Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Caring For Your Tree

How to Care for Your Farm-Grown Christmas Tree

When a Christmas tree is cut, more than half its weight is water. With proper care, you can maintain the quality of your tree. Below are a number of tips on caring for your tree:
  1. Displaying trees in water in a traditional reservoir type stand is the most effective way of maintaining their freshness and minimizing needle loss problems.

  2. Make a fresh cut to remove about a 1/2-inch thick disk of wood from the base of the trunk before putting the tree in the stand. Make the cut perpendicular to the stem axis. Don't cut the trunk at an angle, or into a v-shape, which makes it far more difficult to hold the tree in the stand and also reduces the amount of water available to the tree.

  3. Once home, place the tree in water as soon as possible. Most species can go 6 to 8 hours after cutting the trunk and still take up water. Don't bruise the cut surface or get it dirty.

  4. If needed, trees can be temporarily stored for several days in a cool location. Place the freshly cut trunk in a bucket that is kept full of water.

  5. To display the trees indoors, use a stand with an adequate water holding capacity for the tree. As a general rule, stands should provide 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter. Devices are available that help maintain a constant water level in the stand.

  6. Use a stand that fits your tree. Avoid whittling the sides of the trunk down to fit a stand. The outer layers of wood are the most efficient in taking up water and should not be removed.

  7. Keep trees away from major sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, direct sunlight). Lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process, resulting in less water consumption each day.

  8. The temperature of the water used to fill the stand is not important and does not affect water uptake.

  9. Check the stand daily to make sure that the level of water does not go below the base of the tree. With many stands, there can still be water in the stand even though the base of the tree is no longer submerged in water.

  10. Drilling a hole in the base of the trunk does NOT improve water uptake.

  11. Use of lights that produce low heat, such as miniature lights, will reduce drying of the tree.

  12. Always inspect light sets prior to placing them on the tree. If worn, replace with a new set.

  13. Do not overload electrical circuits.

  14. Always turn off the tree lights when leaving the house or when going to bed.

  15. Monitor the tree for freshness. After Christmas or if the tree is dry, remove it from the house.

  16. Visit the Tree Recycling page to find a recycling program near you.

  17. Never burn any part of a Christmas tree in a wood stove or fireplace.
Original Publication can be found at :

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Holiday Organizing Tips

 Need a little help getting your holiday under control?  It can be hard to stay organized, especially when it seems like you’ve got something going on every day and major events on every weekend.  Then there’s the decorating, baking, and shopping to take care of, too.  If you’re going a little crazy, here are a few tips that might help get your holiday organized.

Make a list of everything that you need to do.  Everything.  Even those small, little tasks may need to be put on your to-do list so you don’t forget about them in all your hustle and bustle.

Put down all the important events on your calendar.  Make sure all of your family members know what’s going on each day, what they need to do for that event, and when it is. 

Create a shopping list for everyone you need to buy a gift for.  Write down a few ideas for each person, too, so you have some idea of where to look.  You might also want to put down an estimated budget for each person so you don’t spend too much.

Write out a menu for your meals and make a shopping list for it.  Go through your pantry first and take stock of what you have.  Even if you think you’ve got enough flour, double check.  You don’t want to run out in the middle of baking.

Make sure you have all of your gifts in one location and that you know who each gift is for (you might want to put a sticky note on each one).  This way, you won’t forget any, nor will you get gifts mixed up.  Another way to organize gifts is to get a large gift bag for each person (even if you don’t use that gift bag) or a box.

That’s all it takes to organize your holiday!  Once you’ve got everything sorted out, why not treat yourself to some great Christmas flowers in Springfield, OH?