As Christmas approaches, so does the opportunity of finding your ideal indoor greenery. When it comes to trees, most people tend to divide into two teams: artificial or living.
Although the first might not be as popular as it used to be, it is without a doubt the more practical and varied option.
For the past couple of years, Mérida has upped its offer in terms of shops and styles, and many different types can be found in department stores like Liverpool, Sears, or even Costco.
Prices range from $1,000 MXN in the most basic styles — often green without decoration, up to $7,000-10,000 MXN, which often come in different colors, sometimes with lights, ornaments, and detailing like glitter or fake snow.
The newly arrived Ace Hardware store has a unique, high-quality selection of trees, readily available over Paseo Montejo, Mérida’s main avenue.
They are currently holding discounts and promotions on their seasonal products.
Additionally, you can find a local selection of artificial Christmas trees in the pop-up markets present all over the city. We recently visited the one over Paseo Montejo, in the Slowfood market.
Although artificial trees are practical time savers, there’s also a strong case for natural trees.
The director of the Christmas Tree Forest of Amecameca, Carlos Maurer, has said that growing trees is good for forests, because contrary to popular belief, the process helps reforestation.
“When a tree is cut down it does not die,” said Maurer. “The trunk is still alive and from it grows a new specimen. Forests like ours have earned the National Ecology Award and the medal for forestry merit. Locally grown trees are good both for communities and the environment.”
Although care for the tree, as well as its life expectancy, varies upon many different factors there are some steps we can keep in mind in order to keep them alive for as long as possible.
Once you’ve made your pick and brought it home, it is advised to leave it in a sheltered area, such as under a covered porch or a larger tree canopy, during the first night. This helps the tree adjust to a change in environment.
The next morning, hose the tree down and shake off any loose needles before bringing it indoors.
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Living trees are happiest with cool temperatures. Although we have a few cool days in Yucatán, this requirement is rather hard to ensure. Instead, try to leave your tree close to a large window or door, avoiding direct sunlight. Make sure it receives as much fresh air as possible.
Potted trees indoors will dry out more quickly than those in your garden. Water daily and top-dress the soil with some mulch or artificial remedies to help prevent water loss through evaporation. One remedy commonly found in Yucatán is the so-called “tierra de agua,” a kind of hydrogel that keeps the trunk moist.
After the season has passed, the Ayuntamiento of Mérida has a Christmas tree collection drive, often announced on the first days of January. This ensures your tree gets composted, and reused into the green areas of the city.
Whether you choose living or artificial, we hope your home is full of cheerful spirits during this special season.
In Yucatán Magazine: What to find in a Yucatecan Christmas market