Stylish DIY Planter Of A Fallen Tree Piece

  1. DIY Driftwood Planter Made With Cedar | Succulent Planter Tutorial
  2. Tutorial Materials For Making a DIY Driftwood Planter
  3. Step 1 | Choose The Wood For Your Driftwood Planter
  4. Step 2 | Prep The Cedar Driftwood
  5. Step 3 | Determine The Locations For The Succulents
  6. Step 4 | Drill Shallow Grooves (if necessary)
  7. Step 5 | Prep the Moss
  8. Step 6 | Prep The Succulents For Planting In The Cedar Driftwood Planter
  9. Step 7 | Adhere The Plants To The Driftwood
  10. Step 8 | Anchor The Roots Into The Cedar Driftwood Planter
  11. Easy DIY live edge tables with hairpin legs. Step by step guide..
  12. From the beginning:
  13. The process to get a great finish:
  14. Adding the hairpin legs:
  15. Installing the legs:
  16. Special House Plant:
  17. Styling the tables:
  18. Romantic Boho Chic Room Transformation:
  19. Adding a Touch of Whimsy
  21. Succulent Planters | rotted tree trunk pieces
  22. Gather Rotted Tree Stump Pieces
  23. How to make succulent planters rotten tree stumps
  24. Secure screening to hold soil in succulent planters
  25. Line succulent planter with plastic
  26. Add moss to cover soil
  27. Hardscaping 101: Tree Stumps
  28. Why remove a tree stump?
  29. What are the best methods for tree stump removal?
  30. Are some tree stumps harder to remove than others?
  31. Can I remove a tree stump myself or should I hire a professional?
  32. How much does tree stump removal cost?
  33. What are the alternatives to tree stump removal?
  34. Repurposing Tree Stumps
  35. Camouflaging Tree Stumps
  36. 10 Modern Planters That Welcome The Spring In Style
  37. Wooden Planters
  38. Marble Planters
  39. Metal Planters
  40. Did any of today’s featured planters catch your eye?
  41. d the story? Share it with friends
  42. Caring For A Potted Christmas Tree – Real Christmas Trees In Pots

DIY Driftwood Planter Made With Cedar | Succulent Planter Tutorial

Stylish DIY Planter Of A Fallen Tree Piece

**Updated 10/22/19

I had this succulent driftwood planter for a year, and during that year, I was pleased to discover after looking back at these photos, that the 8 or so types I planted, that there were only two types of succulents that didn’t make it.

The succulents that gave me trouble are the same types that give me trouble in regular planters as well. I am seriously lacking a green thumb, so that’s a testament to the hardiness of these plants being planted on this type of planter.

I’m updating this tutorial because early in the year, I ended up moving across the country. I was worried the plants would get damaged in transit, so I temporarily re-homed the succulents to a large container for transport.

The other reason for the update is that after seeing how well the succulents did even in the shallow spots, I realized the grooves don’t require much depth. So I was able to eliminate a step and downgrade the difficulty level from moderate to easy!

Some of these updated photos are my newly planted cedar driftwood planter.

If you are a fan of planters and re-purposing, then you may also be interested in the DIY Succulent Driftwood Planter (you can actually use any old rotted wood, not just driftwood).


I have a lot of woods behind my house and am fortunate that there are trails I can walk on. On my walks, I kept seeing trunks of cedar trees that had been cut down at some point because they were dying or dead. They had rotted from the ground and were easy to pick right up. I thought they were beautiful and unique looking and they reminded me of driftwood.

I don’t have easy access to driftwood so I thought I would take advantage of the cedar tree trunks and use them as ‘driftwood planters’. The only drawback to these is that cedar is an incredibly hard wood, so carving out deeper divots for planting the succulents was a little challenging.

I make lots of planters so if you haven’t seen them and you want to check out some unique planter projects, then check out the Outdoor Decor section.

