By Nancy Edwards
During the holiday season, there are many decisions to make: which gifts to choose, what parties to attend and what kind of Christmas tree to purchase.
Greg Moberg, nursery manager for Allisonville Nursery in Fishers, suggested ways to make the process of selecting a tree easier this year.
Choosing the right tree
“Determine the variety of tree you would like,” Moberg said. “Decide if you want a cut spruce, fir or pine tree or a living spruce, fir or pine that you can plant after the holiday.”
The advantages of a Frasier Fir, according to Moberg, include longevity and sturdy branches. Sturdiness is also a plus for spruce trees.
“The tree in Rockefeller Center is an 85 foot Norway Spruce,” Moberg said. “It weighs 13 tons and holds a 550 pound star at its top. The tree is 90 years old.”
Pine trees, on the other hand, have flimsy branches and have a tendency to dry out more quickly than fir or spruce trees, Moberg noted.
After consumers decide on the type of tree, they should determine which one will fit in their home.
“Measure the height of your ceiling and width of the space in your house where you would like the tree to stand,” Moberg said.
Caring for your tree
If a consumer has chosen a cut tree, vendors typically will give it a fresh cut so the tree can “drink” water and avoid drying out.
“This typically means removing roughly an inch from the bottom of the tree to allow moisture to be taken in by the tree,” Moberg said. “If you have a fresh cut, you need to get it into water ASAP. If you don’t the cut will seal and the tree will not take in water. It’s best to cut the tree right before putting it in the stand and filling the stand with water.”
In addition, Moberg recommends that owners keep their tree stands full of water while watching the levels daily.
Owners can also lengthen the lives of their trees by using a product called Wilt Proof, an anti-desiccant that covers needles with a rubberized coating, thereby reducing water loss. Other ways to keep the tree fresh include limiting the outdoor light it receives and keeping the tree away from hot vents.
“After the season is over,” Moberg said, “a common question is, ‘What do I do with my dead Christmas tree?’”
While owners may put their trees out for trash collection (typically the trees are taken to a landfill), other options include taking the tree to Sahm Park. Moberg noted that the trees will be mulched and the boughs used as insulation for plant beds.
Owners may also choose to keep their trees.
“The dead tree can be put out in the yard and will serve as a place for birds to congregate, especially if you string it with popcorn or berries,” Moberg said. “Pinterest also has some ideas of things you can create with a dead tree.”