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Christmas trees

November 25, 2010
By Stephanie Bethke-DeJaeghere

"The trees waved their branches and rustled their leaves, but the smallest of all just stood stiff in the breeze. When Winter winds howled, the trees were afraid, and dropped their leaves, till there was no more shade. The smallest of all just stood brave and tall, and kept his green coat when snow started to fall. One day laughing children came pulling a sleigh; they cut on him gently and pulled him away. They dressed him in tinsel and bright shiny balls, in peppermint canes, tiny angels and dolls. And on Christmas morning 'twas easy to see-the smallest of all was the loveliest tree!"

A great short story about Christmas trees for a great time of the year! I am not sure who wrote it but they sure did get the thought right. It is that time of the year again and Christmas trees are for sale. Freshly cut, smelling great and just looking for a home to go to this winter. My family and I pick out a Christmas tree each year from the various places that they are available from in our area. We have both been to the local Christmas tree lots and also been to local places where "we" had to cut down the tree. (My husband might question that "we" part). It is very important to take your time in choosing a tree that has been cut already and whether or not it has been for sale in a lot or from a Christmas tree farm, we need to pay particular attention this year in the care of the fresh tree once it has made it into our homes.

The best way to handle your tree is to keep it in a cool place until you are ready to make another cut to the bottom of the trunk. When you are ready, be prepared to place it into water immediately. Please keep your tree away from heaters and fire places. If at all possible, even lower the temperature of the room in which you are keeping the tree. This will keep the drying process. The water will need to be checked daily.

There are a few things that we try to do to make the tree last longer. Other then the above mentioned, they are simply "old wives tales" and really do not make the tree last longer. Products that you add to the water and drilling holes in the base of the tree will not make it last longer. The trunk should not be cut at an angle or v-shape to fit into the tree stand. This will reduce the amount of water that the tree can take up. The temperature of the water that you are using in the tree stand also will not affect how much water the tree will take up into the trunk. A dry Christmas tree is a fire hazard. Please take care to protect your family and home by monitoring the condition of the tree throughout the holiday season. And also, please check the condition of the lights that you use on the tree. Any lights that have frayed cords should not be used. Miniature lights are recommended for use on fresh Christmas trees since they do not put out as much heat as large lights.

My family tends to purchase our tree rather late then most people but we also keep our tree up after New Years holiday as well. We can enjoy the season just a bit longer.

With some careful care, your Christmas tree will last a long time and bring that extra touch to your home throughout the Christmas season.

For more information about gardening or plants, you can reach email me at



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