Some of the links on this page have been provided as a convenience for finding materials. These links may also be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, at no extra cost to you. For each project, I do lots of tests and if a material or tool doesn’t work, I won’t list it. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Tutorial Materials For Making a DIY Driftwood Planter

  • Cedar tree trunk
  • Assortment of succulents
  • E6000 glue
  • Moss
  • Chalk or pastels
  • Eye dropper
  • Soil (may be necessary for deeper grooves)

Step 1 | Choose The Wood For Your Driftwood Planter

Choose a piece of tree trunk that has broken off from a dead cedar tree or other). I have quite a few of these dead trunks around my house. I looked for one that was visually interesting and had some natural grooves.

The grooves are important and will allow you to skip Step 4 if they are deep enough. However, you really don’t need much depth to plant the succulents, a groove about 1/8″ – 1/4″ will be enough for most succulents to take root.

If you can’t find a piece of ‘driftwood’ that is already separated from the cedar, then you may need to use a chain saw to cut the tree trunk off from a fallen tree.

Step 2 | Prep The Cedar Driftwood

The trunk ly has insects in it, so the way to kill them is with heat. First, start by rinsing the dirt off the trunk. I did this in the winter, so I just rinsed it in the bathtub and spot dried it where the water puddled up in the grooves.

Now turn on your oven to 250 degrees, I didn’t bother pre-heating. Put the trunk on a tray to help keep your oven clean, in case more dirt comes off and then let it bake for about 2 hours.

Please keep an eye on it to make sure it isn’t burning, I set a timer for every 20-30 minutes to check on it. Finally, after a couple of hours, remove it and let cool down.

Step 3 | Determine The Locations For The Succulents

Mark out the locations where you want to place the succulents, using the pastel or chalk stick.

Step 4 | Drill Shallow Grooves (if necessary)

As it turned out, I probably didn’t need to deepen my cedar grooves as much as I did. If you think you need some depth, then create some depth using a Dremel with a cutting bit. Just hollow it out a little more in the areas you have marked for planting the succulents.

It would be a good idea to clamp the cedar in a table vise while doing this in case the trunk slips. I recommend cleaning up any undercuts that you may have created.

Remember, you only need a depth of 1/8 – 1/4″ to allow your plants enough space to attach their roots. If you don’t have deep enough grooves you can also build up the moss a bit to hold the stems to the planter.

Step 5 | Prep the Moss

Since dry moss is very brittle and difficult to manipulate, making it a little moist will allow you to work with it more easily. Briefly wet the moss with water, then wring out the moss and put the moss aside for now.

Step 6 | Prep The Succulents For Planting In The Cedar Driftwood Planter

Carefully remove the succulents from the containers, and then shake off the soil and trim back some of the roots.

You don’t want them to be longer than your nooks are deep. In some cases, you may have little to no root. In that case, you can secure the succulent by pressing some moss on top of the stem.

Step 7 | Adhere The Plants To The Driftwood

Squeeze a little bit of glue onto the locations of the cedar driftwood you are planting and start by planting the moss. You can also just dip the moss in some of the glue and stick it on the trunk.

If some of your grooves are deeper than an inch, you can add a bit of soil underneath the moss. The glue is waterproof and will adhere to the wet moss nicely.

Step 8 | Anchor The Roots Into The Cedar Driftwood Planter

Next, start planting your succulents. Just dip the stems into the moss that has been glued. It’s okay for the stem to get glued. The moss itself should anchor the plants. However, if the roots are a little dry, then they may not be as cooperative in trying to manipulate. Help anchor those using the eye dropper.

Continue working your way around the cedar trunk until you have your plants looking the way you want them. I advise holding off a few days before watering so your plants can get used to their new fancy home in the Cedar DIY Driftwood Planter!


Easy DIY live edge tables with hairpin legs. Step by step guide..

Stylish DIY Planter Of A Fallen Tree Piece

These groovy live edge tables with hairpin legs started out as a fallen tree in our yard. It can be a terrible thing when you lose a mature tree, but that doesn’t have to be the end of its beauty. Learn how to turn a fallen tree in your backyard into a beautiful set of end tables in an afternoon with this easy-to-follow tutorial.

