Where to buy a Christmas Tree in Halifax & Nova Scotia

Published 03 January 13 08:45 AM | Merv Edinger 

Nova Scotia is famous for its annual donation of a spectaculiar Christmas tree in gratitude to the city of Boston for its aid during the Halifax Explosion.

 

The 2012 tree was a 45-foot white spruce that rode into the city on the back of a flatbed truck and took a tour through downtown escorted by Boston Police before arriving at the gates of the Boston Common.

This is the 41st year the city has received a tree from Nova Scotia. The holiday tradition began as a way to thank Boston for the help it sent to Halifax, the province’s capital, after a munitions ship exploded in Halifax Harbor on December 6, 1917. Boston had a train stocked with supplies and emergency personnel en route to the city within 24 hours. This year’s tree was donated by Paul and Jan Hicks of Jordan Bay, Nova Scotia. Two smaller trees are also being donated to the Pine Street Inn and Rosie’s Place.

 

 

Enjoy the experience of a family outing to a tree lot. Many offer extras like crafts, sleigh or wagon rides, wreaths and other greenery. Make Christmas a back to nature experience for your family. Don't forget to call ahead for each farms' hours of operation & dates that trees are available.

 

 

Antigonish County

Location

Other Services

Glenhill Farm
C/O Sid Taylor

North Lochaber
Antigonish County NS B2H 2l3
Tel: 783-2787

Lochaber

Brush, Wreaths, Crafts

Fred Delorey
HillTop U-Cut
Salt Springs Hwy # 7
Antigonish Co., NS
Tel: 863-2105
Cell: 863-7404

Slat Springs
Hwy # 7

Balsam Fir / Pine Brush

Fred Delorey U-Cut Christmas Trees
Tracadie Hwy 104
Antigonish Co., NS
Tel: 863-2105
Cell: 863-7404

Tracadie
Antigonish County

Balsam Fir / Pine Brush

Rhonda McCarron
Brook Ridge Farm

RR # 2, Antigonish
1997 Hwy # 4
Tel: 863-6087
web:
www.brookridgefarm.ca
email: brookridgefarm@yahoo.ca

1997 Hwy # 4

Farm Animal Petting Area

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Cape Breton County

Location

Other Services

Macdonald Christmas Tree Farm
Gabarus Lake
Cape Breton County NS
Tel: 727-2420 Or 884-2311

Gabarus

Dwight Alaffe
Beechmount
Cape Breton County NS

Tel: 828-2483

Beechmount

Michael MacIntyre
South Side Boularderie
Cape Breton, NS
Tel: 736-6679

Boularderie

Kevin Elworthy (Pine Only)
Mira Road
Cape Breton County, NS
Tel: 562-8823

Mira Road

Tom Aucoin
Hills Road, Mira
Cape Breton County
Tel: 567-1500

Mira

Gerald Travis
Hills Road, Mira
Cape Breton County

Mira

Ron Confiant
Georges River
Cape Breton County
Tel: 794-8446

Georges River

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Colchester County

Location

Other Services

Bill Smith (Smith's U-Pick)270 Fraser Road

Harmony, Colchester County,

NS B2N 4M1
Tel: 895-0658

Harmony

C Douglas MacAdam
c/o Jolly Tree Farms

RR 1 Brookfield
Colchester County NS B0N 1C0
Tel: 897-7410

Hilden

Homestead Christmas Trees
c/o
John Tait

Central North River RR 6 Truro
Colchester County Ns B2N 5B4
Tel: 893-3729

North River

Ross Parks
Greenfield RR 3 Truro
Colchester County Ns B2n 5b2
Tel: 897-4840

Greenfield

Dale and Carol Downey
RR 5, Tatamagouche
Nova Scotia B0K 1V0
Tel: 657-3084

Earl Town

Pleasant Hills Balsams
Steve & Martha Brown

Bass River
Colchester County NS

Tel: 647-2516

Bass River

Upperbrook Farm
Greta and Ruth Mathewson

989 Upper Brookside Road
Central North River, NS B6L 6W6
902-895-4708

Central North River

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Cumberland County

Location

Other Services

Keith Moore
4568 Route 204

East Leicester
Cumberland County, NS
Tel: 447-2675

East Leicester

Mike Fuller
RR 3 Parrsboro
Nova Scotia B0M 1S0
Tel: 254-2972

Diligent River

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Digby County

Location

Other Services

Jack O Hill
RR 2 Weymouth
Digby County NS B0W 3T0
Tel: 837-5078

Hassett

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Guysborough County

Location

Other Services

no listings

Halifax County

Location

Other Services

Northern Lights Christmas Tree Farms(formally Keating’s U-Cut)Tel: 902-641-2142
Web: www.nltreefarms.com
Email:
nltreefarms@bellaliant.net

