Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tree Questions

FINALLY!...Christmas tree season is here, well I guess Friday it really starts. Some good questions and feedback starting to come in.

From: Stacey
Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 9:45 AM
Subject: locating potted trees

I was reading an article about contacting you to find out if there are programs near where I live to purchase a live potted Christmas tree instead of a cut tree so that I may replant it. We are located north of Detroit Michigan and our zip code is 48069.

Can you assist? On your website I was only able to find cut trees.

Thank you in advance.


Hi Stacey.

Our database unfortunately does not have a searchable field for that service. However, if a farm/nursery offers rootball trees for transplanting after Christmas it will be in their detailed listing of services/products offered. Try a local business search (yellow pages or something similar) for nurseries. Many of them are not in our database because Christmas trees are a small part of their overall business, but they do specialize in landscape trees. Also, read the bottom section on care for a rootball tree

From: Caryn
Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 1:30 PM
Subject: please give us hope for a REAL tree this year!

My husband and I have been married for seven years, and have spent every Christmas together with a real Christmas tree. We moved to Utah from Georgia three years ago and have had a horrible experiences
each Christmas with our trees getting completely dried out too soon.
Last year it was so bad that we had to take the tree out of the house a week before Christmas. In GA, we almost always picked our tree from a farm the weekend after thanksgiving. We have chosen fresh cut trees from Home Depot twice, with good results. My question is, is it possible to buy a fresh tree the weekend of Thanksgiving and still have it smell and look great Christmas day? When is the best time to purchase a tree? We follow all of the care tips each year, but still end up with the sorriest looking trees ever. What are we doing wrong?

Hi Caryn.
I don't think you're doing anything wrong. Remember, Thanksgiving jumped forward 5 days this year to the 27th, so it's only 4 weeks until Christmas. I think the thing to do, for anyone, is to be very selective about the retailer from whom you buy a tree. I don't know a lot about your climate specifically, but dry air and sun (even if it's cold, although to a lesser extent) can dry a tree out faster on a retail lot if not properly stored and displayed by the retailer.
You said you had good experiences with a Home Depot...places like that which have garden centers tend to be better because they are experienced in dealing with plants. Look for a retailer who stores extra inventory of trees in the shade, out of the wind. If they spray water on the ground below displayed trees each day, that extra humidity helps trees.
You know, one other option to look into possibly is to buy a tree online from a farm direct and have it shipped. I do this each year and then you get a tree that was just harvested in the last 7 days or so. Not all species can be shipped and 7 foot is the maximum height, but it's another option.
Another thing to think about is the display conditions in your home itself. Again, sun is bad...don't display a tree in front of a window which gets a lot of sunshine each day, or if it is, keep the shades down until it's dark. The relative humidity in your home can have an impact, so homes with gas or electric furnaces which tend to have very dry air inside can be inhibitive to the amount of time the tree retains moisture. If that's the case, a humidifier may help.

From: MLindaG@
Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 11:37 PM
Subject: Purchasing a tree

I have a question about purchasing a tree now at the end of November but not putting it up until Dec. 17th. We would like to put it on our porch (we live in PA.......cold and snowy here now). We are going to Florida for a week and would not be able to put it in water. Can we give it a fresh cut and place in water in the house when we get back and will it survive and be OK. We are afraid to wait until the 17th to purchase as we always get a nice tall 13 ft. tree - we might not find one..........also the college boys are home for Thanksgiving and can help us pick it out........get it on top of the van and haul it home.


Hi Linda.

I can't tell you the likelihood of 13 footers still being around by Dec 17th...maybe at a choose and cut farm if they have trees that big, but if you do want to go ahead and buy one now, here's what I'd recommend. First, if it's netted up, keep it in the netting. This will slow the rate of moisture loss by exposing less of the tree's foliage to air. Set it in the largest bucket you have (minimum 5 gallons) filled with water within 3 -5 hours of having a fresh cut off the base. Store it somewhere other than inside the home, unless you plan to turn your heat WAY down while your gone. A garage or even a porch that doesn't face North would be better. Sun, wind and heat will speed up the rate at which the tree loses moisture. So set it somewhere it won't be exposed to any of those three things. Then when you get back, even if there's still water in the bucket, go ahead and make another fresh cut to expose new plant tissue, and put it in your stand for display, then cut the netting off.

Happy Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

Dan said...

I really appreciate the information that you are providing on this blog. I am a big fan of using real Christmas trees!