Farming A Renewable Resource
The Christmas tree industry supports some 350,000 acres of green space throughout the U.S. with a renewable, recyclable resource. For every tree harvested, one to three seedlings are planted in the spring. It may take 12-15 years for that seedling to mature into a 6′-7′ beauty through proper feeding and grooming. Papa Noel is one of 15,000 farms growing Christmas trees, employing more than 100,000 people.
Caring For Your Tree
When a Christmas tree is cut, over half of its weight is water. Below are some tips on keeping your tree fresh: Displaying trees in water in a traditional reservoir type stand is the most effective way of maintaining their freshness and minimizing needle loss problems. Once home, place the tree in water as soon as possible. Most species can go 6 to 8 hours after cutting the trunk and still take up water. Don’t bruise the cut surface or get it dirty. If needed, trees can be temporarily stored for several days in a cool location. Place the freshly cut trunk in a bucket that is kept full of water. To display the trees indoors, use a stand with an adequate water holding capacity for the tree. As a general rule, stands should provide 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter. Devices are available that help maintain a constant water level in the stand. Use a stand that fits your tree. Avoid whittling the sides of the trunk down to fit a stand. The outer layers of wood are the most efficient in taking up water and should not be removed.
More Than Just Trees
Keep displayed trees away from sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, direct sunlight). Lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process, resulting in less water consumption each day. Check the stand daily to make sure that the level of water does not go below the base of the tree. With many stands, there can still be water in the stand even though the base of the tree is no longer submerged in water. Use of lights that produce low heat, such as miniature lights, will reduce drying of the tree. Always inspect light sets prior to placing them on the tree. If worn, replace with a new set. Always turn off the tree lights when leaving the house or when going to bed. Monitor the tree for freshness. After Christmas or if the tree is dry, remove it from the house. Never burn any part of a Christmas tree in a wood stove or fireplace. Prepared by Dr. Gary Chastagner and Dr. Eric Hinesley, Edited by the Scientific Research Committee of the National Christmas Tree Association