Clam Harbour

Charles Power

East Ship Harbour

Halifax County, NS

Tel; 772-2536

East Ship Harbour

John and Donna Whitenect
Elderbank
Halifax County NS

Tel: 384-2536

Elderbank

Wreaths & U-pick

Santa's Real Tree Farm

C/O John Stewart

RR4 Elmsvale

Halifax County, NS B0N 1X0

Tel: 384-2683

Glenmore Industries

c/o Jim & Judy Burgess

PO Box 178, Middle Musquodoboit

Halifax County, NS B0N 1X0

Tel: 384-2734

Paul Spike
RR #1 Oyster Pond
111 Hartling Settlement
Jeddore, NS B0J 1W0
Tel: 845-2269

Angus & Debbie Redden
RR #4, Middle Musquodoboit
Halifax County NS B0N 1X0
Tel: 384-2014

Qualitrees

Wayne Higgins

Upper Musquodoboit

Halifax County, NS B0N 2M0

Tel: (902) 568-2550

Hants County

Location

Other Services

Corkum's Forest Products
Eric and Heather Pick

RR 1 Falmouth
Hants County NS B0P 1L0
Tel: 798-2961 or 798-2512

Falmouth
(36 Soldier Road)

Decorations, Wreaths, Boughs

Scothorn Farms

Alfred & Jean Scothorn U-Pick

RR1 Milford Station

Hants County, NS B0N 1Y0

Tel: 758-1890

Hardwood Lands

Horse Wagon Rides (weekends only)
Wreaths
Brush

Grant & Melba Hogan
Hogan’s U-Pick Christmas Trees

315 Etter Road
RR 2 Mount Uniacke
Hants County, NS B0N 1Z0
Tel: 866-2392

Mount Uniacke

Sam’s Tree Farm
Upper Vaughans
RR 3 Windsor
Nova Scotia B0N 2T0
Tel: 798-3404 Or 542-7113

Upper Vaughan’s

Inverness County

Location

Other Services

Carmen Campbell
West Mabou
Inverness County NS B0E 1X0
Tel: 945-2178

West Mabou

Mr. Beaton
Rankinville, RR 2 Mabou
Inverness County, NS B0E 1X0
Tel: 945-2096

Rankinville

Wayne Gillis
S.W. Margaree
Inverness Co. NS
Tel: 248-2374

S.W. Margaree

Kings County

Location

Other Services

Bezanson Family Christmas Tree Farm

Steve & Deb Bezanson Owner/Operators

3750 Black Rock Road

RR# 3 Waterville, Kings County N. S.

B0P 1V0 Canada

Phone/Fax 902 538-7410

Email: trees@bezansonchristmastrees.com

11 KM North from HWY 1 at Waterville

U Pick or We Pick Fresh Harvested Environmental Friendly Christmas Trees

NEW at the Farm.

Table top to 10 feet
Open December 1, 12 noon to 7pm daily

Phone 902 538-7410 for information

Karnan Ells
Kingsport 724 Weaver Rd, Medford
RR 2 Canning
Kings County NS B0P 1H0
Tel: 582-7329

Same

Robar's Christmas Tree Farm
Lake Paul, RR 1 Aylesford
Kings County NS B0P 1C0
Tel: 847-9184

Lake Paul

Tony Van Kippersluis

921 English Mountain Road

Kings County, NS B4N 3V8

Tel: 678-7189

English Mtn Rd

Neil Tupper
6128 Aylesford Rd
Kings County NS B0P 1C0

3 Locations
2-Aylesford Rd
1-Lake George

Brian Hirtle
Berwick 1543 Brow Mtn Road
Kings County Ns B0p 1e0
Tel: 538-7192

Berwick

Wheaton Christmas Tree Farm
518 Shaw Road
RR 2 Berwick
Nova Scotia B0P 1E0
Tel: 538-9793