Live Edge Tables

This look is a marriage of Scandinavian, Boho, and rustic.  The fun and almost free tables are just what my daughter’s room needed.

This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase from one of these links I will make a small commission, but rest assured you will not pay more for any products.

From the beginning:

Wood slice

This is where the tables started, slices from a tree fallen tree in our yard. I was so excited to see the width of these since all my other tree slices were too small to use for tables. Mother Nature was kind as she offered this larger tree (I would not have cut it down) to fall down in a storm so no guilt for using it.

The process to get a great finish:

1. First, cut the tree into 3″ slices with a chain saw.

2. Dry in your oven at 150 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours. Then test the moisture content with a moisture meter. It is ready to remove from the oven when the moisture meter reads 15 t0 20%.

3. I then used an angle grinder with 36 grit sandpaper on the top of the slices.

4. Then I used a belt sander with 80 grit sandpaper, then used a palm sander with 100 grit sandpaper, then I used 150 grit sandpaper and my last sandpaper was with 220 grit for a super smoothest finish.

5. The last step to get the same look as my tables is to use six coats of polyurethane and sand by hand with 220 grit sandpaper between each coat, but not after the last coat.

Adding the hairpin legs:

The hairpin legs come in a variety of sizes and colors, with that said I had a difficult time choosing 2 heights and the color.

How I decided on the height was to choose the taller size I wanted first and then the next size down, however, the color I wanted to have fun with, but my daughter might decide to use these as a groovy coffee table in her home. I went with a neutral color for the hairpin legs.

Installing the legs:

Making sure the legs are not installed too wide

I chose to install the legs so they did not extend outside of the width of the tabletops.

Used a sharpie to mark the placement

Drilling holes

Drilling the holes just a wee bit to make screwing on the legs perfect.

Hairpin leg

Almost finished

Table with planters

Basket planter

Special House Plant:

This house plant might appear to be ordinary, but it is special in two ways. First, it has the most unusual blooms (see photo below), and secondly, it was grown from a cutting from my daughter’s Great Grandmother’s (1907-2002) plant.

Hoya plant

Styling the tables:

I could not wait for Mr. Kippi to finish all his hard work so I could play dress-up with these live edge tables.

Romantic Boho Chic Room Transformation:

The tables are on the first stop of my daughter’s Romantic Boho Chic transformation. I promise you will love everything we are doing on a tight budget with a ton of DIY’s so join us as we get swept away into a romantic Boho room transformation. Have you been dreaming of a magazine-worthy home? But don’t know where to start?

Adding a Touch of Whimsy

The llama pillow was designed by Olivia for her bed as a touch of whimsy in her Romantic Boho Chic Bedroom Transformation. Please notice the new linen custom headboard Olivia designed too.  You can find the full story and the free llama pattern (SVG) download HERE.

Cozy llama pillow

I will be sharing all the inspiration and DIY’s along the journey.

Thank you so much for visiting today I would love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Talk soon,





Succulent Planters | rotted tree trunk pieces

Stylish DIY Planter Of A Fallen Tree Piece

I’m so excited to share some easy succulent planters with you today! I could hardly wait till today to show you what I did with some more leftover pieces of my dead tree.

Last week I shared the wood slice rolling plant stand with you.

What I didn’t show you were the rotted pieces of wood cut from the same tree while putting up the picket fence.

I bought some succulents at The Home Depot to plant in this dumpster find birdcage planter. But after digging it the garage, I decided I didn’t really it—well, I sent a picture to Jamie (daughter) and she said it looked a little “busy”.

Gather Rotted Tree Stump Pieces

I’ve been saving a couple of these rotten pieces all winter long, not knowing what I was going to do with them.

How to make succulent planters rotten tree stumps

But suddenly I had a light bulb moment when I got the succulents situated on the potting bench. The question was . . . how do I hold the dirt in the rotted tree trunk pieces?

