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Can You Replant a Christmas Tree Without Roots? The Fascinating Answer!

Christmas Tree

After Christmas comes and goes, it’s time to start tearing down decorations and putting them away. But while you can put most of the decorations in a box and store them until next year, that’s not an option with a live Christmas tree.

Can you save a Christmas tree by putting it back in the ground even if it doesn’t have roots anymore? Unfortunately, this isn’t a realistic optionNo, you can’t replant a Christmas tree that does not have roots. But while you can’t replant the whole tree, you might be able to replant parts of it, and we’ll walk you through how to dispose of the rest of it here.

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Can You Replant a Cut Christmas Tree?

Sadly, you can’t successfully replant a cut Christmas tree no matter what you do. The tree needs roots to get all the necessary nutrients it needs to thrive. And while you might be hoping the tree can regrow its roots, that’s not how it works.

Even if the Christmas tree could grow its roots back after you cut it (they can’t), it couldn’t do it fast enough to keep the tree alive. In short, there’s no reason to pull out a shovel and start digging to replant your Christmas tree.

Can You Grow Christmas Trees From Cuttings?

Christmas Tree Disposal
Image By: grmag

While you can technically grow a small Christmas tree from cuttings, it’s not an easy process and you need to follow them all completely to have any chance of success. If you’re looking to grow a Christmas tree from cuttings, you need to start by collecting the cuttings no later than three days after cutting the tree down.

From there, collect branches about 6 to 10 inches long and about as thick as a pencil for optimal results. After you cut the right branch, you’ll need to do a little prep work before planting it. Start by removing all the needles from the bottom half of the branch.

Then, cut vertical slits along the bottom half of the branch and dim the part with the slits into a hormone powder.

Next, fill a pot with potting soil and water it so it’s damp. Create a small hole for the branch to slide into and put the stripped part of the branch into the soil. Find a location with lots of sunlight that stays sheltered from extreme elements and put the pot there.

Mist the needles and water the soil as needed for 3 to 4 months until the roots start to form. Once the roots form, move the tree to a larger pot so it can continue to grow. A few months later, the tree should be large enough to move outside.

This isn’t something that’ll give you a new Christmas tree next year, but eventually, it should grow large enough for you to use and start the process over again!

Why Do Some Christmas Trees Bud?

If you’re looking at your Christmas tree and you’re starting to see buds or pinecones, it can be a little perplexing. If the tree doesn’t have roots and is dying, how can it start to bud? Unfortunately, a budding Christmas tree doesn’t mean you can save it by planting it.

Christmas trees can do this as a natural response to you bringing them indoors. Christmas trees are conifers, and these trees work in pretty predictable ways. After cold periods of about 8 weeks or more, they’ve met all their necessary “dormant” hours.

After that when the weather warms up, they think it’s spring, and that’s when they’ll start to bud or grow pinecones. In short, when you bring them inside, they think it’s spring, even if it’s still winter outside!

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How to Dispose of Your Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Mulching
Image By: Ruff tuff cream puff, Wikimedia Commons

If you can’t just replant your old Christmas tree, how do you properly dispose of it? Most areas will have a Christmas tree drop-off location. These locations typically take the trees for free, mulch them down, and then donate them to different organizations that help create and restore various habitats.

We do not recommend trying to burn your Christmas tree since it can be difficult to dry them thoroughly. Burning a tree that’s still a little wet can create tons of sparks which can quickly catch close objects on fire.

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Final Thoughts

While you can’t replant a whole Christmas tree without roots, if you take a cutting at the start of the season, you can grow a new tree with a bit of patience and time. If you do this every year and have a little space for trees in your yard, there’s no reason you can’t start your own mini-Christmas tree farm for future years!

Featured Image Credit: AnnieSpratt , Pixabay


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