Berwick

Lunenburg County

Location

Other Services

Frank & Gina Harlow
50 Harlow Road
RR 4 Bridgewater
Lunenburg County NS B4V 2W3

Tel: 527-2103

Conqueral Bank

KC's Choice Tree Farm
c/o Kevin Croft

RR # 3, Chester Basin
Lunenburg County, NS B0J 1K0

Chester Grant
(Hwy 12)

Kevin's U-Cut
c/o Kevin and Susan Veinotte

300 Mossman Rd, West Northfield, NS
B4V 5B6
Tel:543-1271
email: sveinotte@hotmail.com

take Exit 12 off
Hwy 103, go north
6.5 km and take
right onto Mossman Rd. Follow signs to 300 Mossman Rd.

Organic Balsam Fir
Lot open each Saturday and Sunday in December
Open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Wagon Rides available in the afternoons, weather permitting.
For more information please phone 543-1271

Rocky Top Farm U-Pick c/o Nelson and Isabel Millett
150 Will Turner Road, New Ross
Lunenburg County NS B0J 2M0
email: therockytopfarm@hotmail.com
Tel: 689-
2112

Forties area

New Ross

Corkum’s Forest Products
RR 1 Falmouth
Hants County NS B0P 1L0
Tel: 798-2512
www.chooseandcut.ca

Windsor Road
1604 Hwy #14

T. Ernst Forest Products
RR 2, Mahone Bay
Lunenburg County NS B0J 2E0
Tel: 624-6133

Spondau
Woodstock Rd

Alvin Wentzell

RR3 Bridgewater

Lunenburg County, NS B4V 2W2

Tel; 543-9881

Rhodes Corner

Ernie's U-Pick (Choose & Cut)

1501 Highway 12

Chester Grant

Lunenburg County NS B0J 1K0

Tel: 275-4952

Chester Grant

Pictou County

Location

Other Services

Clarence Nelson
Millbrook RR 2 Westville
Pictou County NS B0K 2A0
Telephone: 396-4254

Millbrook

Ruth Macleod
799 Millstream, RR # 1, Eureka
Pictou County NS B0K 1B0
Tel: 923-2988

Millstream

Balsam Fir
Red Pine
Scotch Pine

Fir & Pine Boughs & Wreaths

Robert Lange
Big Island
Pictou County NS B0K 1G0
Telephone: 926-2
988

Big Island

Jim MacLeod
RR 3 Merigomish
Pictou County, NS B0K 1G0
Tel: 922-3172

French River

Ted MacNaughton
100 MacNaughton Road, Scotch Hill
Pictou County, NS B0K 1H0
Tel: 485-8723 (Call Ahead)

