommend a tree they have used before.

How To Maintain a Beautiful Christmas Tree in Yard

Christmas tree maintenance is not complicated, especially when you pick a tree that is not hard to maintain.

Before buying the tree, ask yourself, ‘Can you transplant a Christmas tree in your backyard?’ If the answer is yes, buy a tree that would look great in your backyard and has little to no maintenance.

The best ones are the ones that do not shed off their needles so often. If you decide to plant the tree, ensure it is well-fed and has the right growing conditions for it to thrive.

Types of Christmas Trees

There are different tree species that people use for their Christmas decorations. All these trees look amazing for the season, but many factors must be considered before choosing a particular tree.

Most of these trees are also readily available on landscapes, and you can decide to cut your own Christmas tree if you have one of the species in your yard. Below is the list of different Christmas tree types and their characteristics.1

Balsam Fir

The Balsam Fir tree has dense,4 needle-like, and dark green leaves that look like a cone. The tree is evergreen and perfect for a Christmas tree. It has a strong fragrance, and its branches are strong enough for Christmas decorations.

The tree grows up to 66 ft tall, making it a small to medium kind of tree. The leaves also have some shiny silvery parts that make the tree a good choice for Christmas bouquets.

Canaan Fir

Canaan fir is a hybrid of the Balsam and the Fraser fir. It has flat needle-like leaves with a rich green color. It is not a very popular tree in the market and, therefore, not easy to get. It is native to the mountains of West Virginia. The tree is also evergreen and grows up to a medium height. However, the sweet scent is not as strong as with Balsam fir.

Fraser Fir

Like all the other firs discussed in this article, Fraser fir has a conical shape, making it a perfect tree for Christmas decorations. The tree has extra sturdy branches, making it perfect for heavy ornaments. It grows up to fifty feet and has a pleasant smell that welcomes the Christmas holiday season guests to your home.

Douglas Fir

The tree looks like a pyramid and has dark green foliage. The leaves grow in bunches, and they are soft to the touch. With its rich scent and extremely large size, most people in the US will have this tree as their Christmas tree. The trees are grown all over landscapes in various regions, making it easy to get one.

Noble Fir

Noble fir can grow really tall and achieve a height of up to 230 feet tall. The tree has dense branches that have even spaces along the trunk of the tree. It is a good choice for a Christmas tree because of its sturdiness and the way it curves upwards. You can easily get away with placing heavy decorations on the tree.

Grand Fir

The tree has thick foliage. The colors range from yellow-green and have a white stripe under the needle. The leaves are need-shaped, and the tree is evergreen. This tree grows as high as 230 feet, making it stand out in any landscape it has been planted. It also has the spicy and pleasant Christmas scent that most Christmas trees have.

Concolor Fir

The Concolor fir has varying colors on the leaves as it grows. It has a blue-green color when young, and the color changes to dull green as it ages. It can grow up to 193 feet tall, which is quite tall for a full Christmas tree. The leaves have pointed tips, and the surface is flat with a needle-like shape.

Scotch Pine

This one is sturdy and perfect for many Christmas decorations. The leaves are dark green in color and the tree grows to a height of 115 feet tall. The leaves grow in bunches of two and change color during Winter. Unlike most other Christmas trees, the Scotch pine has very long needle retention. That makes it easy to clean up after the Christmas season is over.

White Pine

Pines make great Christmas trees because of their shape and long lifespan. The White pine foliage has pointed tips and blue-green hues. The pine tree grows really tall but is not strong enough for heavy decorations. You can creatively use lightweight decorations to make up your Christmas tree with White pine.

Virginia Pine

The Virginia Pine is short,5 and its needles grow in pairs. They are twisted, too, making it easy to identify the tree. The foliage is dense and responds well to trimming. The highest the tree can go is 70 feet tall.

Blue Spruce

Another name for this tree is the Colorado blue spruce. It has waxy gray-blue needles that curve upwards; most people love that about it. The tree has a conical shape with dense foliage and silver-blue needle-like leaves. It is considered a perfectly shaped Christmas tree.

White Spruce

It is also called the Canadian spruce and can grow to about 130 feet tall. The tree is sturdy, short, and has blue-green foliage. You can fill it up with Christmas decorations for a beautiful season. The leaves are needle-like and short.

Norway Spruce

The Norway spruce has poor needle retention, making it quite sensitive to maintain. It is an evergreen tree that grows pretty fast and is native to Europe. The leaves have pointed tips, dark green color and a needle-like shape. However, you can find the tree in most places in the United States.

Arizona Cypress

The Arizona Cypress is bluish-gray with a medium fragrance and about sixty feet tall. It is an evergreen tree, and the branches grow in a conical shape. It is an excellent tree and can hold most of your decorations.

