Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thanks and Scents

We received this very kind message along with this photo from a soldier stationed in Afghanistan.  You gotta check this out and I challenge you to not be moved by it.

We received an interesting email from a tree farm in South Carolina responding to our weekly request to farms and lots to let us know how tree sales are going.
“Because of new customers, I had to order additional stands today from our supplier. The salesperson stated that this is happening all over the country. Additional orders are coming in to cover new customers who have not had a real tree in years and need a stand.” 

Well, that’s certainly a good sign.  And it also gives me a chance to reiterate the importance of having a good tree stand.  I see a lot of bad stands in stores, but there are also many good ones.  What makes a good one?  Water holding capacity (at LEAST 1 gallon for a typical 6 foot tall tree) and stability are the two most important qualities.  After that, choose a style you prefer.  Some prefer a center pin style where the lot or farm will drill a hole in the center of your tree’s trunk (this does NOT affect its ability to absorb water).  Some prefer the 4-bolt style.  There are also “claw” style and 2-piece bowl and stand style.

Here’s a question we get sometimes about a strange phenomenon, with my reply in Blue.
-----Original Message-----
From: Renee
Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2012 9:47 PM
To: NCTA-Rick Dungey
Subject: Have a really bad odor

This is the first year I have had a Christmas tree smell really bad. It is making my whole home smell. I'm worried my kids are going to get sick from it. I wanted to know if it will go away?  Let me know if you can give me any tips.

Hello Renee.
There could be a number of things going on.  Commonly, a source of a bad smell is something people put in the water in the stand.   However, you didn’t mention that so I have to assume that’s not the case in your situation.  It is possible that the tree was harvested, shipped and stored in a humid, moist condition and that can be causing the bad smell.

While many species are described as having varying scents, only one species is commonly described as having a “bad” scent and that is the White Spruce.
If your tree is not that species, then the added moisture in the plant tissue from the water the tree is absorbing will boost its natural scent.  But sense of smell is very subjective and trees are each genetically unique. Try to snap or crush a few needles on the interior/back and that should release some aroma most would describe as "pine-ey" or "Christmas tree smell".

I'd need more information to give you more guidance than that.

And speaking of Christmas tree scent, here’s a nice segue.  Sara Altshul recently posted an article on about scientific evidence showing the smell of a Christmas tree is not only emotionally good for you, but also physically good for you.  “Pine and other evergreen trees, as it turns out, are loaded with compounds that have a variety of positive effects on the human body,” states Altshul.  Check out the article.  Get a fresh, farm-grown Christmas tree and be healthy. 
Yet another thing you can’t get from a plastic, tree-shaped decoration posing as a Christmas tree.  Just sayin'...



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