Local Treasures with Pia: Christmas trees

The Inland Northwest, Washington – There are two kinds of Christmas tree people in the world: those who wouldn’t dream of putting up an artificial tree, and those who can’t wait to dust of that trusted fake tree for another round of Christmas cheer.

I admit I am biased; I never was much of a fake tree person. I’ve always liked a real tree with a little personality. Perhaps it’s a little crooked, or it’s bulging on one side, or it’s got more of a waistline than what was planned.

Among the most popular Christmas trees are the Fraser Fir trees. They are bushy with sturdy branches that can hold even the heaviest, dried macaroni ornament. Also popular are the Noble Firs, which have a more layered look with more distance between the branches. Douglas Firs – with their almost perfect cone shape – and Blue Spruces round off the top four.

It’s important to get as fresh a tree as possible and local tree farms are bursting at the seams with dark green Christmas trees, just waiting to come home with you. If you head out to Carver Farms (9105 N. Idaho Road, Newman Lake) or Land of Christmas (579 Upland Drive, Sandpoint) to cut your own tree, you know you will get the freshest tree possible. Plus, it’s fun to walk through all the trees and maybe get a tractor sleigh ride or enjoy some of the holiday treats the farms usually have for sale. If you are looking for a specific type of tree, always call ahead to make sure it’s available.

The number one key ingredient to keeping your fresh cut tree alive once you get home is water. A proper tree stand holds a quart of water for each inch of tree trunk diameter. The National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA) says that plain tap water works just fine – there is no need to add anything. Frozen trees do well if their first soak is in lukewarm water. Remember to top off the tree stand every day.

There is one other solution that may appeal to those with room in the yard or on the farm: get a live Christmas tree in a pot – enjoy it for the holidays and plant it in on your property later. Just remember the potted trees don’t last as long indoors, because it’s usually too warm for them.

Happy trimming!

Visit Crowell's Land of Christmas outside Sandpoint.

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