Scotch Hill Road

Queens County

Location

Other Services

Murray L Frank
RR 1 South Brookfield
Queens County NS B0T 1X0
Tel: 685-3842

South Brookfield

Richmond County

Location

Other Services

Jeff Adamsson
Lower L’Ardoise
Tel: 587-2138

Lower L'Ardoise

Shelburne County

Location

Other Services

Jackson Lore
P O Box 577 Shelburne
Shelburne County NS B0T 1W0
Tel: 875-2102

Middle Clyde

Stanley DeMings
RR 3 Shelburne
Shelburne County, NS B0T 1W0
Tel: 875-3937

Birch Town

Michael Harris
RR 1 Shelburne
Shelburne County, NS B0T 1W0
Tel: 875-3695

Lower Ohio

Allan Power
Upper Ohio, Shelburne County
B0T 1W0
Tel: 875-3575

Upper Ohio

Victoria County

Location

Other Services

Edward G. MacLean

PO Box 33

Baddeck, Victoria County

NS B0E 1B0

Tel: (902) 295-3330

Hillcrest Drive

Baddeck

Yarmouth County

Location

Other Services

Hugh Grimshaw
RR 2 Central Cheboque
Yarmouth County NS B5A 4A6
Tel: 742-5886

James Hayes
RR 4 Brooklyn
Yarmouth County NS B5A 4A8

Sonny Morton
Central Argyle
Yarmouth County

Tel: 643-2415

Selecting a Christmas Tree


Selecting the Christmas tree is always a family event. Most families have a favorite type of tree and everyone looks for a healthy, filled out tree with a nice shape. But what else beyond that? And which variety is the best value this year?
It varies depending upon the weather, which species where planted by the tree farms years ago, and your region of the country. In Florida, Red Cedar, Virginia Pine, Sand Pine, Spruce Pine and Leyland Cypress are grown specifically for use as Christmas trees. The west coast often sees Monterey pines and Fraser Firs as the popular choices.

Tips on Selecting a Tree

1. Your needs

Determine where in your home you will display your tree. With this in mind, you will be able to tell what height tree you will need and whether all four sides of the tree must be suitable for display. Height - It is a simple formula:

Item

Example

Height =

room height

8 ft

minus

tree toppers ornaments

1 ft

minus

height added by the tree stand

0.5 ft

minus

height of any base or table that you put under the stand

0

plus

bottom of tree removed

0.5 ft

=

Equals

height of tree to buy at the farm =

7 ft

Shape - Some prefer a slender tree, others want one which is larger and more bulky. It is nothing more than your personal preference!

2. Type / Variety of tree (species)

This guide will help you decide which Christmas Tree species or types sold and grown in the United States is worth the price and has the properties you want.

Cedars

Deodara Cedar – short, bluish-green needles; branches become pendulous at the tips; native to Himalayas; Deodara wood in Asia was used to build temples. In ancient Egypt Dedodara wood was used to make coffins for mummies. More info

Eastern Red CedarPhoto - leaves are a dark, shiny, green color; sticky to the touch; good scent; can dry out quickly; may last just 2-3 weeks; a southern Christmas tree. Leyland Cyrpress christmas tree photo

Cypress

Arizona Cypress - Photo

Leland CypressPhoto- foliage is dark green to gray color; has upright branches with a feathery appearance; has a light scent; good for people with allergies to other Christmas tree types. The most popular Christmas tree in the South-East, the Leyland Cypress is dark green - gray in color and has very little aroma. Because it is not in the Pine or Fir family, it does not produce sap, so that those with an allergy to sap can still enjoy a Leyland as their Christmas Tree. More info. (Photo credit to The National Christmas Tree Association)

Firs

Balsam FirPhoto - ¾” to 1 ½” short, flat, long lasting needles that are rounded at the tip; nice, dark green color with silvery cast and fragrant. These needles are 3/4 - 1 ½ in. in length and last a very long time. This is the traditional Christmas tree that most Americans grew up with. This tree has a dark-green appearance and retains its pleasing fragrance throughout the Christmas season. Named for the balsam or resin found in blisters on bark. Resin is used to make microscope slides and was sold like chewing gum; used to treat wounds in Civil War.

Canaan Fir - Photo - Similar to the other eastern firs.

Douglas Fir Photo - good fragrance; holds blue to dark green; 1” to 1 ½” needles; needles have one of the best aromas among Christmas trees when crushed. The Douglas fir needles radiate in all directions from the branch. When crushed, these needles have a sweet fragrance. They are one of the top major Christmas tree species in the U.S. Named after David Douglas who studied the tree in the 1800’s; good conical shape; can live for a thousand years. Close-up photo of tree. Photo credit to The National Christmas Tree Association

Fraser firFraser FirPhoto - dark green, flattened needles; ½ to 1 inch long, dark green on the top and silvery underneath; good needle retention; nice scent; pyramid-shaped strong branches which turn upward. The Fraser fir branches turn slightly upward. They have good form and needle-retention. They are dark blue-green in color. They have a pleasant scent, and excellent shipping characteristics as well. Named for a botanist, John Fraser, who explored the southern Appalachians in the late 1700’s.

Photo credit to The National Christmas Tree Association

Grand FirPhoto- shiny, dark green needles about 1” – 1 ½ “ long; the needles when crushed, give off a citrusy smell.

