No Shortcuts Here

November 27, 1993|By Beth Hannan | Beth Hannan,Source: Maryland Christmas Tree Association

* Dress very warmly. This seems obvious but it will feel much colder on a windy hilltop than it does in the city or suburbs.

* Visit the farm in daylight if possible. It's much easier to judge trees in the daytime than it is to rely on the light from a few scattered bulbs.

* Call the farm before heading out. Most provide saws to cut the trees and rope or twine to tie it down, but some don't.

* When cutting the tree, cut as close to the ground as possible, leaving a good length of trunk at the base of the tree so it will fit in the tree stand.

* Watch the little ones. Besides the obvious hazards of having saws, knives, twine, etc., scattered about, tree stumps can trip up even agile kids.

* Immerse the tree in water as soon as you get it home and don't let it dry out. Spraying the tree with a preservative generally isn't necessary but you might want to try a preservative that's added to the water.

* If you choose a "balled and burlapped" tree, make sure you dig a hole in your yard before the ground freezes. Also cover the backfill to prevent it from freezing.

* Do not keep a balled and burlapped tree in the house more than five days before planting or it will lose its winter hardiness and die when exposed to temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

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