The Richmond Register

December 11, 2013

Choose the right Christmas tree

By Amanda Sears
Register Columnist

RICHMOND — When choosing a Christmas tree, freshness is the key. To ensure that your tree has optimum freshness, it is best to cut it yourself.

Now, that is not to say that you need to cut one out of your or your neighbor’s yard, but there are several tree farms in central Kentucky.

If you decide not to cut your own tree, there are several tree lots to choose from in the area. Many of the trees found on tree lots will probably not have been cut locally, but instead shipped in from other states such as North Carolina or even Colorado. Ask the vendor where the trees are from.

Remember, the longer the distance, the earlier those trees were cut.

There are a few ways to check for the freshness of the tree. Take a needle from the tree and bend it between your thumb and forefinger. If the needle snaps instead of bending then the tree is too dry.

Another way to check is to thump the tree trunk firmly on the ground once or twice to see if a lot of needles fall off the branches. It is normal for brown needles to drop out, but if you see a lot green needles falling, the tree is probably not in good shape.

Once you get your tree home, saw off another one or two inches off of the bottom of the trunk.

Then, put the tree in a bucket of warm water. This will better allow the tree to take up water and stay fresh longer. Store the tree in a protected place out of the wind and direct sunlight until you are ready to put it in your home.

Natural holiday centerpiece class

On Tuesday, Dec. 17, from 1 to 3 p.m., Madison County Extension Office will offer a workshop on how to make a natural holiday centerpiece.

The average consumer will spend $50 on holiday decorations this month. Learn how to stretch your holiday dollar by creating your own centerpiece made from live greenery from your back yard or farm.

Plan to bring your own basket, bowl or plate to put your centerpiece on. The rest of the needed materials will be provided for the registration fee of $10 per person.

You must pre-register and pay to be a part of this class!

Class is limited to 30 people. Come to the Madison County Extension Office, 230 Duncannon Lane, Richmond, to pay for your registration soon, before the class fills!

Educational programs of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.