Thursday, November 29, 2007

Reader Q&A

From: Bob Kirby
Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2007
Subject: Re:irate

I've kept this e-mail all year to let you know what we decided to do this Christmas. We got a pre-lit artificial tree with molded needles. It was set up in 30 minutes. Looks great and we won't have to worry about taking it down because it is losing needles.

Answer: I'm sorry to hear that Bob. I used to have a fake tree, and it shed PVC needles too. Now, I will always buy a natural tree from an American farmer. Good luck.

From: Chuck
Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2007
Subject: Tree Prices

You have finally priced real Christmas trees out of my range. The excuses I get are higher fuel costs and higher transportation costs (aren't they the same thing). Not to mention a 100-150% markup. Guess it is my first year (after 60 years) for an artificial tree.

Answer: Don't let anyone tell you that tree prices are higher; that's a false rumor started by one guy in Pennsylvania. We issued a news release on this subject last Friday. You don't have to give up your tradition. They are too important to give up.

From: larsenworld
Sent: Monday, November 26, 2007
Subject: Question on tree that I just put up - not taking in water

I bought a tree on 11/24/07. The end was cut and placed in a water bucket. It took in water fine overnight in the bucket. I put the stand on yesterday. Before doing this, I cut an extra 1/2" off and drilled a small hole in the base of the tree. This was done to center the tree on the spike in the middle of the stand. The tree is in the stand but resting flat against the botton of the stand. The stand has water in it, yet the tree is not taking in water. Does a tree resting flat against the bottom of the stand inhibit water intake? Should I take the tree out and re-do?

Answer: Perfect, you did everything correctly. The rate of water absorption will fluctuate throughout the time the tree is displayed, so that's natural. Being tight against the bottom of the stand won't inhibit its ability to absorb water molecules into the plant tissue.

From: Kathy Jones
Sent: Monday, November 26, 2007
Subject: Blog Talk Ideas

I just purchased a 10.5 foot tree from a local nursery. When I got home my husband made a 1" cut and we put it in warm water right away. It has failed to drink any of the water. So what is the problem?

Answer: The tree typically absorbs the most water in the initial 1 or 2 days of being brought inside as it rehydrates up to 98% capacity. If it took up water initially, then it should be fine, but if it didn't, it's probably just not losing moisture yet. The amount of water taken up will slow down, speed up, all kinds of fluctuations every day for the next 4 weeks. Let the tree itself be the indicator of dryness, not the rate of daily water uptake. Check branches and needles for signs of dryness every 3 to 4 days.

From: michael
Sent: Saturday, November 24, 2007
Subject: Christmas trees

I'm looking to purchase the best Christmas tree available, i.e. the type that lasts the longest and smells the best. P.S. Price is of no concern.

Answer: Sorry Michael. There's no way I can tell you which species smells better. Smell is a subjective sense. Any species can last throughout the holiday season if cared for properly, so don't let that be a determining factor. You really should be looking for what matches your personal preference for needle type, decorating theme, shape and color, etc. Check out the common characteristics page and also the close-up photos and let me know if you have questions about specific ones.

From: Dick Steinbach
Sent: Monday, November 26, 2007
Subject: How to keep a cut tree fresh

I'm born on Christmas. I've had fresh Christmas tree in my home for as long as I can remember. With my four daughters and my enthusiasm, I've bought, cut, decorated and displayed more Christmas Trees than anyone I know. I'm frustrated with your Web site. I'm trying to find the best itemsto add to the water to maximize the freshness o fthe trees. Guess what? No luck.

I make fun of my friends who cave in to buying phony trees. You'd think one of your major points would be to support those who buy fresh trees. I'm disappointed.

By the way, I'm 73 years old this Christmas.

Answer: We have a fairly descriptive list of the best ways to take care of a farm-grown Christmas Tree.

Short answer to your question is ... don't add anything to the tree's water. Nothing has been shown to increase the freshness or longevity of a tree better than plain, fresh tap water.

By the way, I make fun of people who get a phony tree, too.

From: Charlie
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2007
Subject: Blog Talk Ideas

Ok, I'm going to lay it right on the line. I bought a tree on Sunday and now it is Thursday and it's still on my porch and has not received any water from me, except the one day of rain we have had. It's not my intention to be cruel and thoughtless, but I have been. There. I said it. What I want to know is, is there any home for tree at all? Or do I suck it up and start over again with a new tree?

Answer: Don't fret so much Charlie. You don't say where you live, but unless you live in a really hot, dry place and left the tree in the sun, it will be able to rehydrate still.

Go ahead and make a 1/2" straight, horizontal cut off the bottom of the trunk. This opens up the plant tissue, which absorbs water molecules. Put it in water and it will soak it up. Go ahead and leaved it baled/netted, on a porch (out of wind and sun as much as possible) and in a bucket of water if you're still not ready to bring it inside yet.