Can You Grow a Tree From a Christmas Tree Branch?

This page may contain affiliate links. If you click and buy, we might get a small commission at no cost to you.

You can indeed grow a tree from a Christmas tree branch. Of course, growing a full-grown tree from a branch takes time, but if you’re patient and follow a few steps, you’ll be planting a tree after Christmas this year.

If you’re like a lot of people, you’re going to have tree trimmings after bringing home your fresh Christmas tree. Here’s what you need to know about growing a tree from a Christmas tree branch.

Quick overview:

  • You can propagate your Christmas tree branch in the water. It just needs to be done correctly.
  • With patience and the right conditions, your Christmas tree branch will grow roots. It can take several weeks to a few months, but a root system will start to develop.
  • Christmas trees take a long time to grow. It can take between 5 and 10 years to get a full-grown tree that is over 6 feet tall.

Can You Grow A Tree From A Christmas Tree Branch?

A tree can be grown from a Christmas tree branch. You want to make sure your tree is freshly cut for no more than a few days and then follow a few simple steps to propagate and grow.

Can You Root A Christmas Tree Branch In Water?

Balsam Fir Christmas Tree Farm | image by Madereugeneandrew via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0

It’s a common question: can you root a Christmas tree branch in water? The answer is yes, but it’s not as easy as simply sticking the branch in a vase of water and waiting for it to grow.

You’ll need to take a few steps. Here’s what you need to know to successfully root a Christmas tree branch in water.

1. Choose Your Branch

Pine tree branch
Pine tree branch | Image by 👀 Mabel Amber, who will one day from Pixabay

First, choose a healthy, green branch from a Christmas tree that is at least 6 inches long. Also, look for one that is about the size of a pencil in diameter.

Cut the branch at an angle just below a node (the bump on the stem where leaves are attached). Strip off any needles or leaves from the bottom 2 inches of the cutting.

2. Wash the Branch And Make Sure It’s Clean

Make sure the area is clean. Wash it well and remove any debris. You also want to make sure to disinfect the area to prevent disease.

A tiny amount of bleach in water can do this. Just about half of a teaspoon of bleach with a few cups of water should do the trick.

Don’t soak it in bleach water! Just dip it and then wipe it off.

You just want to kill anything that could harm the branch on the surface. Rinse it well, and make sure you have rinsed off everything with clean water.

3. Prepare The Branch With Rooting Hormone

For best results, you will want to use a rooting hormone to help prompt the branch to grow roots. To prepare the branch for rooting hormone, cut some vertical grooves at the bottom of the branch.

Dip the grooved end into rooting hormone. Make sure to get a good coating of the rooting hormone. Honey is also a natural rooting hormone.

4. Place The Branch In Water And Wait

Christmas tree trunk in stand with water

Place the branch in water and wait for the roots to grow. Make sure you keep an eye on the water clarity and levels.

Change the water if it starts to get darker or starts to smell. Add water if you see levels going down. Once you have roots, you can move it to the soil.

How Long Does It Take For Roots To Grow?

Growing roots can take a while. It can take up to 3 to 4 months for roots to begin to grow. As long as your branch is still supple and seems living, it will continue absorbing water.

You don’t have to keep the branch in a vase of water, however. You can move it into a soil pot and keep it in moist soil to root. You’ll want to make sure you keep it well-watered.

After several months of root development, you can begin giving your cutting some fertilizer in its soil and move it to a larger container. You can also move it into your yard after it has a good root system.

Keep in mind the tree will always need plenty of sunlight. So when it does get good roots, be sure to pick a spot for it to be able to soak up some light.

Whatever you decide to do with your rooted Christmas tree branch, be sure to enjoy it for many years to come!

How Long Will It Take To Grow Into A Christmas Tree?

Leyland Cypress Christmas tree farm
Leyland Cypress Christmas tree farm | image by Michael Rivera via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

It can take several years for a full-grown tree to develop out of your trimming once it has rooted. Most Christmas trees that are 6 feet tall are about 5 to 8 years old, depending on the species.

Warm temperatures in your home and warm weather in spring will trigger faster-growing cycles. If you live in a region where winters are mild, it’s likely your trimming will grow faster than if you live in colder regions.

Pine trees grow incredibly slowly. One estimate says they grow about 12 inches per year, but some grow faster than others. For example, the Leyland Cypress can grow up to 24 inches a year.

Slow growth gives you the option to plant the rooted branch in a pot and keep it as a houseplant. This is a great way to continue enjoying your Christmas tree long after the holidays are over. Just make sure to give it plenty of light and water it regularly.

One thing is for sure. No matter what kind of tree you grow from your trimming, after 10 years, you will have a full-grown majestic pine tree.

In Closing

If you’re looking for a fun and unique way to grow a tree, why not try growing one from a Christmas tree branch? It may sound daunting, but with a little patience and care, it’s definitely possible. What a great conversation starter when people come over and see your beautiful Christmas tree!