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Christmas Tree Choices Newsletter

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Christmas Tree Choices

Fraser Fir                    Italian Stone Pine                Noble Fir                         Rosemary 

Time to talk Christmas trees again. 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. 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 most of these trees is the only concern.

Fraser fir and noble fir are the two most popular cut trees, but 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.


Adolescent Italian Stone Pine                                   Mature Italian Stone Pine

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 is 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.

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Naturally yours,

Howard Garrett

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