How to Keep that Christmas Tree Fresh

Photo from WSU

Washington State horticulture professor Linda Chalker-Scott, has a podcast “Last minute advice about Christmas trees and other fun stuff” that details more than you’ll ever want to know about how to keep a Christmas tree fresh in the house. And, yes, it’s been studied. Apparently WSU has a Christmas Tree expert: Dr. Gary Chastagner, seen above counting dry needles.

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  1. Here in the northwest, we live in a world of trees. It’s not so much the moral concern of chopping down a tree for a holiday that bothers us. Most tree farms seem to practice a sustainable brand of forestry, unless of course those trees are being shipping long distances on fossil fuels. Instead, we don’t bring a christmas tree inside because “inside” is the only place in our lives without trees! We experience some extreme evergreen overload.

    That being said, holiday traditions do hold a certain place in our hearts. To rectify this imbalance, Christy and I have created a new Christmas tree tradition. We start with a 4′ high plant stand which already lives in our yurt, and we cover it with the recent wind-fall limbs and branches from all those damned trees around us. We then cover this faux-tree with lights and ornaments. Nobody gets chopped down, nothing gets shipped, the yurt smells like pine and cedar, and if you squint it kind of looks like we have a christmas tree. Win, win, win!

    I’m not trying to be a self-righteous bummer, I just thought you guys might be into another DIY approach to standard consumer practices. Make your own tree! Suck it, mother nature!

  2. @John: You’re not self-righteous at all! I’ve never investigated the tree biz, but it’s probably is dodgy.

    Your faux tree is a great idea. I bet your yurt looks like a winter wonderland. We often pull some sort of similar tree substitute thing ourselves, simply out of cheapness. This year, with two highly destructive kittens around, I decided we (or should I say “I” since Erik has been Scroogish) couldn’t put anything on the floor or on tabletops, so I gathered big fat pine cones on a hike, strung them into clusters with ribbon and hung them around the ceiling molding. It’s festive. It’s inaccessible. It’s cheap. Win, win, as you say.

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