SALEM, Ore., Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As families look to real Christmas trees to be the focal point of holiday traditions, Christmas tree farmers of the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association (PNWCTA) also turn to traditions for growing quality trees.
For farmers of the PNWCTA — an organization made up of more than 1,000 individual farms throughout Oregon and Washington — growing is a yearlong business immersed in the traditions of caring for the environment and producing the freshest, highest quality trees.
More than 90 percent of the real trees purchased in California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona and other Southwestern states, are from the Pacific Northwest, with farmers putting the utmost care into growing real Christmas trees:
- Trees are grown on sustainable farms in the U.S., just like produce and other crops, and do not threaten natural forests. Growers plant one or more trees to replace every tree harvested.
- Growing is a task that takes years of care and attention before the trees even make it to homes.
- While growing, real trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce significant amounts of oxygen, which people, plants and the environment need to survive.
Many families have a tradition of selecting the "perfect tree." Starting with a fresh tree, and continuing to care for it at home, is easy and ensures it will stay green and healthy throughout the season. Here are a few tips:
- Real Christmas trees come in varieties and sizes to match any space or budget. Know what size you need before heading to the retail lot. Smaller trees can make great tabletop displays in smaller spaces.
- Use the "Smell and Snap" test: Give a branch a crush, and smell the needles to check for a clean fragrance. Then, bend a needle between your fingers; if it snaps, the tree is fresh.
- Look for dryness: excessive needle loss, discolored foliage or a musty smell. If none of the trees look fresh, go to another lot.
- Make a one-half inch cut on the trunk to open up the pores. Place the tree in a sturdy stand that will hold one gallon of water.
- An average tree may consume up to a gallon of water per day! Don't forget to add water every day so a seal doesn't form. Plain water is best.
"Members of the association understand the important role real Christmas trees play as a focal point for holiday celebrations, and rely on their own strong traditions to provide quality trees at a great value," said Bryan Ostlund, executive director of the PNWCTA.
SOURCE Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association