The last of the Oaks discharged their leathery leaves, and the deciduous canopy was completely absent from the landscape.  Stark and exposed, their skeletal forms seemed vulnerable and fragile in contrast to the lush, green boughs of the Evergreens who seemed to stand a bit taller with great hubris and beauty.

Winter, after all, is their time to shine, and no other Holiday calls upon the mighty tree like Christmas.  After all, they are the centerpiece of the Holiday home.

When selecting and caring for a live Christmas tree, follow the simple, great tips below:

  • First, decide upon a location for the tree, which should be away from heat sources, like vents, fireplaces and radiators.
  • Decide if the tree will be visible from all sides or placed against a wall.  This will help determine if you need a tree that looks good all around or just three sides.  Remember, the more “perfect” the tree, the more it will cost.
  • Measure the space in which you’d like to place the tree, and choose a tree that will safely fit.  This means taking the tape measurer with you, so you can accurately measure.
  • Look for fresh-cut trees, which will have flexible, green needles.  This usually means buying early.  Look for tree lots that keep their trees in shaded areas.  Ask when the trees were cut, and if newer shipments will be coming in.
  • Test the freshness of the tree by raising it off the ground and dropping it on its trunk.  Very few needles should drop.
  • Make sure the base or trunk of the tree is straight and 6-8″ long.  This will ensure it fits into your stand.
  • If heading out to a tree farm and cutting the tree yourself, follow the same tips above, but don’t be overly concerned if you see a fair amount of old, brown needles in and around the tree.  In Fall, Pines drop a portion of their oldest needles in preparation for Winter.  This is why when purchasing a tree from a farm, they often shake the tree before netting.
  • When you get home, you’ll need to make a 1/2″ fresh-cut from the base of the trunk.  This is important as it allows the tree to absorb water.  Fill the stand with cold tap water.  The tree will require a gallon or more of water in the first few days, and two or more pints per day thereafter.  Remember to check the water level daily and replenish as needed.  Never let the water level drop below the fresh-cut as resin will form, impeding water absorption.  Proper water levels and absorption will help prevent needle loss and sagging boughs.

Plant of the Week

Emerald Gaiety Euonymus

Hardy, fast growing groundcover or low shrub has lovely green foliage and creamy white margins that take on a pinkish blush in Winter.  Prefers sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soil.  Grows 3-4′ tall and 3-4′ wide.

“Freshly cut Christmas trees smelling of stars and snow and pine resin-

-Inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night.”

John Geddes

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney