PRODUCTION

The Noble Christmas Tree with Mike Darcy

Oregon has been the number one state for the production and shipping of Christmas trees for many years and this year appears to be no exception. By early November, many trees have been cut and shipped to international markets and soon local growers will begin harvesting trees for Wilco. Luckily for us, all the trees that Wilco sells are from Pacific Northwest growers.

The most popular tree for Christmas is the Noble Fir and it is no wonder that it has retained this status. It has the natural physical shape that is desired by homeowners and usually, there is adequate spacing between the branches that lends them to be easily decorated. The other highly desired attribute of the Noble is that it holds its needles extremely well. In most cases, with proper care in the home, Noble Firs should retain their plump and fresh appearance for 2-3 weeks.

I recently talked with Chal Landgren, Christmas Tree Specialist and Professor at Oregon State University, and here are some tips that he shared toward keeping trees fresh indoors.

Remember the tree you are buying is a living plant and when a plant has been cut, it will try to seal the wound naturally. The Christmas tree is no exception.

Prior to bringing the tree indoors, make about a quarter inch cut off the butt end. Have the tree stand ready with a supply of fresh water and select a location that is away from a heating vent. I have found that it is best to select a tree stand with a large reservoir for water as it is amazing how much water a tree will take up in the first few days. Keep the reservoir full and check it several times a day for the first week or so. If the water level in the stand gets below the tree butt, the tree will begin to seal itself and may no longer be able to absorb the necessary water to keep it fresh. Chal said that there are many home recipes to add to the water to keep the tree fresh and he has heard of aspirin, bleach, molasses, vodka, etc., research has shown that nothing works better than fresh water.

If a flocked tree is your preference, Wilco does all of their own flocking and stores offer a good selection of fresh flocked cut trees. A flocked tree will last longer than an un-flocked one, needle dropping is almost eliminated and there is no need to have a tree stand with a water reservoir. Probably the most popular attribute is that a white flocked tree can create a winter scene with the appearance of branches covered with snow.

If fresh wreaths and garlands are on your list, check out the selection at Wilco. Not only are there round traditional wreaths available but there are many other shapes to chose from such as crosses, snowflake and candy cane. Wilco also offers fresh cut cedar garland and a variety of door swags. All stores have a good assortment and since these items are often displayed outdoors, they will usually look good with no additional steps needed other than to enjoy them! As with their Christmas trees, all the greens on wreath, swags, and garlands that Wilco offers, are harvested here in the Pacific Northwest.

When the holiday season is over, your tree can be recycled into wood chips which can be used for paths in parks. There are usually Boy Scout troops that will take trees for recycling and some city yard debris collection services will pick them up.

The Noble Fir is a traditional Christmas tree for many families here in the Pacific Northwest. I love the scent of a Christmas tree that has just been brought into the house and then when it is decorated, I think “WOW”, how fortunate we are to live here.

Enjoy your Noble tree and the holiday season!