Every year thousands of kiwi’s head to Christmas tree farms around the country to find the perfect tree for their home to celebrate the jolly season.
Although this may be a tradition for your family to get a Christmas tree from a farm, some years you may not have the time or money to buy it from a tree farm or get it delivered.
To buy a real pine trees can range from $55 to hundreds depending on the size of the tree. On top of this, if you don’t have your own truck to take the tree back to your home, the delivery fees start from $105. Then after December the removal fee starts from $50.
That’s why growing your own Christmas tree can be much easier, cheaper and can be a new tradition for your family.
Which seeds to buy?
The most common and traditional kiwi Christmas tree is the Pinus radiata tree. Therefore, when you start looking for seeds to plant, you will want to get Pinus radiates seeds.
However, if you want a European looking Christmas tree, you will want to plant Picea abies.
Other pine tree species you can buy are pinus sylvestris, pinus greggii and pinus nigra.
Planting your pine tree seed
Step One: Gather your seeds
You can either buy the seeds from a garden store or collect some pine cones. If you tap the pine cone, seeds should come out. These are the seeds that you will plant.
Step Two: Test the seeds
Place all your seeds in a cup in warm water, some of the seeds will float and some will sink to the bottom of the cup. The seeds that sink usually sprout faster and are healthier. Take the seeds that sink, dry them off and place them in an airtight container to dry.
Step Three: Plant your seeds
Once your seeds are prepared, you will want to start by placing about 10-14 seeds in separate pots in potting soil. Ensure the seed is fully cover by the soil but not too far into the soil.
Place the pots near a window, water them and leave them there until they sprout.
Ensure the soil is moist every day, if its dry add water.
How long does it take to grow a full pine tree?
It takes around 8-10 years to get a good size pine tree but if you want a smaller tree for Christmas you would be looking at around 3.5-4 years. That is why you want to plant at least 10 pines at one time so you have time to replant as you cut one down each year.
Another tip we suggest, is to buy two pre-grown pine trees at bunnings for $39 each. This will ensure you have two Christmas trees planted and ready to use for the first two years as your other 10 pine tree seeds are growing.
Remember even though it takes around 4 years for your trees to grow and to use your trees at Christmas, it will be worth the wait, as you and your kids can make it a tradition to go out to cut the tree down each Christmas in your own backyard.