First, a good story...by now, I'm sure you've heard of the Trees for Troops program sponsored by the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation and FedEx. Check out some of the feedback from that:
Thank you and the Christmas Spirit Foundation for all that you do for Fort Drum. This year's event was a hit and so many Families were excited about receiving a Christmas tree. Below is a link to our local media coverage of the event.
it just wasnt feeling very much like the holidays especialy with him so far away but now that we have our tree its beginning to look a little brighter...this is a wonderful gift.
We got a tree! Thank you! We were going to get one this weekend, but I fell and broke my leg Friday night, so all Christmas decoration plans came to a screeching halt, so this was a nice welcome surprise to receive a tree from this program. Thank you again for all that you do for our Soldiers and their Families.
I just wanted to express my thanks for the beautiful Christmas tree we received at Camp Lejeune today. Having a live tree will make this Christmas all the more special, particularly since it’s the first one we get to spend with my husband in three years. Thank you for your generosity and God bless you!
Want to read more? Visit treesfortroops.org . And hey, make a donation while you're there. That's a 501(c)3 charity that could use the help.
OK, on to some common questions:
From: Arnie [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, December 04, 2010 6:01 PM
Subject: [Tree Talk] New comment on A very common tree question about water uptake.
Nearly everyone I know has noticed the same thing over the years, that real Xmas trees do not have the strong tree smell that they used to have. This is not because we all go to the cheapest lots. I have gone to many a TOP tree lot, and took a whiff of their BEST and most expensive trees, and, still NO SCENT!
This is a real problem, and I can only guess what the problem is. I cannot help but think, that just like with other products, producers are cutting corners as much as they can to grow things, larger, FASTER, and CHEAPER, through bad selective breeding, bad soil, and bad nutrients.
Reluctantly, I've gone to using just an artificial tree. I can only hope that enough people complain enough to generate a market which will bring back Xmas tree-scented Xmas trees.
hmm...not sure what to tell you Arnie. My tree smells fantastic! I'm not a doctor, but I'm pretty sure that sense of smell changes over time, just like hearing and vision. I also know that sense of smell is subjective and different from person to person. So you might smell something and say "that doesn't smell very strong" and someone else might say "whew, that is potent!"
Here are the things I do know: you can NOT selectively breed out scent from a plant. And even if you could, why would a farmer want to? Seriously. And if it were scientifically possible, wouldn't that actually be more expensive, not less?
Airborne molecules that our noses pick up as scent are released by the resin in a plant. More resin is prominent when a tree has slowly come out of a dormant state and absorbed a lot of water. So it's quite common for it to take a few days inside the home before a Christmas tree smells it's strongest.
I'm sorry to hear you bought a fake tree. Have fun with that.
Sent: Friday, December 10, 2010 1:07 PM
Subject: Christmas Tree info- help !!
Tuesday night we got our 1st ever perfect tree. We cut 1" fresh cut and put it in water. Wed. I checked the water and was good. Thursday we finished the decorations. (forgot to check water), and Friday morning I noticed that it is completely dry. I don't know how long it was w/o water. I am SO SAD. My son drilled about 6, 1/4 " holes in the side of the base . . Doesn't water go up just under the bark? Will this work? or what can I do, now?
No, unfortunately drilling holes in the side won’t work. For a full scientific explanation, read the blog dated Nov 30 http://realtreetalk.blogspot.com/ . If you think there was more than 6 hours or so where the cut surface was exposed to air, then the only real effective solution is to make a fresh cut. That removes the plant tissue with air molecules in it so the plant can be re-primed to absorb water molecules.
Sorry, I know that’s not the answer you wanted to hear, but it really is the same thing as with cut flower, snipping off the bottom before putting in a vase of water.
Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2010 6:06 PM
Subject: Too much aspirin?
Is it possible that I killed my spruce by putting too many aspirins in its water? I've had the tree well watered for over a week and it's begun to lose a lot of needles. I put a hand full of aspirins in the water.
Aspirin is acidic and a lot of it would change the Ph level of the water. Besides, it does not help the tree absorb more water in any way. Remove that water and replace with regular tap water. Plain tap water. Don’t add anything to the tree’s water. Plain tap water. http://www.christmastree.org/faqs.cfm
Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2010 11:36 AM
Subject: Christmas Tree Question
I just purchased a fake Christmas tree that was made in China. I live in California. No where on the box or instructions is there a warning regarding lead. I read on your site that California requires a warning label for trees made in China that contain lead. Can I assume that this tree is safe? We also purchase a live tree. The fake tree is for an extra room in the house.
I don’t know if you can assume that or not Lorri. I think the California Prop 65 law has to do with % content of PVC in products, but I’m not an expert on that. My expertise is with farm-grown Christmas trees.
I'm sorry to hear you got a fake tree. Have fun with that.
Sent: Monday, December 06, 2010 8:58 PM
Subject: Blog Talk Ideas
I cut down a fresh tree in Fraser yesterday, and when I got home, I cut a few feet off the bottom (because it was too tall) but providing a fresh cut. I immediately put it in the stand and filled it with water. It's been 24 hours and the water level hasn't gone down...at all? This doesn't seem right?? Did I hurt the tree cutting too much off the bottom?
No, you didn’t hurt the tree. The rate of water absorption will not be even. Typically it will be within 24 hours that it starts absorbing water, but not always. I’ve had a tree that took 3 days. The plant has to come out of a dormant state and that can take a while. Just make sure to keep the stand full of water because once it starts taking up water it can take up a bunch in a short time.
Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2010 11:58 AM
To: Rick Dungey
Subject: Re: Blog Talk Ideas
Yay, thank you Rick...so much, I am relieved and will start decorating it tonite! :) Thank you for being available for questions, this was really helpful!
Sure, glad I could help. Keep the questions coming. Have you heard something really strange about Christmas trees this year? Let us know and send us a link.