The Christmas Tree Experiment

We all know the environmental costs of Christmas – the unwanted presents that end up in landfill, the excess food that ends up in the bin, sparkly wrapping paper that can’t be recycled, Christmas trees that are abandoned as soon as the festive season is over – the statistics are pretty horrifying.

Here at Agents of Field, we try to be a little more responsible. There’s no excessive gift-buying, Ade attempts to grow all the veg for the Christmas dinner, and we make use of natural decorations that can be composted afterwards.

But this year, we’re doing an experiment that I have wanted to do for years: we’ve bought a pot-grown Christmas tree which we’re going to try and keep alive for as long as we can, so that it will serve us for future Christmasses!

Now, I must explain that Ade has a thing for big Christmas trees. In our last house, our teeny-tiny front room was always monopolised at this time of year by a six foot beast that stood menacingly in the window, impaling anyone who attempted to sit in the nearby armchair, completely masking the television screen, and generally getting in everyone’s way. And that was nothing compared to Odin, the ten-foot monster Ade lugged home from the pub with my brother once upon a time, back when we were renting a place in North London. So, when I suggested buying a potted tree that we could grow over the next few years, Ade was doubtful, because that meant starting small. However, he relented because it’ll be an excellent eco-friendly experiment if it works, it’ll save us money, plus there’s something lovely about befriending a tree to share all our future Christmasses with!

So, on Friday, we headed to our local plant nursery and picked our tree.

I can’t even begin to imagine how Ade is coping with this. It’s two-feet tall. We have an excess of baubles with nowhere to hang them, and hilariously, we only just finished renovating our main living space this week which means, for the first time in our lives, we have a double-height ceiling which could accommodate a fifteen-foot tree if we wanted.  To say the tree is slightly lost in the room is something of an understatement. I also named him Radish (something about his rotund shape inspired me) which only seemed to deepen Ade’s despair.

But let’s see how we get on. He’s a Nordmann Fir that’s been grown at a local farm in Norfolk, and we plan to take him outside after Christmas, re-pot him, and see if he makes it to next Christmas. Apparently, he could reach twenty feet over the next decade if we manage to keep him alive that long!

We’ll keep you posted…







10 thoughts on “The Christmas Tree Experiment

  1. I love it. The idea of the mini Christmas tree in the vast room really made me chuckle and I can’t wait to see it this time next year. Good luck with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 0ur (not so little any more ) Christmas tree was bought 8 years ago, it now stands at around 7ft. Slighlty mis-shaped, but we love bringing it into the house every year, and then it heads back to the garden in Jan.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Radish is a great name. I have a pot grown tree that I have looked after for the last four years. This year he has grown too tall to get in the house! I can’t bring myself to replace him so it is an outside tree this year and lots of ivy indoors. Have a great Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a good idea to watch your Christmas Tree grow over the next few years. Keep all the Christmas decorations in a safe place. It won’t be long before you will have a spot for them on the Christmas Tree. Happy Christmas to you and the family, and wishing you a bountiful and contented New Year.


  5. This is our first year of having a pot grown Christmas tree, similar size to yours. There was an excellent in the latest RHS magazine on how to look after pot grown trees.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. When I first got my pine (not a Christmas tree) it was kept in a pot and brought in for Christmas. It did suffer a bit with the central heating, so it needed to be back outside as soon as Christmas was over.
    Eventually it got too heavy for me to bring it inside and now it is about seven feet tall in the ground.
    Anyway, the point of the story is that your potted Christmas tree is an excellent idea. I am sure it will give you a few happy Christmases – I’d just advise that you don’t keep it inside too long.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my; that is . . . compact.
    The difficulty I have with live trees is that I get so many after Christmas, from friends who think I can just plant them in the forest and let them grow wild. They are not native, and would not recover from confinement to pots without irrigation. Most got planted for firewood, and cut down anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

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