Noble FirPhoto - one inch long, bluish-green needles with a silvery appearance; has short, stiff branches; great for heavier ornaments; keeps well. These needles turn upward, exposing the lower branches. It's extremely aromatic, and while it is native to the West Coast, it is gaining popularity throughout the U.S. It's shape is similar to a Douglas fir but with a deeper, richer green. Known for its beauty, the noble fir has a long keep ability, and its stiff branches make it a good tree for heavy ornaments, as well as providing excellent greenery for wreaths and garland.

nordmann fir christmas treeNordmann Fir - An excellent needle retaining species with soft glossy dark green needles. Nordmann Firs are the preferred Christmas tree of Europeans, with long, full, lush, dark green foliage, similar to a Fraser fir, but soft to the touch and with excellent needle retention. Nordmann Fir Christmas Trees can reach 60 feet in height with a spread of 25 to 30 feet. Their soft and lustrous black-green needles stem from symmetrically arranged branches, producing the ideal pyramidal specimen for a Christmas tree. Nordmann Firs are also popular as ornamental trees in parks and gardens. This tree is very popular in Great Britain. Wikipedia has more information.
See the photo at right.

White Fir or Concolor FirPhoto – blue-green needles are ½ to ½ inches long; nice shape and good aroma, a citrus scent; good needle retention. They have good foliage color, good needle retention, and a pleasing shape and aroma. In nature can live to 350 years. Photo credit to The National Christmas Tree Association

Pines

Afghan Pine – soft, short needles with sturdy branches; open appearance; mild fragrance; keeps well; grown in Texas; native to Afghanistan, Russia & Paskistan. More info.

Austrian Pine – dark green needles, 4 to 6 inches long; retains needles well; moderate fragrance. Close-up photo of tree.

Red Pine – dark green needles 4”-6” long; big and bushy. Close up photo of tree.

Scotch pine

Ponderosa Pine – needles lighter colored than Austrian Pine; good needle retention; needles 5” – 10” long. More info.

Scotch PinePhoto – most common Christmas tree; stiff branches; stiff, dark green needles one inch long; holds needles for four weeks; needles will stay on even when dry; has open appearance and more room for ornaments; keeps aroma throughout the season; introduced into United States by European settlers. The color is a bright green. The most common Christmas tree in the U.S., the scotch pine has an excellent survival rate, is easy to replant, has great keepability and will remain fresh throughout the holiday season. See photo at right and click here for a close-up photo of tree. Photo credit to www.christmastree.org/trees/trees/scotch.cfm.

Virginia Pine – dark green needles are 1 ½” – 3” long in twisted pairs; strong branches enabling it to hold heavy ornaments; strong aromatic pine scent; a popular southern Christmas tree. These branches are stout and woody and respond very well to trimming. It is small- medium in size and its foliage becomes extremely dense. Aside from being a good nesting site for woodpeckers, the Virginia pine continues to be the most popular Christmas tree in the South. More info.

White PinePhoto – soft, blue-green needles, 2 to 5 inches long in bundles of five; retains needles throughout the holiday season; very full appearance; little or no fragrance; less allergic reactions as compared to more fragrant trees. The largest pine in the U.S., the White Pine has soft, flexible needles and is bluish-green in color. Needles are 2 ½ - 5 in. long. White Pine’s have good needle retention, but have little aroma. They are the state tree of Michigan & Maine; slender branches will support fewer and smaller decorations as compared to Scotch pine. They aren’t recommended for heavy ornaments. It’s wood is used in cabinets, interior finish and carving. Native Americans used the inner bark as food. Early colonists used the inner bark to make cough medicine. Close-up photo of tree.

SpruceBlue Spruce

Black Hills Spruce - Pinus glauca var.densata – green to blue-green needles; 1/3” to ¼” long; stiff needles may be difficult to handle for small children. More info.

Blue SprucePicea pungens – dark green to powdery blue; very stiff needles, ¾” to 1 ½” long; good form; will drop needles in a warm room; symmetrical; but is best among species for needle retention; branches are stiff and will support many heavy decorations. State tree of Utah & Colorado. Can live in nature 600-800 years. The needles really do have a bluish look to them, as shown in the photo at right. More info.

