Friday, November 10, 2006

Reader Q&A

From: Martha
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Subject: Which Tree?

Which kind of tree would smell the best? I haven't had a real tree in years and I've missed it.

Answer: Glad to know you'll be going back to a traditional, farm-grown Christmas Tree Martha. It's impossible to tell you which tree smells the best. Smell is a very subjective sense...what smells "good" to me may not to other people, and so on. I can't even tell you that one species of tree smells stronger, for certain, because again, everyone smells things differently. There are some general consensus characteristics, such as Leyland Cypress has very little aroma, Douglas-fir has a citrus smell, White Pine has light aroma unless sap oozes out, most of the fir species are typically described as strong aroma. You can read more about general characteristics of common species on this page

From: Bob and Mary Ellen
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Subject: Blog Talk Ideas

We plan to cut a scraggley spruce or balsam tree from our woods to use for outdoor decorating and shelter for the birds at the feeders. Can this tree be cut now, though it is unseasonably warm at this moment here in northern Wisconsin? We would the tree to stay green through the winter.
Answer: hard to would have a much better chance if you put the butt in a bucket of water and filled it through the season. Otherwise, how quickly it will dry out will depend on many things such as relative humidity, how much direct sunlight is on it each day, how much wind it is exposed to, how much snow and ice falls on it, etc.

Response from Mary Ellen: I am very impressed with your prompt reply and plan to do what you suggest (even though the consequence of putting one's butt into a bucket of water during northern Wisconsin winter would no doubt be to find one's butt in a bucket of ice before much time passes--sorry, I simply couldn't resist that comment :)

Thanks so much for taking your time to reply to our email. We will try our best to do as you suggest to keep the tree green as long as possible.

Answer: LOL...yeah, well, I guess I could have explained that a little better. The other tip I can suggest is to put the tree in a garage or someplace a little warmer than just outside once placed in a bucket of water. The warmer temp will stimulate water absorption, give it a few days then move it outside.