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Potted Christmas Tree

Hi all! 

I recently bought a potted Christmas tree, but the roots are as shown in the picture. I would’ve said pot bound. I contacted Patch, where I bought it and got this response:

The roots coming out of the pot are nothing to be concerned about, the plant and roots look healthy.  
The roots settle at the bottom of the pot and sometimes stick out of the pot side and this looks as expected.  A lot of our plants that are delivered fresh from the growers look like this and have a good amount of compost in there to last at least a year without the need for repotting. 

We suggest gently cutting the roots. Pruning a few roots back shouldn’t impact the whole tree’s health as there should be an established root system that will be fine with those side roots being cut back!

Am I being robbed off?

Thanks so much!


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,462
    No. It shows it is pot grown, not recently dug up and shoved in a pot.  You would need to cut that pot off to repot it.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,149
    edited November 2022
    It’s been grown in that special type of pot, which is designed to have holes in, because the pot has been planted in the ground with the tree in it, for a few years. Those pots are designed especially for that so that they can be lifted with the rootball intact. 

    Some of the roots have found their way out through the holes. That shows the tree is growing vigorously and is a good sign. 

    If you want to take the tree into the house for a few days over the Christmas period, I would put the tree, still in that pot, into a larger decorative cache pot. No need to remove the straggly roots but it wouldn’t do major harm. 

    Then put it back outside in a sheltered spot and then you can carefully cut the pot away and plant your tree it in its intended permanent home as soon as possible, as long as the ground isn’t frozen. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 4,768
    It is officially pot-bound but it is a tree so will exhaust a pot pretty quickly. If they re-potted then I expect the cost would increase by a fair amount so as long as the tree looks healthy, I would re-pot it myself and therefore leave the roots in tact. 

    I hope it is ok and you can enjoy it for years to come 🎄
    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • Brilliant - thank you so much for your replies! 
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