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My wife bought a potted "Christmas Tree" last year in the week running up to Christmas. It wasn't in the best of shape when we got it and about a week after being inside the house, it shed the majority of its needles, leaving the bottom 1/3rd of the tree "naked".

Having moved it outside and letting it enjoy a lot of sun and rain, it's been putting out lots of new growth at the top of the plant and generally seeming a lot healthier. However, very little has happened in that bottom third. The very tips of the branches have produced some new growth, but there's no sign of regrowing needles anywhere on the tree.

Is there anything we can do to stimulate the tree to re-grow its lost needles and rejuvenate the sad parts?

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No, I'm afraid not. The vast majority of conifers do not regenerate on dead parts, they simply continue to grow at the tips and top of the plant. Your tree has bare branches at the base and it will remain that way - planted outside in a garden, the bare parts wouldn't be noticeable as the tree got larger, but they'd still be there.

  • Plus 1, may I add that by next year it could look quite normal if the branches are healthy enough to keep growing. – Grady Player Jul 3 '12 at 14:21
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I have had the same problem with my fir tree. I cut the bottom branches off because they became so unsightly, this encourages the top to grow more. I have also planted the tree in the garden and low and behold I have tiny shoots now sprouting from where I cut off the lower branches.

I cut two rows off and there are 5-6 branches coming through on one of the two rows that I cut off and 1 growth coming out of the bottom row that I cut. Keep faith, replant and water lots.

Debbie

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