Letter to the Editor

Christmas trees: The real deal

Monday, November 30, 2009

What's wrong with real Christmas trees? Personally I love to have a real tree in my house for the Christmas season. A real tree brings the smell and feeling of the holidays to a home for the holiday season. Over 35 million Americans bring real Christmas trees into there homes as part of the holiday celebration. Did you know that a real Christmas tree can be an environmentally sound choice for the holidays?

Most of the real Christmas trees that are for sale these days are from tree farms. These trees are raised to be the centerpiece decorations for many family Christmases. A real Christmas tree is a recyclable and renewable resource that can be useful after the holiday season. These trees can be turned in to mulch, firewood, and sometimes fish and wildlife habitat. Many communities and tree farms, offer a recycling program for your tree after it is done serving as a decoration. There is a comfort in knowing that you helped support an Indiana farmer by purchasing a tree from a tree farm.

Real Christmas Tree Care

Caring for your real Christmas tree is not difficult. It is important to remember the real trees need water. When you bring a tree home cut one-quarter inch or more off the base of the trunk. If you are not ready to decorate it, keep the tree outdoors and protect it from the sun and wind. The sun and wind can damage a real tree if it is left out for too long. Again, before bringing the tree inside cut off a minimum of a one-quarter inch from the base of the trunk. This opens the tree stem so it can take up water. Immediately place your tree in a stand and fill it with fresh water. If the water level drops below the cut the tree will make a new seal over the stem and a new cut will need to be made for the tree to soak up water. Your tree is like a fresh flower that needs water to continue to look its best throughout the holiday season. Trees are very thirsty. They can drink from 2 pints to a gallon of water each day. It is helpful to use a tree stand that holds a gallon of water or more. The tree will need to be checked often to ensure there is enough water in the stand.

Holiday Safety

Before decorating your tree, it is important to check all of the electric lights and connections to ensure there are no frayed wiring or cords. Do not use lights or electric cords that are showing signs of wear. Never use lighted candles on your tree. With any electric decoration do not overload the electrical circuits or place near heat sources such as heaters, or fireplaces. Heat sources will dry your tree prematurely and if the tree us placed too near some heat sources it can be a fire hazard. Enjoy you real tree and remember you don't have to put the tree away after the holidays are over. It's nice to know that a real holiday tree is an environmentally sound choice for the holiday season.

Dec. 2: Crop Production Clinic, Alexandria

Dec. 3: Putnam Extension Advisory Council Annual Meeting, 6:30 p.m.

Dec. 10: Bi-State Crop Management Workshop, Beef House, 9 a.m.

Dec. 14: PARP program, Cloverdale, 1 p.m.

Dec. 14: "Ordinary Things Used in Extraordinary Ways" 10 a.m. Courthouse Annex

Dec. 23-24 Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Extension office is closed

Dec. 31 New Years Eve