I was visiting my brother in Goshen recently. We were looking at the majestic blue spruce trees in his backyard that he planted as Christmas trees years ago, when his kids were younger.
They've created a backdrop for privacy, and have cherished memories for him and his kids.
Although I grew up with the classic plastic tree, even a white one with blue lights for a few years, as an adult, I love the feel and smell of a good live Christmas tree.
Here's how to select the best cut tree.
First, decide on the type of evergreen. Fir trees have great fragrance. Blue spruce has stiff needles, but can drop needles in a warm room.
Scotch pine has stiff branches and needles that stay on the tree even when dry. White pine has soft, long needles and weak branches that support only small ornaments.
When picking out a pre-cut tree, tap it on the ground a few times and run your hand along the branches to see if the needles come off. At home, re-cut the base of the tree and place it in cool water.
Another option is to buy a live tree like my brother did years ago. Dig your hole now before the ground freezes. Place the soil and tree in a garage or shed where it won't freeze.
Bring the tree indoors for only one week around the holidays. Any longer, and it will break dormancy and may suffer outdoors.
After the holidays, transition the tree back into the garage for a few weeks and then plant it in the ground and water well.
Next week, I’ll be talking about garden gifts. Until then, I’ll be seeing you in the garden.