Colorado Blue Spruce - Photo - Often used for stuffing pine-pillows, these sharp needles are 1 - 1 ½ in. in length. This species is bluish-gray in color and has a bad odor when needles are crushed. This Christmas Tree has good symmetrical form and has an attractive blue foliage. It also has good needle retention.

white spruce

Norway SprucePhoto- needles ½” – 1” long and shiny, dark green. Needle retention is poor without proper care; strong fragrance; nice conical shape. Very popular in Europe.

White SprucePhoto - needles ½ to ¾ inch long; green to bluish-green, short, stiff needles; crushed needles have an unpleasant odor; good needle retention. State tree of South Dakota. The White Spruce is excellent for ornaments; it’s short, stiff needles are ½ - 3/4 in. long and have a blunt tip. They are bluish-green - green in color, but have a bad aroma when needles are crushed. They have excellent foliage color and have a good, natural shape. The needle retention is better in a White Spruce than it is among other spruces. Photo credit to The National Christmas Tree Association

3. Examine the tree

 

Freshness is an important key if you are buying a precut (harvested, fresh-cut, etc.) tree. Of course, if you are cutting your own, or having it cut for you, you know it will be fresh!


  • The needles should be resilient. Take hold of a branch about six inches from the tip, between your thumb and forefinger, then pull your hand toward you allowing the branch to slip through your fingers.
  • The needles should adhere to the branch and not fall off in your hand. The needles should be flexible, not brittle. Run your finger down a branch - the needles should adhere to each twig. Bump the base end of the tree lightly against the ground to verify that the needles are firmly attached and to see if any outside needles fall off (inside needle loss in Pine trees is common every Fall and may lodge against the branches). If only a few drop off, the tree is fresh.
  • The tree should have a good fragrance and an attractive good green color,
  • fresh tree will retain its moisture content and thereby keep its fragrance and needles, if kept in a stand that has a good water - holding capacity.
  • Limbs should be strong enough to hold ornaments and strings of lights

Important Tips On Caring For Your Tree

Selecting a tree

1. Get a healthy tree - Don't buy a tree that is losing green needles, or has dry, brittle twigs or a sour, musty smell. Excessive needle loss can be detected by vigorously shaking the tree, or dropping it onto the end of the trunk several times from a height of about 1 ft (30 cm). The loss of old dead needles from the inside of the tree does not indicate that there is a problem with the tree. Mechanical shakers can remove these needles, and reduce the potential for a mess inside the home.

2. Size of the tree - Do not buy a tree that is too large for the area where it will be displayed. Aside from paying more than necessary, up to $10 per ft (30 cm) of height, you will have to cut off a large section of the lower trunk, and possibly the lower whorl of branches. This might ruin the appearance of the lower part of the tree.

3. Bottom of the tree - Note the location of large branches at the bottom of the tree. Be sure that the handle is long enough to allow display of the tree without cutting off the lower whorl of large branches. USDA grading rules specify trees should have a handle 1 to 12 in (2.5 to 3.8 cm) long per ft (30 cm) of height. However, some species are routinely sold without pruned handles, eg, Fraser fir.

3. Shaking the tree - When purchasing a tree from a choose-n-cut farm, have the producer mechanically €˜shake' the tree, if possible. This will eliminate dead, loose needles, especially in species such as Virginia pine, white pine, Scotch pine and red cedar. There is less potential mess to reach the home.

Transporting the tree

4. Wrap the tree - If the transport time from the retail lot or farm to the final destination is more than 15 min, it is best to wrap the tree in a tarp, or carry it in an enclosed camper or the back of a pick-up. Strong wind of 60 mph (100 km h-1) on the highway, especially during warm weather, can damage a tree in a short time.

5. Orientation on the car - Put the bottom of the tree aiming forward to protect the needles from being blown off.

6. Tie it securely! - If the tree is carried on the outside of a vehicle, tie it securely.

Storing the tree before bring it in the house

7. Keep out of the sunlight - Do not leave a cut Christmas tree lying in the sunshine for long periods of time, especially if air temperatures are warm. Fresh trees dry rapidly in those circumstances.

8. Keep it in water - If a tree cannot be immediately displayed in water, make a fresh cut on the base of the trunk, and stand it in a bucket of water in a cool, shaded location, either indoors or outdoors. When the tree is displayed in a water holding stand, a second fresh cut is probably unnecessary, but might enhance water uptake.