Secure screening to hold soil in succulent planters

I was thinking chicken wire, but when I went to my stash to get it, I saw this hardware cloth and thought it was a better choice because the openings are smaller.

I used my staple gun to attach the hardware cloth to the rotted tree trunk.

Then, I used the tin snips to trim the excess hardware cloth.

A hammer helped to tap down the tips of the hardware cloth.

How to keep the dirt from falling through the hardware cloth? I tried to use the plastic pot liner that the succulents came in, but it was not deep enough for this large rotted tree trunk piece.

Line succulent planter with plastic

Using what I have on hand is important, so I used a piece of a potting soil bag to line the tree trunk piece. After placing the bag and soil, I used my scissors to trim away the excess plastic.

I chose the large succulent for the middle of this planter. Do you know what this plant is called?

Add moss to cover soil

I filled in the top of the dirt with sheet moss. This is where I really fell in love with the planter!

Smaller succulents were used to fill in the gaps.

I seriously LOVE how this rustic succulent planter turned out.

The smaller rotted wood slice succulent planter was made the same way, using hardware cloth stapled, and a piece of potting soil bag.

I filled in the voids with sheet moss.

Do you love these as much as I do?

How about one more? I had a lot of succulents to use up . . .

I made this diy birdbath years ago—and I thought it was ready for a little change. Simply adding some soil to the birdbath, and placing small plastic pot that holds the succulent made this an easy makeover. The succulent was a little top heavy, so it needed to be potted. Adding more soil and sheet moss to make it all come together makes it a happy little camper.

So, there you have it! Three really easy diy succulent planters to help decorate my patio (when the weather warms) Which is YOUR favorite?

Here’s another easy succulent planter–a clearance priced wicker Easter basket.

See more garden ideas here.



Hardscaping 101: Tree Stumps

Stylish DIY Planter Of A Fallen Tree Piece

It happens. Your long favored or ignored tree has to be removed. Disease, blocked views, size hazard, root damage, or just old age. The question arises: what to do about the stump? It comes down to three choices: use it, lose it, or camouflage it. Here’s what you need to know about the basics on the best way to handle that stump.

Above: A freshly cut eucalyptus stump shows the tree’s inner personality. Image by Janet Hall.

Why remove a tree stump?

The first decision is whether to let the stump stand. Considerations include:

  • Aesthetics. Some find stumps unsightly, while others find them a visual feature. It depends on how well the stump blends into the landscape. Todd Lansing of San Francisco-based Creo Landscape Architecture and Design takes several items into account to make the decision: the location of the stump and whether it can be integrated into the design; the height of the stump (if it is too low, it is not useful and more of a hazard), and the type of tree and appearance as some tree stumps are better looking than others.
  • Physical Hazard. Depending on the location of the stump, it can be a tripping hazard or get in the way of lawn mowers.
  • Suckering. Stumps can generate new growth sprouts.
  • Pests. A decaying stump can attract wood-boring insects that you don’t want near your house.
  • Disease. Stumps, especially those of trees removed because of disease, can harbor fungal disease and the that may harm neighboring trees or plants.
  • Cost. Does the price of removing or grinding the stump fit your budget?

Above: Trees felled by Hurricane Sandy in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Photograph courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

What are the best methods for tree stump removal?

Stump removal may seem straight forward, but it is not an easy task. The base and roots that have been keeping a large tree steady are not something that pop right the ground. There are four primary ways to remove a tree stump: mechanical, manual (digging), chemical, and natural decomposition.

  • Mechanical Removal. Gone are the days of trying to pull the stump the ground with a truck and a chain. And, unless your stump is less than 4 inches in diameter, cutting it the ground is a very difficult task. Fast and effective, stump grinding is the method of choice. A stump grinder is a machine that uses a wide blade outfitted with teeth to grind the stump well below ground level. It creates wood chips or grindings that can be removed from the site or turned into the ground as mulch, though the volume of chips may to too much for the ground to handle.

Above: A stump grinder chews into a stump, reducing it to shavings. Image via Tom Kent Stump Removal. For information and prices for grinding stumps, see Tom Kent Stump Removal.

