My wife and I have graduated to (or dumbed down to) the artificial tree, mainly because it takes less work to erect and less clean-up after the holidays, although I still do miss the scent of a fresh pine tree and the less than perfect form. A store-bought artificial tree is just “too” perfect.
However, once they’re decorated with a gazillion ornaments accumulated over decades and the beaded ropes, ribbons, and the angel topper they will all look pretty much the same.
If you’re purchasing a fresh-cut tree from a local vendor make sure that it is what they say “fresh cut.” Tree life varies with the weather conditions since they were cut but normally they will last five to six weeks without losing needles if “prepped” correctly before taken indoors.
If your tree hasn’t been shaken properly when purchased, bounce it on a hard surface several times to loosen and remove dead needles that have lodged on the inside branches. Saw an inch or more off the bottom of the trunk (this is important) to expose fresh wood and then place the tree in a bucket of water overnight. Try the aspirin trick by putting several aspirin in the water bucket. It is said that it will help absorption and quicken the hydration.
Once inside and mounted in a tree stand make sure that the trunk easily reaches the water reservoir. It’s most important to keep a daily vigil on the reservoir so that there will always be water available for the tree — especially the first few days.
Once the holiday is over and needles begin to dry and fall it’s best to remove it to the outside to remove the fire hazard.
P.S. A big apology to a former associate Dorothy (Shotgun) Keyes for failing to thank her and Herman Blackport, in last week’s column, for my Garden Center position. Shotgun has been a blessing in my life and we have been friends from the start of my involvement with Everett’s. We are of the famous “31’s” and you’ll have to ask her what that means.