Here's a pretty funny one: 8 reasons why I won't cut down a Christmas tree.
We have plenty of tools and don't get in the predicament of breaking saw blades like the writer of that blog.
Christmas trees at tree farms have been sprayed with something to improve the natural color to a bright, healthy green. The branches have been trained and trimmed until the tree has the perfect cone shape. You don't find out that the trunk has scoliosis and won't stand up once it is detached from the roots until you bring it into the house.
The real reason I prefer artificial, which my children actually demanded when they were old enough to realize a reasonable request would be given thoughtful consideration, is the steps their dad will take to ensure the imperfect tree he cut down will display as a champion.
First, forget about going to a tree farm where practically every pine tree looks like a good candidate. There are plenty of likely specimens of cedar trees in the shelter belt or windbreak behind the house. They are free. Although the windbreak was planted in the 1930's or 1940's, there are numerous younger trees that grew from seeds of the older ones. Hopefully, the selection will be found close to the house instead of half a mile away at the end of the tree row.
Second, cedar trees have a fairly uniform shape, but that doesn't mean they won't have bare spots or holes where it seems there should have been a branch growing. It certainly doesn't mean the trunk will be any straighter than the farmed trees.
Third, when the pick of the litter is brought back to the house, the real fun begins for part of the family. I don't have fun with this project. I stay out of the way. However, before it is brought in the house, one should give the tree a good shake or bang the trunk against the sidewalk to dislodge dead or loose needles, stray deciduous leaves and bird feathers. For future reference, most of the following steps really should take place outside.
Naturally, the trunk can't fit in the tree stand without removing a bunch of limbs that grew close to the ground. Just lop those branches off so there will be room under the tree for the Christmas gifts. If the trunk still doesn't fit in the stand, whittle it until it does. One might think the left-over branches could be used to decorate the mantle, or tied into swags to hang above the door or even shaped into a wreath. But no. Don't throw them out. They do have a purpose.
Now the tree must be stood up in the middle of the room and inspected from every angle to find thin places in the shape. At this point, the reserved branches are held in the bare spots, checked for proper length, and shortened if necessary.
Then, the electric drill is brought into the living room, a room where no drill belongs. The set of drill bits are compared to the diameter of the lopped off branches. Next, bore a hole half-way through the trunk at a slightly downward angle and trim the end of the branch until it fits in the hole. Repeat until the formerly bedraggled looking tree is nicely filled out.
Finally, the moment of truth. Will the tree stand up on its own?
If it doesn't, the solution is simple. Screw an eyelet bolt into the corner and run a wire to the tree trunk.
Now the clean up begins. I don't know why my name is the first to come up. I didn't make the mess. Even after vacuuming needles and bits of wood, the work isn't over. The reservoir in the tree stand must be filled with sugar water to keep the tree fresh and topped off every day or so.
Finally, Christmas is over and the new year has arrived. It's time to take the tree out. More messes to clean up. We didn't even talk about stringing lights and ornaments and the removal thereof. Or how itchy the trees are to certain people.
Here are the steps required to get ready for the holidays with our artificial 4-foot green tree. Pull the tree out of the box in the basement crawlspace where it has been out of sight all year. Place the center pole in the tripod holder and stand it up. Fold the branches down. Don't worry about the lights. It is pre-lit. Decorate. Enjoy the festivities and repeat in reverse order after New Year's.
Now wasn't that much easier?
Optional: Remove from box early in October and decorate with fall colors. Leave in place until time to change the seasonal decorations after Thanksgiving.
|My autumn tree.|