Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Let the cones fly!

Well, here we are ...another great season of fresh Christmas trees. We haven't heard (knock on wood) of any major harvest snafus going on, so tree lots and farms should be stocked and ready to go this weekend.

Already getting some good questions from tree enthusiasts out there. Some samples with my answers in blue:

Sent: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 2:46 PM
Subject: Christmas Tree stand question

I have a metal pot that I would like to put my Christmas tree in this year rather than the traditional stand with tree skirt - it is NOT wide enough to hold a stand inside - can I use wet sand? for moisture and stability - or does the tree need to "drink" water and thus I need to find an alternative?
Thank You - Jennifer

You need a good stand so the cut surface of the tree is in water. Wet sand won’t suffice for either water absorption by the tree, nor stability I would think. Is the pot round? There are some good round stands out there…many different shapes and sizes …I wouldn’t assume you couldn’t find on that fits inside the decorative pot. Lots of water though is key to the longevity of the tree itself.

From: CL Page
Sent: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 1:33 PM
Subject: Christmas tree question


Please help me remember the name of the type of tree that is not a fir, nor a pine. The tree has hard needles and lots of space between the branches...enough space so that large ornaments can be hung and move freely. Some people call it the Charlie Brown or Peanuts tree...muchas gracias, CL

That’s a fairly common question. The sparse look is dependent somewhat upon the genetics of the tree, but mostly through the shearing practices of the grower more so than species. The more open, less dense look is starting to become more popular among some consumers, so the Christmas Tree farmers will be working to meet that demand, however the average tree takes 7 to 10 years to get to 6 or 7 feet high and the majority of consumers still want a full, thick tree. Check with farms in your area and ask them if they have a "less sheared" tree or one that "would be graded a cull". The grower will understand what you are looking for.

From: Bob B
Sent: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 11:05 AM
Subject: aspirin hurt the tree?

My son just finished his 6th grade science project.
He took 3 fresh cut 4 ft blue spruce and fed 1 water , fed another a commercial solution to make trees last longer and the third tree aspirin and water.
To his ( and my surprise) after 5 weeks the aspire and water tree drank a lot more but lost a lot more needles ( factor of 10!).
It was a great experiment and he learned al lot but he is having trouble finding research on any type of aspirin poisoning ?

Can you point him in the right direction - thanks

Aspirin won’t poison the tree. It really has no effects at all on moisture levels or needle retention, either positive or negative. You can find a list of published research on post-harvest keepability on this page

From: Kelly
Sent: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 9:46 AM
Subject: Organic christmas trees

I am looking for an organic christmas tree farm in the chicago area, zip code 60558. Can you help me?


No, that’s not a category we keep in our data base. Please bear in mind anyway, a tree labeled “organic” is not any different from one not labeled thus.

OK....good start. Happy Tree Hunting and keep the questions coming. We'll be in the office answering questions on Friday while digesting our turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving.

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