  • Manual Removal. When does good old-fashioned digging work? If the stump is less than 4 inches in diameter or if you are dealing with a shrub stump, digging may work. Begin by digging a perimeter trench around the stump. The key is to have the right tools and to start farther out from the stump than you might expect. Use an axe, sharp spade, or even loppers to cut through the roots, working your way around the stump. Then loosen the soil and pry under the stump to try to get it out. Remember that even if you are successful, the stump may be very heavy and cumbersome to move.
  • Chemical Removal. There are several chemicals available designed to speed up the rotting of a stump. Typically, holes are drilled into the stump and the chemicals are poured into the holes. After weeks or months, the stump will be soft and can be broken apart and removed. While faster than natural decomposition, this is still a very slow process. And then there is the toxic nature of the chemicals. Since they act both as a herbicide, which is poisonous, and to break down the wood fibers, it is safe to assume the products are not good for anything living. It is advised not to use this method when pets and children are present.

Above: A naturally decaying tree stump with ivy. Image by Janet Hall.

  • Natural Decay. Not worried about a stump hanging around for awhile? Attracted to the natural wooded-look of a slowly decaying stump? Then ignoring it is a tried and true method. It will take years. The average stump takes from three to seven years to decompose. Hardwoods, oak, take longer to decompose than other varieties. You can speed up the process by drilling holes into the stump, covering it with soil and watering it.
  • Burning? Unless you live in a very remote location, this outdated method is not recommended due to air quality control issues and fire hazard. In fact, it is not allowed in most urban and many suburban locations.

Are some tree stumps harder to remove than others?

The variety of tree matters. “Some woods are fibrous. Pines and date palms fall into this category. While most people think their softness would make it easier to grind out, the opposite is true.

The fibrous nature of the wood makes it more time consuming to remove. The density of hard woods actually can make it easier to grind,” explains Matthew Morgenstern, owner of East and West Bay Stump Removal. “Root systems also vary.

Some are more surface-oriented, while others tend to go deeper. The varieties with extensive surface roots include Monterey pines, Liquidambars, maples, and poplars. These tend to require more extensive grinding.

” Knowing the tree variety is also important in deciding whether to leave or remove the stump, as some varieties are more prone to producing suckers.

Can I remove a tree stump myself or should I hire a professional?

Complexity of stump removal depends on the size and variety of the tree, as well as challenges posed by its location. As mentioned above, DIY sump removal may be possible with small stumps and shrubs. When the stump is bigger enough to require mechanical removal, we advise seeking the help of a trained professional.

It’s not at all unusual for stumps to be located over gas lines or other utilities. These situations are best handled by an experienced equipment operator. “Renting equipment and doing it yourself is an option,” says tree stump removal professional Matthew Morgenstern.

“Typical rental units are rather easy to tip over if you don’t know what to expect. Unexperienced operators should avoid uneven terrain at least until they have gained some confidence in how the machine responds. Lastly, stump removal equipment involves flying debris.

Windows, cars, and onlookers are at risk without proper precautions.” Note that urban or small space situations may require special equipment as large machines can’t be used.

Local professionals are ly to have the necessary expertise and equipment to handle different situations.

Above: Photograph courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

How much does tree stump removal cost?

The factors affecting cost are the size of the stump and the accessibility. For machine grinding, many stump removal professionals charge by inch of the stump diameter.

Expect a general price range around $3 per inch, with an understanding that there are many variables affecting each job. One such variable is accessibility for bringing in equipment.

Removing a stump in my urban yard in San Francisco would be an expensive exercise (one estimate was $500) just to get the equipment into the back yard.

What are the alternatives to tree stump removal?

Scott Wheeler of San Francisco’s Urban Arborist recommends thinking twice before removing a stump unless you are trying to plant something in the same spot or if it is part of a bigger landscape re-design project.

“Let it stand if possible,” he says. “It is expensive and intrusive to remove a stump.

