Gardening

Christmas tree


Question: Christmas tree


Hello
I have a Christmas tree in pot of 8 years now (common fir) that I keep on the balcony (I live at 1100 mt)! ... I have noticed however that a side of it remaining against the wall is now without more branches, but also the part of branches that we say are closer to the trunk now it is very dry and practically "stripped" ... I wanted to know if it is the case that you move it and put it to "take air" in another place for a while, I don't know, to oxygenate itself on both sides. Despite its age it continues to sprout in spring, but only in the extremities and not near the trunk where the branches remain meager and dry. What could I do? I'm fond of it (!) And would mind if it died!
I thank and cordially greet
Erika

Answer: Christmas tree


Dear Erika,
usually Christmas trees are firs, which in Italy live only in the mountains, on the Alps and even in some areas of the Apennines; rightly keep your fir on the terrace, since you live in a cool area, the harsh winter and the not-too-hot summers are certainly more suitable than a constantly warm climate in the house; and in fact, in this way, your fir survived very well for about 8 years. But something is missing on the terrace that a fir could find in a wood, or so much space and the correct insolation, which in nature manages to reach all sides of a tree. And in the woods, like on your terrace, in the shaded parts new shoots are unlikely to grow and often the branches completely dry up. In some very thick and dense woods the fir trees completely lose the branches in the lower part, which continue to develop only at the apex of the stem, like a sort of hat. This happens because the leaves of plants basically perform the function of transforming sunlight into energy for the plant, through chlorophyll photosynthesis, as we all know. Some plants have adapted over time to live even in areas that are not very bright, and therefore even if they receive only small amounts of direct sunlight, they keep their hair green and shiny; this does not happen for fir trees, which in nature are used to receiving direct sunlight for many hours a day. So in the area where your plant never receives sunlight, being close to the walls of the house and therefore in complete shade; for this reason, the needles and branches in that area cannot fully perform their functions, and therefore the plant, over the years, once the needles have fallen does not renew them with further shoots. To overcome this problem usually when you hold a tree on the terrace, you try to expose it as much as possible to direct sunlight, placing it in a bright place on the terrace; during the hottest summer weeks instead, it is placed in the shade, so that it does not suffer from the summer heat. If you are forced by the space you have available to keep your fir constantly in that position you can think of turning it periodically, once a week (more or less), so that every part of the plant can be exposed to sunlight.