Holiday Traditions

    • Stop peach leaf curl by spraying now with copper sulfate to help prevent this disfiguring disease from attacking your trees next spring.
    • Plant Paperwhite narcissus in pots this weekend for holiday gifts.
    • Evergreen hollies are handsome shrubs year-round. Their red berries are colorful in winter and provide decorative sprays for the indoors.
    • Feed the birds this winter and enjoy the pleasure of their company. Bird feeders come in many styles and make wonderful gifts.

Living Christmas Memories

Living Christmas trees are becoming more popular each year because of their many advantages over other types of Christmas trees, and the special tradition they bring about.

Some of the biggest advantages of using living Christmas trees are the lessening of fire hazard, their future use in the landscape and the fact that they may often be used for more than one year as a living Christmas tree in the home.

These trees offer year-round beauty when planted in the landscape and can be decorated outdoors for many years to come. They also become a yearly source for cut greens to make wreaths and other decorations for the holiday season.

Colorado Blue Spruce are the most popular living Christmas tree. It has very stiff, horizontal branches which easily hold up the ornaments. Foliage varies in seedling trees from dark green through all shades of blue green to steel blue. It makes a fine landscape tree in our area, with branches that grow all the way to the ground.

True fir trees also are beautiful, perfectly shaped trees. The Nordmann fir has lustrous dark green needles borne on symmetrically arranged branches. It grows in a perfectly pyramidal shape and is a fast-growing and adaptable tree from Asia Minor.

Noble firs are one of the most popular cut trees, but they are also available as living trees. This symmetrical, pyramidal tree has the darkest green foliage, bluish-gray on the tips and silvery-green underneath. It makes one of the finest living trees for use during the holiday season.

Douglas fir trees are well known, especially for their fragrant foliage. They are native to this region and are quite fast-growing, so they can only stay in the container for a year or two. Other trees that can be used as Christmas trees include pines, Deodar cedars, Coast redwoods and giant sequoias.

When you bring a living tree into the house, leave it there for no more than two weeks. Place it well away from heater vents, wood stoves, and fireplaces. Water it slowly and thoroughly by dumping two trays of ice cubes onto its soil surface every day.

Decorate your tree with small, cool bulbs — flashing bulbs are best of all. Don’t use tinsel as it’s too hard to get off. You can use strings of popcorn or madrone berries which the birds will enjoy when you move the tree back outdoors.

With care and planning, your Christmas tree will serve as a living memory for many years.

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