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choosing your christmas tree


 
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inishindie
Rank attained: Tree plantation keeper


Joined: 27 May 2007
Posts: 563
Location: inishowen Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:42 am    Post subject: choosing your christmas tree Reply with quote

CHRISTMAS TREES



Did anyone buy a real cut Christmas tree when they first came into the shops about three weeks ago? If you did please let me know if it is surviving the long wait until Santa comes. Maybe people have started to buy two trees, one for the run up to Christmas and another for when that one looses all of its needles on the front room carpet. We like to buy our tree quite close to the holiday, that way there should still be a few bits of green left on the branches to hang the chocolate ornaments. The only drawback to buying the tree later is that we tend to be left with one that is a bit miss-shaped, so the pruning shears have to come out to perform some cosmetic surgery. The amputated branches can be used for decorating the table and around mirrors though, so nothing goes to waste as it can all be mulched in the New Year (Definition of mulching- throwing at the bottom of the garden and left to rot down!)

KEEPING IT REAL
The real Christmas tree is a living resource, which can be recycled, while the plastic tree consists of metal and plastic materials, which cannot be broken down naturally. This impacts the environment during manufacturing and after use. Plastic Christmas trees are often made of PVC, which also has many negative environmental qualities. They do look pretty though and you don't have to vacuum the dropped leaves every day!

SELECTION AND CARE OF YOUR TREE
When you are selecting your Christmas tree always bear in mind where you are going to place it in the house. Make sure the size suits your home and the room you are going to put it into. For most modern homes a 6ft Christmas tree is very suitable.



Make sure it has a straight stem, even dense branches and a fresh colour. When you bring your Christmas tree home, cut an inch or two off the bottom of the stem and stand it outside in a bucket of water. Shake off any loose needles before you bring it inside and stand it in a special Christmas tree stand or in a bucket of wet sand with a water bowl to which you should add a pint of water daily (avoiding the electrics!). Try not to let the tree dry out, as the base will re-seal itself and stop taking in water. Water is important as it prevents the needles from drying and dropping off and the branches from drooping. Water also keeps the tree fragrant. Place the tree in the coolest part of the room away from fires and radiators, as central heating is the worst enemy of a tree.

If you have a big garden, then why not consider buying a rooted tree in a pot. Rooted trees in pots have the best chance of survival if they are kept in the house over the Christmas period. If you water them well they should still be alive at the end of the holiday and you can plant them outside in your garden. I have known people successfully re-use their trees for a couple of years. They were planted into a bigger pot every year and it was a good while before the trees got too big for the house. It can be a lot of work keeping them watered in summer though.


TREE SAFETY
Make sure your tree is properly secured and positioned clear of doorways, stairs, heaters and open fires.
Christmas tree lights can be dangerous if not properly wired. There are a lot of different types to go for in the shops. Look for the approved safety standards sign on the box. Remember to unplug tree lights and other decorations when out of the house or going to bed at night. And if you have a cat, make sure that it doesn't jump up the tree to get to the shiny baubles and bring the whole lot down.

TREE TYPES
The most popular types of Christmas tree sold in Irish garden centres include:

Norway Spruce - the most traditional looking Christmas tree - has a mid-green colour, a fine, delicate foliage and a distinctive 'Christmassy' scent.

Scots pine
- a really fragrant native conifer with attractive blue-green foliage and soft needles

Lodgepole pine - a cheerful green colour, tinged slightly with yellow, and a sharp fragrance

Nordmann fir - has distinctive broad, bold green needles with whitish underside

It's all down to individual taste as to what tree you like the best, so happy hunting!

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GarethAustin
Rank attained: Rowan Tree
Rank attained: Rowan Tree


Joined: 19 Aug 2006
Posts: 105
Location: North West

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:29 pm    Post subject: noble fir? Reply with quote

Ian,

You forgot about the Noble Fir - which acounts for over 60% off all the fresh trees bought....
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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 2142
Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:44 pm    Post subject: Re: noble fir? Reply with quote

GarethAustin wrote:


You forgot about the Noble Fir - which acounts for over 60% off all the fresh trees bought....


You're right there Gareth, it certainly deserves a mention due to its needle holding abilities.
The Noble fir gets a look in as part of this article that I wrote a while back, all about Irish Christmas trees.... Types of Christmas Tree available...How to Prepare and Maintain them.

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inishindie
Rank attained: Tree plantation keeper


Joined: 27 May 2007
Posts: 563
Location: inishowen Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:52 pm    Post subject: christmas plastic Reply with quote

Oh yes. Your ganging up on me now are you?!

I particularly like my friends daughters tree this year (well not really!!)




Thanks for pointing this omission out though. I have done a peice for next weeks Inish Times and forgotton to add it to the list. I have sent an amended article in!! (Although your article is far better GPI!!, maybe I should just put a link in the paper to this site!)

Keep up the good work!

How did the composting weekend go Gareth??


Cheers

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BlackBird
Rank attained: Ash Tree
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Joined: 25 Jan 2007
Posts: 227

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

inishindie although I though GPIs article was good, but I thought your one was better. Sorry GPI Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed . Ps. I hate inflatable xmas trees even more than the fake silver ones. Laughing
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GarethAustin
Rank attained: Rowan Tree
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Joined: 19 Aug 2006
Posts: 105
Location: North West

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian

Compost weekend went well. We have a representative from the Donegal County Council answering questions, promoting composting, urging people to recycle. and we have a girl from the Irish Peatland Conservation group in promoting wormeries, eco-garden solutions, nemotodes and the like.

A steady flow of people were in asking questions, so I was delighted the day went well.

I'll try to post a few pictures when I get time, Also I'll e-mail a picture of the two girls up to you for your Inish Post article.
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