Setting up the tree in your stand

 

9. Cut off a disk of wood about 0.5 to 1 inch (1.25 to 2.5 cm) thick from the base of the trunk immediately before putting the tree in the stand. Make the cut perpendicular to the stem axis. Do not cut at an angle, or into a v-shape, which makes it far more difficult to hold the tree plumb in the stand, and reduces the amount of water available to the tree. Do not cut off too much trunk, resulting in a handle too short for the stand. This would lead to the situation described in (2) and (3) above.
If no saw is available, get the retailer to make a fresh cut on the base of the trunk before departing for home. Assuming that the trip home is relatively short, put the tree in water as soon as possible. Species like Douglas-fir and Fraser fir can go 6 to 8 h after cutting, and still take up water. Do not bruise the end of the trunk or get it dirty.

10. Drilling a hole in the base of the trunk does not affect water uptake. The use of drilled/pin type devices to supply water directly to holes drilled in the tree is not as effective as displaying the tree in a more traditional type of stand.

11. Use a stand that fits your tree. Some stands have circular rings at the top, so the ring must be large enough so the trunk goes through the hole. Other stands are open, which allows more range in trunk size. Avoid whittling the sides of the trunk down to fit a stand. The outer layers of wood are most efficient in taking up water and should not be removed. Use a stand with an adequate water holding capacity for the tree. Using stands that are too small is a very common mistake. Fresh trees use about 1 qt (about 1 L) of water per day per in (about 2.5 cm) of trunk diameter. The stand should hold enough water to last 24 h. If the stand goes dry and is subsequently refilled, water uptake may stop or be severely limited, leading to premature drying. Contraptions are available that maintain constant water level in the stand, working on the principle of a commode float.

12. Cold water - Do not use hot water in the stand; it is of no benefit.

13. No chemicals - Do not use chemicals in the stand to prevent evaporation. Water moves into the trunk at the lower cut end, and eventually evaporates (transpires) from the foliage. Evaporation from the surface of water in the stand is negligible, compared to the loss from transpiration. Do not use additives in water, including floral preservatives, molasses, sugar, bleach, soft drinks, aspirin, honey, or other concoctions. Do not apply film-forming anti-transpirants. The products supposedly block the evaporation of water from the surface of foliage, but in reality have little benefit. Do not use water holding gels in the stand. They reduce the amount of water available to trees. Clean water is the only requirement to maintain freshness.

 

Decorating your tree

 

14. Keep away from heat - Keep displayed trees away from point sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, direct sunlight). Lowering the room temperature will slow drying, resulting in less water consumption.

15. Lights - Use only UL approved lights and electrical cords and devices on trees. Check electrical cords and lights for damage prior to placement on the tree.

16. Placement of ornaments - Hang all ornaments that are breakable, have small, detachable parts or metal hooks, or that look like food or candy on higher branches where small children can't reach them. Green floral wire, which can be twisted firmly around branches, is a great way to hang fragile ornaments. More durable Christmas ornaments like candy canes, knitted ornaments on higher branches where small children can't reach them. Green floral wire, which can be twisted firmly around branches, is a great way to hang fragile ornaments.

17. Pets - Keep pets out of the room in which the tree is placed, especially if you can't be there to supervise. Cats are known for leaping onto Christmas trees, especially when pursued by another pet. Use a ceiling hook to keep the tree from toppling. Both cats and dogs can knock down and break glass ornaments, then cut themselves on the pieces. Pets may also gnaw on electrical cords for Christmas tree lights. So hide them when possible, or help prevent injury by purchasing a pet-proof cover for the wiring.

18. Avoid using artificial snow sprays, to which some people are allergic and may cause lung irritation if inhaled.

19. Turn off tree lights when you go to bed or leave the house. Use only UL-approved electrical decorations and extension cords, and check to be sure no cords have frayed since you last used the lights.

 

Watering your tree

 

20. Always keep the tree stand filled with water. Dried sap will form a seal over the cut stump within several hours if the water level falls below the base of the tree. If this occurs, make another fresh cut in the butt-end and promptly fill the stand with water. Use hot tap water which will soften sap and facilitate absorption.

