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A pint-sized forest at home

December 13, 2008|Debra Prinzing

Looking for evergreen decor -- something that can last long past Christmas? Turn tiny potted conifers into a miniature forest across a fireplace mantel, or create a tabletop landscape with dwarf pines. Tiny trees are "a cheap luxury," says Lisa Tsui, product manager at BloomRite, a wholesale grower in Half Moon Bay, Calif., that supplies potted pines and Leyland cypress to Trader Joe's. "In this economic environment, people are using them to supplement decorations they already have," she says. Iseli Nursery in Boring, Ore., ships tens of thousands of dwarf conifers to garden centers during the holidays. Even though some customers treat the evergreens as throwaway decor, they can be transplanted in the garden or an outdoor container, Iseli sales manager Jock Demme says. The challenge is to keep the plants alive indoors. "The home setting has drier and warmer air than these plants require," he says. "I suggest submerging the pot in a larger container of water and soaking the roots every day." The trees at Trader Joe's sell for $4.29 to $5.99 each; you'll find variations for $9.95 at the Empty Vase in West Hollywood, (310) 278-1988, www.emptyvase.com. Also try Red Envelope, (877) 733-3683, www.redenvelope .com.

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