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Seasonal Tip

Choosing a Christmas Tree
December 01, 2009

Another Thanksgiving is behind us. December and Christmas are fast on their way. For many of us, it is again time to choose a beautiful and fragrant fresh cut tree to decorate our homes and enhance our holiday celebration.

When selecting a fresh cut tree, the best choices are the Frasier Fir, Douglas Fir, and Concolor Fir.

Frasier Firs are native to the southern Appalachian Mountains. Its needles are the most fragrant of the three and are a beautiful dark green color. They have a strong, natural symmetry which simply makes it an attractive tree. It has strong branches, excellent for heavier, larger ornaments. The Frasier Fir has excellent needle retention.

Douglas Firs are native to the western United States. They have a hue similar to that of a blue spruce but the needles are much softer. The fragrance of the Douglas Fir is more subtle and sweet than that of the Frasier. As with the Frasier Fir, the Douglas Fir also has a strong natural symmetry so they hold a lovely shape without the need to trim branches. This is another great choice for strong needle retention.

Concolor Fir has a very unique long bluish colored needle that curves upward at the tips. It gives off a pleasant citrus scent. The branches are not a strong as those of the Frasier Fir or the Douglas Fir so lighter weight ornaments would be needed for decorating. If you are looking for a unique Christmas tree in color, needle, and scent, this is the one for you.

A cut tree will last the entire holiday season with the proper care. Before placing the tree into its stand, give the bottom of the trunk a fresh cut, about an inch thick and straight across. When the tree is first cut, the sap forms a seal over the bottom which will keep it from absorbing water. Be sure the tree stand holds ample water and replenish it often enough that the water level does not fall below the bottom of the trunk. A tree with a 2-inch diameter trunk usually uses about 2 quarts of water per day and a 4-inch diameter trunk will require over a gallon of water per day. Fresh Christmas trees should be displayed well away from heating vents and/or fireplaces.

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