If you have had enough of pine needles in your house or in your car, or if you find it difficult to dispose of the tree after Christmas, consider using a living Christmas tree.
Amongst the Australian Native choices for a living Christmas Trees is Banksia Nutans or nodding banksia. As it is suitable for growing in pots, tubs or containers, this banksia can be shifted outside after Christmas or kept in a pot for use over a few Christmas seasons. As Banksia Nutans is a small, bushy shrub, only growing up to about 2 metres high. The narrow linear leaves grow up to 20mm long and resemble fir leaves.
The Banksia Nutans is native to the south west of Western Australia growing mostly in scrubland and woodland with sandy or gravely soil. This makes it a good plant for growing in the Gold Coast sandy dunes areas like Broadbeach. Its showy red brown or orange flowers and bright green new fruits would make it a great pot plant in any climate.
Another important advantage of the living Christmas tree is that it is much easier to keep moist. Cut Christmas trees risk drying out to the point where flammability can present a problem.
If you are after a more traditional look for a living Christmas tree, then consider the Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens). The conical shape and dense blue green foliage make this a great plant for formal gardens, rockeries and containers. Growing up to 2 metres tall, it will eventually become too large to bring indoors for the Christmas season. As it is a very slow growing tree, you should be able to bring it inside for a few seasons at least.
If you are planning to eventually plant your tree outdoors, spruces prefer cool summers and will tolerate severe frosts. This makes the spruce more suited to growing in the Mount Tamborine area rather than the Gold Coast. Pruning is not really required but you may wish to shape the trees to keep the conical shape.
For more information about Banksias http://anpsa.org.au/APOL2007/apr07-2.html
For more information about Pincea http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s1866638.htm
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