The folks over at the Today Show asked me to stop by and do a segment on Christmas trees with them. So earlier yesterday, I joined Al Roker and Natalie Morales on the outside studio plaza to educate the masses on different types of Christmas trees and the best way to keep them looking healthy throughout the holiday season.
To begin with, let me just say that there are many types of trees that are used for Christmas trees depending on where you might live. Today we only focused on what I’ll call the big three during our 4 minute Today Show segment. These are the Douglas Fir, Fraser Fir, and Noble Fir evergreen varieties.
There are a few differences worth mentioning between each type of tree. For starters, the Douglas Fir is the most popular because quite frankly, it’s the cheapest. I mentioned on the segment that back here in Sacramento, we commonly use this type of tree for construction lumber because it is so plentiful and grows relatively fast. As such, it makes for a cheap Christmas tree during the Holidays as well. That’s why many families choose this common evergreen. It’s a great way to get a live tree without breaking the bank.
Second, the Fraser Fir has been rated as America’s favorite Christmas tree year after year. Part of this reason lies in the fact that the leaves are somewhat two-tone with their blue green color, and they also give off a fantastic scent! Also, their limbs are much sturdier than the Douglas Fir, making them the perfect appendages for holding all of those ornaments, garland, and lights.
Finally, we have the Noble Fir. This is one of those grand statement piece trees. Nice full branches that are evenly spread out, an aroma that makes you feel like you’re in the forest, and available in any type of size you need, these are majestic trees for sure. In fact, the one pictured below is the tree that they will be lighting in Rockefeller Center tonight. While it looks a lot like a large Noble Fir, it’s actually a Norway Spruce.
Maintaining Your Tree
Regardless of which variety of tree you choose, there is one thing you need to do in order to get the most out of your cut specimen during the holiday season. When you take your tree home, make a fresh cut towards the bottom of the trunk just before you place it into your already, water filled, tree stand. Be sure to not put too much, since it’ll over flow. You can always top off the tree stand with water once you’ve got the tree straightened out to your liking.
Keeping the fresh cut moist so it takes up water will ensure that the sap does not run to the bottom of the tree trunk and seal it off. This can happen really quick, that’s why I suggest you cut the tree just before you place it in your tree stand rather than at the tree lot. Many Christmas tree farms will offer to cut trees on site, however, don’t do it. Just kindly thank them and make this final cut when you get home; that will be sufficient. Your tree will continue to take up water, just like cut flowers do. Ideally it should last for the entire month of December or at least until until the last Ho, ho, ho is heard and many memories are made; since that’s what it’s all really about right? 😉
Christmas trees are about tradition. For the last 5 years or so, we at the Hassan household have used a wonderful fake Christmas tree. It came with lights and it spun. I say that as past tense because it no longer spins and half of the lights no longer work. Oh, and it’s a hand me down. Tiffanie’s sister Angelique had it for a year or two prior. Have I mentioned that I’m frugal? I’m also a “Green Industry” pro and a believer in recycle/reuse. As such, I haven’t been willing to toss this tree into the landfill.
My kids, however, were vocal this year and asked if we could get a real live (actually, cut down and dead they just don’t know it) Christmas tree next year. Something about my son Julian wanting to cut down his own tree and them all wanting the smell of Christmas, aka the smell of juniper or pine, in our house. I did, of course, invite them to go outside and cut some of the green juniper to bring in and decorate with. That’s when my daughter Faith rolled her eye’s and exclaimed, “Dad!” I just smiled like a dad who knows that in spite of what makes good, financial sense… I need to encourage the exploration of my lil one’s dreams.
Who am I to stand in the way of Julian being a lumberjack on my dime?
Who am I to limit the essence of that beautiful fresh cut pine smell throughout my home each year?
Who am I to think about sustainability and being frugal over the dreams and aspirations of these young Hassan’s?
Come January 1st I’ll take on the task of figuring out just how complicated it will be to recycle the metal framed tree that used to spin and light up. I imagine I’ll need wire cutters and a whole lotta patience. I will likely get lil to no help from momma and the kids, but then again… that’s why they call me Daddy.