Think about alternative uses, cutting the tree off at table height and using it as a table base, or carving the stump into a totem pole for your kids.”

Above: A Natural Tree Stump Side Table is $249 from West Elm.

Repurposing Tree Stumps

  • As a Planter. Tree stumps can be effective planters for perennials, succulents, and woodland plants. Use its natural nooks and crannies or create hollows in the stump with a pickaxe or other tool to fill with dirt.

Above: Photograph by Douglas Lyle Thompson for Gardenista.

For more of this garden, see Landscape Designer Visit: A “Showstopper” Backyard in Brooklyn.

  • As a Decorative Element. Stumps can be sculptural in a natural garden.
  • Other Inventive Uses. Stumps can be repurposed into table bases, stepping stools, seating, or even tree house foundations.

Camouflaging Tree Stumps

In many locations, tree stumps can be cut close to the ground and hidden within the landscape.

Above: Photograph by Janet Hall.

Clever camouflage of a large tree stump within a field of lavender.  Last year my neighbor had to remove a large Monterey pine from the corner of her property.

In consultation with the arborist, she choose to leave the stump as it is not close to her house and the disruption to her landscape of full stump and root removal would have been severe.

They cut the stump as low to the ground as possible; the lavender plants have fully camouflaged the 3-foot-wide stump.

What to do with the scraps from your tree stump removal? They can be cut and used as stepping stones, small table tops, or as shown on Remodelista, an easy DIY Log Side Table.

Interested in tree preservation? See Surviving a Storm: Expert Tips From the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.


10 Modern Planters That Welcome The Spring In Style

Stylish DIY Planter Of A Fallen Tree Piece

I must have a pretty bad case of spring fever! Why else would I have spent last weekend painting geometric pots and planting succulents?! The weather has been beautiful for days, but tomorrow it’s back to 40-degree temperatures, clouds and rain.

That hasn’t stopped me from rounding up a collection of modern planters to usher in the upcoming season.

Now is the time to start thinking of ways to beautify your yard or welcome the outdoors inside, and these gorgeous selections have the power to celebrate spring in style…

Wooden Planters

We begin with wooden planters–I’m actually looking for a wooden planter as we speak! I need to add some greenery to my powder room, and the selections below are great for indoor plants. This Wooden Planter from Etsy shop Moss + Twig is made from solid stained Oregon Myrtlewood. Two holes provide the perfect resting spots for succulents or cacti…

Modern wooden planter

I love the chunky look of this next Wooden Succulent Planter from Etsy shop Cattails Woodwork. The piece is shaped from solid butternut reclaimed from a fallen tree. There are carved facets, but the overall vibe is raw and fabulous. Plus, the design showcases the natural grain of the wood:

Rustic cactus pot

The next featured planter comes from Etsy shop Wooden Shapes. It’s painted in a white and copper geometric design, and a single hole in the top makes the piece ideal for holding a candle or a succulent. Not a fan of copper? Select an accent color of your choice!

Painted wooden succulent planter

How sleek is this Boxcar Planter in Walnut and Bone White from Urbilis?! Solid walnut with a natural finish combines with bone white accents for a look that is modern…and a little bit retro! Plant your cacti or succulents in the included stainless steel inserts, then set them into the holes of the individual planters. Combine the three pieces for one unforgettable display. I want this for my powder room counter!

Modern wooden indoor planter

Marble Planters

In case you’ve missed it, we’re in the middle of a mega marble revival! Marble patterns are appearing on everything from bedding to ceramics. As you may have guessed, marble motifs have hit the world of planters and pots as well. This one-of-a-Kind Marbled Planter from the Etsy shop of Leah Ball features green detailing on a white background. A natural rope cord complements the piece…

Green marbled planter

I’ve had my eye on this Marbleized Cylinder Planter from West Elm for quite some time. Made in Portugal, the piece is ideal for the garden. And I just might have the perfect indoor spot selected as well. Good news: this terracotta planter with a marbleized pattern is currently on sale for $9.99. You can’t beat that!

