Trees for Troops kicks off next Wednesday with the collection of farm-grown trees in Ohio which will be boxed up and begin a long journey to the Middle East and Afghanistan. Hiopefully they will bring a little Christmas spirit to our fellow citizens serving in our military currently deployed away from home.
I've been to that tree collection event before…it is quite a neat thing to see. About 300 trees are dropped off at the state Dept. of Ag from growers all over the state. An Ag inspector looks over every tree for signs of bugs, some are rejected because they don't want non-native species being sent to other locations, but most pass inspection. Then they are pulled into a 1'x1'x8' box by a baling machine. Labels are slapped on, and some decorations made by school kids are put into the boxes with the trees. They are loaded up onto a Fed Ex truck and away they go.
We'll be having results from a poll measuring the "mood" or Christmas Spirit of Americans later this month. Will probably post results on November 24, just before Thanksgiving, so watch for that if you're interested in whether a bad economy will make people not want to celebrate Christmas. As I said last week, at least as far as trees are concerned, we don't think it has any impact.
I had a couple people ask this week about how to do a Christmas tree that still has roots and can be planted after Christmas. That's a great option if you need landscape trees in your yard anyway…it's like killing 2 birds with 1 stone. But you do have to plan it out. It's not as easy as you might think and mortality rates can be high when transplanting a tree. Read over our general tips here http://www.christmastree.org/care.cfm and also ask questions from the local farm/nursery where you buy it. Our tips are general, but transplanting a tree in Florida is drastically different than doing so in Minnesota, especially in January.
I expect we'll start getting questions pretty soon…so feel free to write them in and contribute comments to the blog.