O Christmas Tree
While we are all running around preparing for the festive season we do not always appreciated how things are produced so we can have a very merry Christmas! The humble Christmas tree for example, do you know how long it takes for these to grow and how much time and effort goes into growing them?
We manage a Christmas tree plantations in the county and we tend to them all year round. The production of Christmas trees is a labour intensive process from start to finish. Before you plant the transplant you need to prepare the land. This might involve clearing debris from the site, removing all weeds and applying fertilisers if it is considered necessary. You also need to ensure that the land is animal pest free, which usually means using specific fencing.
Once the land is ready the young trees are planted by hand, this is usually within the winter months. They are planted in rows with a distance between them of 1 to 2 metres to enable them to have space to grow. It usually takes between 5 and 8 years, depending on the species, before a Christmas tree is ready for harvesting. During these years we have to ensure their survival. This involves a number of things such as weed control. We monitor, prevent and manage any insect infestation and carry out regular pruning to ensure you get the best shaped trees.
The most popular type of Christmas tree is the Nordmanns Fir and this is probably due to them retaining their needles the longest. So when you have picked your tree there are a number of things you can do to ensure your tree lasts as long as possible;
· Buy a fresh tree. You can ensure this by going direct to the grower (your local Christmas Tree Farm). You can find out who they are online. I know a few good ones!
· When you get it home do not take it straight inside. Leave it outside, in a cool dry place such as a porch or shed, away from wind and in a bucket of water. Make sure it is out of view as it is just the sort of thing to be stolen at this time of year.
· After a day or so you can look to bring it inside, but before you do take off the bottom of the tree (about 3cm).
· The positioning of your tree is important as you don’t want it to be too close to heat sources (i.e. radiators or open fires).
You need to place your tree in water but not soil or sand as these would block the pores in the bark. You can buy specially designed stands now that allow you to top up the water regularly. Your tree will need 2-3 pints of water a day and you can add sugar which will help with needle retention.
So when you go and collect your Christmas tree just remember that it probably took at least 5 years of being looked after so it could grow into the tree that you picked out to decorate your home this year.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas day and everyone at Fullers would like to wish you a Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year.