Christmas tree: Expert shares advice on caring for trees

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A Christmas tree is a festive essential in many households. However, not everyone likes the appearance, smell or mess a traditional Christmas tree leaves behind. In that case, it may be time to find an alternative.

Managing Director of Hopes Grove Nurseries in Kent, Morris Hankinson, shared exclusively to the best alternatives to Christmas trees.

Hopes Grove Nurseries was established 27 years ago and grows approximately one million hedge plants in 50 acres of land in Tenterden.

The nurseries regularly supplies plants for ITV’s Love Your Garden which features Alan Titchmarsh and David Domoney.

Morris said there are many different options for homeowners looking to decorate their homes.

Morris said: “There’s quite a few different ways you can go.

“If you’re looking at nurseries and garden centres at the moment, there’s several conifers that they sell which have been grown in a pot.

“Very often, they’ve been frosted with fake snow and some baubles put on them.

“I think they’re different varieties of Picea which is also the communal garden Christmas tree, it’s the same family.

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“They’re great. You can plant them in the garden afterwards or keep it in a pot or container.”

The small ones can either be used as an alternative to a Christmas tree or as table decorations.

Once you’re finished with them, you can plant them outside in a container or plant them in the ground.

Morris said to choose evergreen bushes and shrubs that have shape.

These can then be decorated to look festive.

He explained: “Basically, anything that’s evergreen that has a bit of shape to it.

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“You could decorate the box cones, bay trees are also very good.

“Holly is also very good. You’re only limited by your imagination!”

Box or Buxus hedging can be bought in a cone or pyramid shape in a container.

You can buy a pair to have on either side of steps or doorways to spruce up your outside space.

They can also be decorated with lights, baubles, tinsel and other decorations to give them a festive edge.

The good news is, once Christmas is over, they will continue to thrive and make your outdoor space look modern and colourful.

Holly shrubs can look great at this time of year.

The female plants will have festive red berries while the males will look just lush and green.

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