Red Cedar

Red Cedar is also called aromatic cedar. It has a strong fragrance that welcomes the Christmas mood into your home. The leaves have a shiny green color and the tree has a very slow growth rate. It grows up to 40 feet, and the branches form a pyramid shape with their dense foliage.

Leyland Cypress

The main difference between the Leyland Cypress Christmas tree and most other such trees is the lack of any aroma. However,6 it has a perfect pyramid shape that would look good for a Christmas tree. The tree grows up to 70 feet, and the leaves are greenish-gray with a feathery feel.

It is a great tree for people with allergies or a problem with the scents from other Christmas trees. The Leyland cypress tree is a fast-growing tree and, therefore, a good one to plant in your backyard.

Christmas Tree Alternatives

The following list of trees could be used as alternatives for the Christmas tree and still impress your guests.

The good thing about these alternatives is that they are easy to set up and do not create any mess like the live fir, pine, or cypress trees.

  • Hanging Tree3
  • Wooden Tree
  • Metal Tree
  • Fabric Tree
  • Twig Tree
  • Table Top Tree
  • Cone Tree
  • Paper Tree

How to plant a Christmas tree depends on the tree species and whether the tree has roots. If it has roots, then the process will be easier. Christmas tree cuttings that need to generate roots to grow can be a bit hard to grow anywhere.

It is, therefore, important to ask your supplier whether they have potted Christmas trees if you want to replant them in your home.

Follow the tips shared above to know how to go about it.

So, can you replant a Christmas tree, absolutely…as long as you plan ahead.

Frequently Asked Questions About Can You Replant a Christmas Tree?

Can You Replant a Christmas Tree That Has Been Cut?

A cut tree will not grow roots, so although you can replant it, it will not survive.

Can You Plant a Christmas Tree Outside?

Yes. Planting a tree outside is easy as long as you have the tree to transplant and the growing conditions in your place are conducive. You can get a potted Christmas tree from a nursery near you and replant the tree anywhere in your backyard. After that, you must ensure you take good care of it for it to grow.

Can I Replant My Christmas Tree Without Roots?

It is possible but not easy. Roots are what help a tree start growing again after transplanting. For the tree to grow again, it needs to regenerate some roots. That is possible through a little rooting hormone powder and careful propagation of a cutting.

How Many Lights for Christmas Tree Are Needed?

That depends on the size of your tree. If you have a huge Christmas tree, you might need many lights to cover the whole tree. However, if you only have a small or medium-sized tree, you might not need all those lights. Always gauge by the tree size to avoid doing too much or too little.

How Many Christmas Trees Per Acre Can I Plant?

You can plant up to 1500 Christmas trees per acre of land.

Can You Plant a Christmas Tree After Using It?

If the tree was potted, then you can easily replant it.

How Many Christmas Trees Are Cut Down Each Year?

The estimated number of Christmas trees cut down every year is between 33 and 36 million trees.


References

1Proflowers. (2017, November 14). 16 Types of Christmas Trees. Proflowers. Retrieved December 19, 2022, from <https://www.proflowers.com/blog/16-types-of-christmas-trees>

2Your Indoor Herbs and Garden. (2022). Can I Replant My Christmas Tree? Do Not Make This Mistake. Your Indoor Herbs and Garden. Retrieved December 19, 2022, from <https://www.yourindoorherbs.com/replant-christmas-tree/>

3Stagg, R. (2022, November 10). 11 Christmas Tree Alternatives We’re Loving This Year. House Beautiful. Retrieved December 19, 2022, from <https://www.housebeautiful.com/uk/decorate/display/g41897920/christmas-tree-alternatives/>

4UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA. (n.d.). BALSAM FIR – ABIES BALSAMEA. Urban Forestry Outreach & Research. Retrieved December 19, 2022, from <https://trees.umn.edu/balsam-fir-abies-balsamea>

5PURDUE UNIVERSITY FORT WAYNE. (n.d.). Virginia Pine. Native Trees of Indiana River Walk. Retrieved December 19, 2022, from <https://www.pfw.edu/microsites/native-trees/virginia-pine>

6Klingaman, G. (2006, February 3). Plant of the Week: Leyland Cypress. Division of Agriculture – University of Arkansas System. Retrieved December 19, 2022, from <https://www.uaex.uada.edu/yard-garden/resource-library/plant-week/leyland-cypress-2-3-06.aspx>

7Christin Hume. Unsplash. Retrieved from <https://unsplash.com/photos/bwaYTKNo6Ho>

8CJ. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/christmas-christmas-tree-holiday-1044474/>