Christmas trees

It is that time of the year again when we decorate our homes and use evergreens to keep our homes looking beautiful and full of light during the shorter days of the year. I really enjoy seeing the beautiful Christmas decorations and especially the greenery that is in the stores at this time of the year. I am waiting with great anticipation for my own, very old and very large Christmas cactus plants to start blooming.

The use of Christmas trees is very important in many homes. In my family we always use a real Christmas tree. I just love the smell of the pine in the house. The first step in keeping your Christmas tree looking good for as long as possible is to make sure that the cut at the bottom of the tree is fresh and then place the stump of the tree into water immediately. If a tree has been cut within 12 hours of your purchase, you will not need to recut the tree. However, most of the time you may find that you have to do some cutting anyway in order to get the tree to fit either your stand or your home. If you do need to cut the base, cut off about 1/4″ in order for the best uptake of water. If your base or stand has a pin or nail that sticks up, you might find that you can balance your tree a little bit better by drilling a hole in the center of the stump for stability reasons. Otherwise, you do not need to cut the bottom of the stump into a v shape. There should be enough space for the tree to still take water up through the cut you made. You do not need to use floral powders or sugar to keep them going through the holidays. The second step has also to do with water. Make sure to water and/or check the water in the base so that it never goes below the cut line. This will allow the tree to keep up taking water. A stand that has at least enough space to hold 1 gallon of water is the best.

Lowering the heat in the room that the tree is in, will also keep the tree from drying out too quickly. If it is going to be near a base heater, you should shut it off while the tree is next to it in order to keep the tree from overheating and starting on fire. The use of the “IV” type waterers is not necessary and using the plain old method of cutting off the bottom of the trunk will work just fine. Skipping the anti-transpirents is good too. These really don’t save you much on the life of the tree. A good, healthy tree will keep in the house for about 3-4 weeks. If you run your hand across the branches and needles fall off quite easily, it is time to remove it from the house.

Remember, safety first during the holidays. Never leave your Christmas lights on while you are gone and making it a priority to check the tree twice a day will keep your Christmas tree beautiful for the holidays. Fresh Christmas trees, bring such a beautiful piece to the holidays. Christmas trees in Minnesota are raised sustainably on Christmas tree farms and remember, they are not perfect. Mother Nature never intended for Christmas trees to be perfect. They are perfect in their twisted branches and imperfect looks.

After the holidays, the lifespan of Christmas trees is not over. You can use them for mulch in your gardens or set them up outside for the birds to use as cover for the winter. There are always groups who are ready to take your Christmas tree so remember to find a sustainable way to dispose of them after the holidays.

For more information on gardening, you can reach me at s.dejaeghere@me.com

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