Season 2 • Episode 24 - November 14, 2023

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Thanksgiving has passed and now it is time to think about Christmas and Christmas trees. We stopped by Frog Pond Farm (503-475-5997) in Wilsonville to visit with Justin Timm about the most popular types of cut Christmas trees this season. The varieties that Oregonians are buying include Douglas fir, Noble fir and the Nordmann fir. These are all very popular and you can also find Grand firs at some locations around the area. If you are looking for a tree with a nice scent then a Douglas or Grand fir is your best bet. However they don’t always have the branch strength to hold large or heavy ornaments. A Noble or Normann have a thicker branch which can hold more weight. Each tree will also have a unique shape and branching characteristics so you can shop for the tree that works the best for you.

When buying a tree, make sure that it is well watered and not too dry. If the tree is light then it has dried out and will be hard to keep healthy. Grab the branches and see if the needles are soft and pliable. If they fall off in your hand or break easily, then the tree is probably too dry.

Now that you have your tree, how can you make sure that it will stay fresh through the season? You could get a flocked tree. The flocking on a tree helps to seal in the moisture and that means little or no water is needed. If you have a green tree there are a few rules you need to follow before you decorate to make sure it lasts through the season and into the New Year. Justin told us to always make a fresh cut on any tree you purchase from a tree lot. If you cut your own tree make sure you get it into some water as quickly as possible. Some other tips; use lukewarm water the first time you water your tree, and add an aspirin and a couple drops of bleach to the water. Remember, if it runs out of water once, it will seal up and then it doesn’t matter how much water you add, so make sure you have a large reservoir of water under your tree. Don’t let the tree run out of water and you will have a longer lasting green tree for your holidays. Also, keep your tree away from open heat sources and blowing air. No fireplaces, or heating vents near your tree will help prevent it from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.

If you are looking for a fresh tree you can stop by Frog Pond Farm in Wilsonville. They also have a lot of other attractions to keep your whole family happy, such as a huge gift shop, food and coffee carts and lots of events happening through the holiday season. They also have over 60 animals on the farm for you and your kids to enjoy. There are chickens, ducks, geese, goats, pigs and llamas. The big attractions are Dude and Jerry, two dromedary camels that live on the farm. They can also be fed with food that is available on the farm, but watch out, they can steal your cup of feed if you are not watching!

Frog Pond Farm is open through December 23rd, seven days a week until 5:00pm. Check out their website or social media pages for updated information.

Sometimes we hear that people want a living Christmas tree rather than one that has been cut. Even though the cut trees are a "grown to be a harvested" crop (like tomatoes or corn), some people feel better with a ‘living’ Christmas tree. Living trees are great. To see some that were looking their best, we stopped by Portland Nursery on Division, where they had a great selection of living Christmas trees. With living trees, you can use them to commemorate a baby’s first Christmas or the first Christmas in a new home. Still there are a few rules you need to follow. If you are thinking of getting a tree you need to remember that it is a ‘living’ tree. That means it needs water and sun. It is also an outdoor tree. That means you need to acclimate the tree to the warmer indoor temperatures. Start by placing your tree in a sheltered area outside (under a carport would be great) or in your garage for 3-5 days. Then you can move it indoors. Once it is inside your home, you can have it inside for a maximum of eight days. First, you need to keep it well watered (ice cubes are a good idea) and away from heating vents, sunny windows, woodstoves and fireplaces, preferably in a cool area of your home.

Once the holidays are done (or after eight days) then you need to get it ready to move back outside. Place it in your unheated garage or a protected area on your patio for at least seven days, then you can move it out in the yard or plant it. You don’t have to rush to plant the tree right away. Your tree can live in its container for at least a year if you keep it watered and maintained. When you do plant it in the ground, remember that old saying ‘right plant, right place’. You don’t want to plant a giant redwood right next to your house! Place your tree in an area where it can grow and thrive. Then you can enjoy it for years to come! If you would like an informational handout to help you with your living tree, check out this page on their website.

Bringing a live or cut tree into your home can really make your holiday special. So follow these tips to help make the season merry and bright.

Thank you and Happy Holidays from the Garden Time Crew:
Producer Jeff Gustin, Host Judy Alleruzzo,
Host Ryan Seely and Production Assistant Therese Gustin.

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