Tyler, Texas — It's a tradition for some families to pick out a freshly cut tree and put it up before Christmas time, but the last couple of year, it's been hard for anything to grow and look nice, the drought has affected plants, crops and Christmas trees.
Glenda Watson from the Watson Christmas tree farm says, "last years summer drought is what has affected the trees and it' has been handed down to this year just a little bit, the growth height is not what it should be these should be at least 2-3 feet taller than what they are."
The growth may be one issue for some Christmas trees this year, but with the trees sun bathing in 80 degree weather, the color suffers too.But luckily most Christmas tree farmers have a solution to keeping your tree bright green. Waston says, "We always go in there and color the trees we have a tank that we use to green its color on them because if we don't the tree once it's cut will start turning yellow."
With the consistently high temperatures, there can be some long term affects for Christmas trees.
James Wilhite owner of Wilhite Landscape & Lawn service says, "It's been my experience after a severe drought we may have trees that are suffering severely and even dying five years later."
Wilhite says hot temperatures plus little water equals a weak root-system for the trees, and that can affect the look. "That begins to degrade the look of the plant or in this case a Christmas tree begins to look pretty shabby."
But Wilhite says, you can't bring dead pine needles back to life, but with some extra water, and a green make over, your freshly cut Christmas trees should be alright.
More tips on keeping your fresh tree green and alive are:
(From About.com Forestry)
1.Refresh the tree by making a straight cut, taking one inch off the butt and immediately place in water. This will improve water uptake
2.Place the tree in a stand that can hold at least 1 gallon of water. You should expect the tree to take up additional water. Water the new tree until water uptake stops.
3.Always keep the base of a tree in water. If the base dries out, resin will form over the cut end and the tree will not be able to absorb water and will dry out quickly. You don't need anything other than regular tap water - drying out deters future water uptake and will need a new cut. Commercially prepared mixes like aspirin, sugar and other additives introduce into the water are not necessary. Research has shown that plain water will keep a tree fresh.
4.Check for worn Christmas tree light electrical cords and always unplug at night. Use UL approved electrical decorations and cords. Using miniature lights produce less heat and reduce the drying effect on the tree or any chance of fire.
5.Take down the tree before it dries out. Many fresh cut trees if properly cared for (using the first five steps) should last at least five weeks before drying out. Some species keep their moisture longer that others.
1.Cutting a refresh cookie off the tree base is important only when trees have been cut for over 4 hours.
2.For easier watering, buy a funnel and a 3 to 4 foot tube. Slip the tube over the funnel outlet, extend tubing down into the tree stand and water without bending over or disturbing the tree skirt. Hide this system in an out-of-the-way part of the tree.