November 23, 2007, Newsletter Issue #91: Is Your Christmas Tree Fresh and Clean?

Tip of the Week

Is that fir tree you're picking out clean? If you're not exactly sure what a “clean Christmas tree” is, it's about time you were briefed. Clean trees are trees that are not covered with any foreign plant particles (vines, grass, leaves, etc.). Additionally, they have been shaken to rid them of any dead needles that may have found their way intot he branches.

A freshly cut Christmas tree that hasn't been shaken may have thousands of stray needles attached to it—imagine that mess! If you care for a freshly cut, clean tree properly it should last through the entire holiday season with the problem. The most sure-fire way to ensure that you get a fresh tree is to head out to a farm where you can select your own tree for the chopping. If this isn't an option, however, test the firmness of the needles on a tree you find in a lot before buying it (this will be a tell-tale sign of its freshness).

To do this, grasp a branch lightly and tug the needles through your hand. If you end up with a handful of needles you can keep walking because that is a sign that the tree isn't fresh. You should have minimal needles in your hand.

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