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We do our very best to deliver fresh trees to the stores we work with, in the hope that you will appreciate and enjoy that freshness and aroma throughout the holiday season. In contrast to most large tree farms that start cutting many weeks ahead of delivery, we typically cut 2-5 days ahead of delivery (or just the day before for home delivery). We never have and never will spray paint our trees as most farms do for their pines. To keep your tree as fresh as possible, follow these tips:

  •     Cut an inch or even less off the base of the tree to expose fresh wood

  •     Mount the tree immediately in stand that holds at least a gallon (better yet two gallons) of water, and fill immediately

  •     Keep that stand full of water! A fresh 7-8 foot tree can drink a gallon or more of water per day at first. It will taper off but continue to "drink", and as long as it drinks it should remain fresh

  •     Keep the tree away from heat sources as much as possible, as they will tend to dry the tree out much more quickly than otherwise

  •     Make sure you're using good quality light cords, and try energy-efficient (and "cool") LED Christmas lights

  •     For both safety and energy conservation, turn the tree lights off when leaving the house or retiring for the night

  •     After the holidays, set your tree outside and enjoy it as bird habitat or feeder. Eventually, trees can be chipped and composted, or used for other purposes such as controlling streambank erosion. An unpainted tree raised without pesticides is fully biodegradeable.

A quick note on growing "natural" trees. When cold weather comes on in the late fall (especially when it gets quite cold suddenly after having been mild), some trees - pines especially - can get a yellowish cast on the south side. This is one of the reasons most growers spray-paint their pines. We refuse to do this, and if you follow the tips provided above about cutting a new slice off the trunk and keeping your tree well supplied with water, it should green up quickly and remain that way.

Oneota Slopes Farm contact: contact@oneotaslopes.org

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