HO! Ho! Ho! Christmas is just around the corner and holiday decorating is in full gear. Although I currently put up an artificial tree each year, there is something so romantic about the idea of a fresh cut Christmas tree. The look and fragrance cannot be matched. So, what variety should you consider purchasing?
Noble Fir: Known for its beauty, the noble fir has a long keep ability, and its stiff branches make it a good tree for heavy ornaments, as well as providing excellent greenery for wreaths and garland. Considered by many to be the most desirable variety of Christmas Tree.
Balsam Fir: It has a dark-green appearance, long-lasting needles, and attractive form. It also retains its pleasing fragrance. Nine to ten years in the field are required to produce a 6-7 foot tree.
White Pine: Often sheared trees for fullness, although some people feel this creates trees too dense for larger ornaments. Needle retention is good to excellent. White pine has very little aroma, but, conversely, is reported to result in fewer allergic reactions than do some of the more aromatic species. To produce a 6-foot tree requires 6-8 years. I do not recommend if you have heavy ornaments and décor.
Scotch Pine: Known for its excellent needle retention and good keepability. It resists drying and if permitted to become dry does not drop its needles. When displayed in a water filled container it will remain fresh for the normal 3 to 4 week Christmas season. Usually 6 to 8 years are required to produce a 7 to 8 foot tree.
After you choose the perfect tree, follow these guidelines so that you can safely keep your tree hydrated and minimize the risk for fire due to faulty or hot lights on dry Christmas trees…
- To display the trees indoors, use a stand with an adequate water holding capacity for the tree. As a general rule, stands should provide 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter.
- Use a stand that fits your tree. Avoid whittling the sides of the trunk down to fit a stand. The outer layers of wood are the most efficient in taking up water and should not be removed.
- Make a perpendicular fresh cut to remove about a 1/2-inch thick disk of wood from the base of the trunk before putting the tree in the stand. Don’t cut the trunk at an angle, or into a v-shape, which makes it far more difficult to hold the tree in the stand and also reduces the amount of water available to the tree.
- Once home, place the tree in water as soon as possible. Most species can go 6 to 8 hours after cutting the trunk and still take up water. Don’t bruise the cut surface or get it dirty. If needed, trees can be temporarily stored for several days in a cool location. Place the freshly cut trunk in a bucket that is kept full of water.
- Check the stand daily to make sure that the level of water does not go below the base of the tree.
- Keep trees away from major sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, direct sunlight). Lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process, resulting in less water consumption each day.
Info from www.realchristmastrees.org
There are approximately 25-30 million Real Christmas Trees sold in the U.S. every year.
For every Real Christmas Tree harvested, 1 to 3 seedlings are planted the following spring.
The top Christmas Tree producing states are Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Washington.