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SUSTAINABILITY | Read Our Commitment
We all love a real Christmas tree – the smell just brings that Christmas feel right into the home!
However, buying a real Christmas tree now requires sustainability issues to be considered. Cutting down trees is bad for the climate – we need trees to be in the ground growing and locking up carbon. Collecting, shredding, and then composting them at the end of the season also takes time and energy for transport, shredding machines, and compost delivery.
If we avoid a cut tree, a more sustainable step would be to have a rooted tree in a container. At the end of the season, one option is to re-plant them in the garden soil. Planting out and then uprooting the tree each year is bad news for the tree's health – even careful digging up will destroy much of the unseen soil-root fungal microbiology, making it much harder to survive.
But it comes with a few issues
Here at SoilFixer, we have been working with biochar super compost to create superb Terra Preta (Amazonian Dark Earth) type soil mixes that have the ideal balance of properties to support healthy container trees.
Our tree in this photo has the original clayey topsoil around the roots and the rest of the container (about 70%) is our SF40 biochar multi-purpose compost mix. This year will be the third year it has been bought into the house.
In year one, we purchased it from the garden centre and took it straight into the house. After Christmas, we put it outside in the original tub with its clayey soil mix. It did not grow in height, but it did survive.
In year two we brought it in again. When we put it out, towards the end of Spring, it was easy to spot the tree was in trouble. It had been watered regularly, but the ends were going yellow and the top had died back (sorry no photo).
As the summer started to heat up, it was clear we needed to do something. It was replanted in a slightly bigger tub and backfilled with SF40 (Biochar Multi-Purpose Compost). Within a few weeks, not only had the ends re-greened, it actually started to grow. It is now 30Cm higher, bushy and green.
Year one – before you put it out, buy a slightly bigger pot (30-40cm dia will keep it going for 3-5 years). Knock off loose soil/compost, place in a new tub, and backfill with SF40. Tamp down and water. Place it in a sheltered spot (not in the direct wind). You can move it in Spring.
The weight and size of the tub tends to restrict the container trees. A two-person lift will be able to handle a “6 footer, 1.8m”. Anything bigger and the weight and size will probably make it too award to move. Having said this – the tree nursery will routinely move +20ft container trees!
Looking at the test results of our peat-free biochar multi-purpose compost (code SF40)
Biochar Multi-Purpose Compost (SF40)
A ready-to-use multi-purpose compost used as a plant growing..
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