Cylinder planter with a marbleized finish

From marble effects to actual marble… These Marble Planter Pots from The Cool Hunter are compact and chic. Small but substantial, they create a refreshing, luxe receptacle for your favorite succulents and more…

Marble planter pots

Metal Planters

We end with a trio of metal planters that are chic and modern. This Copper Grande Balle hanging metal succulent planter from Etsy shop Plantworks PDX is made from a repurposed track light. The outside of the piece is painted a textured copper tone on the outside and a charcoal grey shade on the inside. A suede leather cord is the perfect finishing touch.

Hanging copper succulent planter

Bring on the geo style! This Polyhedron Cachepot in Silver from Mayker Studio is crafted from mild steel. The piece is welded and sanded for a clean, modern look. Love those facets!

Silver polyhedron planter

For a hanging geo planter option, check out the Small Himmeli Geometric Drop from Etsy shop Spazz Happy Line Design. Ideal for holding air plants, this metal piece also includes a drop string for easy display.

Metal geometric drop planter

Share your favorites by leaving a comment at the end of the post.

d the story? Share it with friends


Caring For A Potted Christmas Tree – Real Christmas Trees In Pots

Stylish DIY Planter Of A Fallen Tree Piece

Wyevale Garden Centres

Question: What's the best way to care for a potted Christmas tree both during the festive season and beyond?

Answer: Essentially, a potted Christmas tree will have been grown for at least a year in its container and so really what you're buying is a temporary houseplant. When buying one, find out if your potted Christmas tree is actually container-grown or has been recently dug up and potted, as there is often confusion between the two.

To put it simply, the British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA) secretary, Harry Brightwell, explains to us: 'A container-grown tree has been grown in the pot. A potted tree may be container-grown, but is often dug from the plantation and replanted in a pot prior to sale.'

With container-grown trees, roots are developed in the container, so is said to be stronger and more healthy (as it hasn't been dug up). 'It is often possible to lift the whole root system the pot and see the closely woven root that has grown in the pot,' BCTGA told Horticulture Week.

Here's some key advice to follow for potted Christmas trees:

• You should bring your potted tree indoors as late as possible, advises the RHS. The weekend before Christmas is ideal, and it's advised not to keep living trees in the house any longer than 12 days.

• As with most houseplants, it's the watering that's the thing. Too much and your potted tree will die of 'trench foot', too little and the leaves will turn brown and fall. Always check that the container has good drainage and some sort of saucer underneath to catch any excess water.

• Avoid placing your tree close to a fire or radiator – this will cause excessive moisture loss and needle drop.

• It's best to check the soil every day to make sure it's not drying out; even small trees will have an awful lot of roots and if you knock the container off you'll see just how full of roots and how little soil there is in there.

• That is the main downside of container trees, the roots of all trees are pretty ferocious and the taller the tree the more roots are needed to keep the water supply going. So to work in containers, these trees tend to be pretty small, around 3-5 feet. Anything larger just isn't going to be happy in a pot and is going to be very difficult to manoeuvre.

• And that's the issue about planting it in the garden and bringing it in again next year. Planting out will probably be fine, put it in a sunny spot and it'll grow well and put on a season of growth both in its branches and its roots.

Once a tree gets to about six feet the roots needed to sustain it are going to be more spread than can be put into a container.

If you have to chop off a lot of the roots to bring it indoors next year it may also be unstable once planted back out, so it might be a good idea to stake it in place firmly.

• Once planted in the garden, it's important to place your potted Christmas tree in the right spot. Put fir trees in a sheltered spot as they cool, moist conditions, and think about its position during hot summers, as it shouldn't be in direct sunlight. Also, ensure it's well watered during dry spells.

• One way to slow the growth during the year (of both the top and the roots) would be to keep it in its container but it will need an awful lot of looking after especially through the summer to stop it drying out.

So, depending on the height of the tree, you may be able to plant it in the garden and then bring it in for one more season but it's unly to be feasible after that.

From: House Beautiful magazine (with thanks to gardening expert Caroline Tilston).

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