Christmas Trees

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The holidays are officially here and Christmas trees tied to the roofs of cars is clearly a benchmark that things are in full swing. Some of the more popular Christmas trees to choose from are Fraser fir, Noble fir, Concolor or White fir, Douglas fir and Balsam fir. Each type of tree offers something a little different in terms of scent and aesthetics, but all are good choices. Regardless of the type of tree you choose here are a few points to follow to insure your tree stays as fresh as possible. First, when you purchase the tree make sure that the branches are pliable and the needles are not falling off when you pull on the outer limbs. Second, a fresh cut of at least a 1/2” should be taken from the trees trunk and then the tree should be placed in water within a few hours. Trees drink from the outer layer of bark so it is not necessary to drill holes on the bottom of the tree or on the sides. And under no circumstances should you shave the sides of the trunk down, as that would prohibit the tree from drinking all together. Third, a fresh cut tree can consume more than a quart of water a day, so remember to check your tree daily and have a stand large enough to not only fit the trunk, but have ample room for a reservoir of water. After about 10 days or so the tree will slowly stop drinking as vigorously. Adding commercial additives such as aspirin or sugar to your water is not nearly as important as keeping your tree hydrated. Keep your tree away from drafty areas and heat sources such as a fireplace or radiator. It takes roughly 8-10 years to grow a mature 6-7 foot tree and painstaking efforts go into growing premium trees. Elite seeds are selected; careful harvesting, cross-pollination, root pruning and hand culturing are all part of the equation. Feel good about your tree purchase knowing that nearly 73 million new Christmas trees will be planted this year or 2-3 seedlings are planted for every tree harvested. Finally, try to recycle your tree after the holidays; they can make great mulch for your garden.