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December 16, 2012

Buy a locally grown Christmas tree

(Continued)

As for the labor, Christmas trees need to be planted, sheared and harvested. And there is always the risk that nursery trees will fail or that their growth, appearance and value will be impacted by drought, heavy rain, wind, hail, ice or other environmental stress, or by disease, weed and/or insect pressure or rodent damage. Road building and maintenance may be required, as well.

What’s more, marketing can be a challenge. Markets and market trends change constantly. Prices fluctuate from year to year, and quarantines may be imposed restricting transport of trees out of state or into other counties in an effort to control or eradicate disease or insects should they be discovered.

By the way, here’s a quick recipe from Joyce King of Red Barn Christmas Tree Farm in Brainardsville for a pleasantly soothing, naturally fragrant, homemade needle potpourri. Take a handful of balsam and a shaker of allspice. Mix the two together and simmer the blend on your cook stove, wood stove or in your favorite potpourri burner.

Support our local Christmas tree growers. Celebrate the holiday with a fresh-cut, locally grown Christmas tree and make choosing, setting up and decorating that perfect tree a fun family event. Your children will love it, they’ll love you for it, and you’ll be creating memories that will last a lifetime.

And have a very merry Christmas!

Richard L. Gast, Extension program educator II, Horticulture, Natural Resources, Energy Agriculture programs assistant, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Franklin County, 355 West Main St., Suite 150, Malone, 12953. Call 483-7403, fax 483-6214 or email rlg24@cornell.edu

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