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Christmas Tree Choices Newsletter 2013


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Christmas Tree Choices

Adolescent Italian Stone Pine                                           Mature Italian Stone Pine

I realize some of you like artificial trees, but I'm a real tree guy. With that said, there are basically three choices: 1) artificial, 2) cut and 3) living trees for planting outdoors after the holidays. There are pros and cons of each choice.

Artificial Christmas trees are good for people with allergies, but the fragrance from real trees is hard to beat. Cut trees primarily come from farms that grow trees for that purpose, so there is not an environmental issue related to cutting down trees. The fact that toxic chemicals are used to grow many of these trees is the only concern.

Fraser fir and noble fir are the two most popular cut trees, but other varieties include Virginia pine, Afghan pine (Eldarica), Leyland cypress and Eastern red cedar. With the exception of Virginia pine, these all can be purchased as living trees and planted after the holidays. Leyland cypress should not be purchased at all anymore. It is in trouble from a fungal disease and dying out. Eldarica pine should only be planted in arid conditions. It is a desert plant.

Fraser Fir                        Italian Stone Pine                       Noble Fir                    Rosemary

The very best choices for living trees to be planted in the landscape after Christmas are Eastern red cedar, Italian stone pine, and rosemary - which are great for small spaces or table tops. Remember to set the living tree up in the house just before Christmas and plant outdoors immediately after removing the ornaments. The longer they are inside, the weaker they will become and less likely to survive outside.

To discuss this newsletter or any other topic, tune in 8am -11am CST to the Dirt Doctor Radio Show. The call-in phone number is 1-866-444-3478. Listen on the internet or click here to find a station in your area.

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Naturally yours,

Howard Garrett

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