Christmas trees

It is that time of the year when we are starting to look forward to putting up the Christmas tree in our homes. So, what do you think is the most popular Christmas tree to purchase for the holidays? Keep reading to find out! If you wanted to purchase a native tree to Minnesota, could you do it and if so, what is the variety?

Each holiday season, there are a little over half a million real Christmas trees sold to families in Minnesota. There has been a debate for some time what is better for the environment — a real tree or a tree made from plastics? Well, we won’t get into that discussion here but I can tell you that it is much easier to “recycle” a real Christmas tree versus one made from plastics.

Real Christmas trees are easy to care for once you have the steps down, which start from the time you purchase a real tree to the time you decide you want to start taking down your decorations in your home. The first and most important step is to make sure that when you are ready to bring your purchased tree indoors, that you make a new cut on the trunk of the tree. The cut should be at least one inch from the bottom. This allows the tree to take up water just like a bouquet of flowers would in a vase. The difference is that a new Christmas tree will take up to 2 gallons of water on the first day that it is placed into the tree stand.

The second step is to make sure that you do not place your tree next to a heat source. This includes a furnace vent, computer, TV or baseboard heat. These items can cause the tree to dry out faster. Warm water should be used in the tree stand and you do not need to use any of the commercial additives. This could encourage needle loss. And the last important step is to never let the water level drop below the bottom of the fresh cut. If this happens, the cut will heal over and the tree will not be able to take up any water.

So, you maybe are thinking of having a native tree in your home for Christmas, go for the balsam fir. Balsam trees are native to Minnesota. Tree growers like this tree because it is a relatively easy to grow. The Norway pine is the Minnesota State tree.

What is the most purchased real Christmas tree in Minnesota? According to the University of Minnesota Forestry club, “Fraser firs and balsam firs, but pines don’t make the cut. Fraser firs make up almost half of those trees sold by the club. This tree originally came from the southern Appalachian region of Virginia and North Carolina, but it’s also grown in Minnesota in certain situations. Some refer to it as the ‘southern balsam fir.’ It has a bigger trunk and larger branches compared to other species.”

Live trees are renewable and sustainable because they help to change carbon dioxide into oxygen, the help prevent soil from eroding and they also provide animal habitat as well. If you want that truly “green” experience of having a tree that has the least amount of impact on the environment, purchase a locally grown tree from a tree farm that you can cut down yourself. You may also find that they last a lot longer too. While the tree is important, we all know that in the grand scheme of things, the cost of the tree is probably the one item that we will be paying for this Christmas season.

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


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