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Garden Guru: Christmas tree shopping and care

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Garden Guru Emilio "Elmo" Telles

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Garden Guru Emilio "Elmo" Telles

Shopping for a fresh cut Christmas tree should be a fun and analytical experience. The first two things to look for is (obviously) shape and gaping holes between the branches. A little bit of gap is okay, because when you hang the ornaments the weight will help bring the branches down.

christmas tree clipart

What about the old story about pulling the branches to see if any needles pull off? If some needles come off and are green, you’re okay. It’s when they are brown and it’s still two weeks until the 25th — choose another tree. The most important thing to make sure the trees are positioned in a tree stand with a water bowl combination at the lot.

A lot of times I get customers that want a second cut so the tree is “fresh”. The problem with that is that when the salesman makes another cut, by the time you get it home the cut will “self seal” and you’ll have a dry tree soon. If the bowls are filled up every day at the tree lot, the cut tree should easily last you until after Christmas.

The real trick, is to check the tree once in the morning and once again when you get home from work, or the evening. Cut trees are thirsty. Keep the trees in your home in a place away from the heater drafts.

A very important thing is after the holiday, look up a local tree recycling center. There should be one close to you. They shred Christmas trees up for mulch and you can use it for your gardens in the spring!

I take the bus to work and nothing looks worse than old Christmas trees littering the streets. Sometimes when I’m walking, I have had to jump over some of the dumped trees!

Any questions feel free to write/post a comment here.


Emilio “Elmo” Telles is a garden expert at Armstrong Garden Center  5816 San Fernando Road, Glendale  91202.

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