Table Top Alberta Spruce Tree
I am wondering if these directions that come with my tiny Christmas tree are accurate - i.e., the best I can do for it right now to keep it going... they say to put it outing this freezing weather right now... and how exactly to do that? Is there another way that wold be easier on it (such as wait until spring and then plant it outside). The directions say it needs to "harden off and be dormant" Do you agree, how best can I do this. Below are photos of the little tree and the directions that came with it. Thank you in advance for your opinion:
These little trees do not do very well indoors during the winter so you may have a struggle on your hands. But it can be done! Unfortunately, the tree that you bought probably already had its natural growth cycle and temperature acclimation severely disrupted through the shipping and retail processes. For this reason, your spruce may have been rather stressed by the time you purchased it. If you now move it outside, especially during our cold winter months, this may so severely and additionally stress it that survival would be unlikely. But on the other hand, they do not survive very well under typical indoor household conditions where it is very dry and a bit too warm. I would suggest that if possible you now keep the spruce in the pot and move it to a cool and bright location. A basement or garage with a temperature between 45 and 50 degrees would be good provided that there are windows to allow the tree to be in sunlight for three or more hours a day. Keep the soil in the pot moist at all times but not soggy. Then gradually acclimate it to the outdoors in early spring (mid to late March?) as soon as daytime temperature begin to moderate. Do this in small amounts, beginning with just an hour or two a day and then returning it to its winter location. Ideally this outside location should have some protection from the wind which would tend to dehydrate the tree. Over a period of two to three weeks, increase this daily outside exposure in small amounts until the tree is kept outside for the entire day. You should bring it back inside during the evenings if temperatures are forecasted to go much below freezing. At some point in late May or early June, you may want to consider removing the spruce from the pot and transplanting it to a more permanent location on your property. It should then survive subsequent winters.