21. How much water - A tree will absorb as much as a gallon of water or more in the 24 hours after it is cut, and one or more quarts everyday after. Maintaining a steady water level prevents the needles from drying out and dropping off and the boughs from drooping. Water will also keep the tree fragrant. Do not allow the water pan to empty or go below the tree base

 

Taking down the tree

 

22. Monitor the tree for dryness. If the tree is dry, remove it from the house.

23. Disconnect all electrical devices prior to removing them from the tree.

24. Never burn a tree in a fire place or wood stove. Pine trees have a lot of sap which can flash and also create a chimney fire.

 

Recycling your Christmas tree

After the holidays, don’t throw your natural tree away! Here are some tips on what to do with your tree after the holidays. In general, you have these options:

  1. Curbside pick-up for recycling - Most areas will collect trees during their regular pickup schedules on the 2 weeks following Christmas. There are often requirements for size, removing ornaments, flocking, etc; see below for details.
  2. Call for an appointment to have a non-profit in your area pickup your tree. Some boy scout troops are offering a pickup service for a small donation (often $5).
  3. Take your tree to a drop off recycling center. Most counties have free drop-off locations throughout the county. Usually, you may take up to two trees to any of the following drop-off locations at no charge.
  4. Cut the tree to fit loosely into your yard waste container.

 

Other tips and ideas

 

  • Removing the tree: The best way to avoid a mess removing your tree is to place a plastic tree bag (which are available at hardware stores) underneath the stand when you set the tree up! You can hide it with a tree skirt. Then, when the holidays are done, pull the bag up around the tree, stand and all, and carry it outside. Obviously, you will want to remove the stand before recycling the tree. If some needles do scatter inside, it is better to sweep them up; as needles can clog vacuum cleaners.
  • Tree Recycling / Mulching programs are a fast-growing trend in communities throughout the nation. Check below on this page or with your local department of public works for information. They chip and shred the trees, then make the mulch available for use in your garden. Your hauler will notify you of pick-up dates in your area. There are a few things you must do to make your tree ready for RECYCLING. Here are some general tips - but be sure to check with your local hauler - these are just general guidelines! To find your local hauler: Another option is to call Hope For Wildlife.  They are often looking for tree clippings for bedding material for their animal rescues. Please keep this in mind at any time of year when you are trimming trees & shrubs.
    If it is Waste Management Inc (WM),
    click here to find your Local WM Service Provider's Website - or click here to contact Your Local WM Customer Service Center by Phone - find the 1-800 number of your Local Customer Service Center
    If your local hauler is
    AW / BFI (Allied Waste) - Click here to locate the contact information for your local hauler.
  • Soil erosion barriers: Some communities use Christmas trees to make effective sand and soil erosion barriers, especially at for lake and river shoreline stabilization and river delta sedimentation management (Louisiana does both).
  • Fish feeders: Sunk into private fish ponds trees make excellent refuge and feeding area for fish.
  • Bird feeders: Place the Christmas tree in the garden or backyard and use it as a bird feeder and sanctuary. Fresh orange slices or strung popcorn will attract the birds and they can sit in the branches for shelter. (Make sure all decorations, hooks, garland and tinsel strands are removed). Eventually (within a year) the branches will become brittle and you can break the tree apart by hand or chip it in a chipper. See this article from Perdue University for more information.
  • Mulch: A Christmas tree is biodegradable; its branches may be removed, chipped, and used as mulch in the garden. If you have a neighbor with a chip, see if he will chip it for you.
  • Paths for Hiking Trails - some counties use the shredded trees as a free, renewable and natural path material that fits both the environment and the needs of hikers!
  • Living, rooted trees: Of course, next year, you could get a rooted (ball and burlapped or containerized) tree and then plant it in your yard after Christmas (It's a good idea to pre-dig the hole in the late Fall while the soil is still soft, then plant the tree into that hole immediately after Christmas.) NOTE: Living trees have a better survival rate in mild climates, than in a northern area.
  • Important: Never burn your Christmas tree in a fireplace or wood stove. Pines, firs and other evergreens have a high content of flammable turpentine oils. Burning the tree may contribute to creosote buildup and risk a chimney fire.

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