NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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December 6 Horticulture Column

Howdy!!!  Wow is Christmas fast approaching and the new year.  It is a great time to travel the city and look at the wonderful decorations.  A lot of commercialism, but still is the thought of the true meaning of Christmas, a celebration.  I sometimes wonder how my own family will all fit into our home during the holidays but we will make it work.  There again it seems yesterday since our children married significant others and already have the great joy of 5 grandchildren.  They so much enjoy the commercialism but at Grandma’s house they also learn the true meaning of Christmas.  The one thing they have not figured out yet is what does the new year mean and why does the numbers change.  I am still waiting for one of the grandchildren to get a little close to the tree and pull it over, which brings me to the topic for the day, Caring for your Christmas tree.  The very most important part of a Christmas tree is the fire hazard.  It really does not matter if you have a real tree or a artificial tree they danger does exist and PLEASE take precautions to prevent any mishap.  First off once you have found the tree of your choosing, a real tree, cut the base of tree off a little as this allows the tree to better accept water and help keep the needles more pliable and less likely for a fire, this does not mean you will not have a fire but does help reduce the chance.   Another little trip I try to make every couple of days is a mist of water over the entire tree.  I use a spray bottle and usually use a full bottle over the tree.  This also helps keep the tree needles more moist.  Christmas has a really GREAT meaning but having a bad home occurrence would be devastating.  I would also encourage all of you that use candles during the holiday season to use with caution.  MAKE sure you blow out the candles before you leave home.  I had that happen to me on Sunday and made my day very nerve racking until I returned.  I immediately blew the candle out even though I was home.  Have a safe holiday season. 

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