Friday, November 18, 2011

How Lovely Are Your Branches

Oregon has a lot of Christmas tree farms.  Besides the larger nurseries and tree farms, many folks with a large piece of property plant Christmas trees on their acreage as a tax write-off.  I think our neighboring state to the north, Washington, is the Christmas tree capital of the world (so I’ve heard) but Oregon has its share of the green.11-11-12-09-55-45H
    There are many styles of trees and how a Christmas tree ought to look is buried deep in the human psyche.   Often a couple’s first serious argument will be about the shape of the tree: bushy or open.  Personally I say that ornaments show off better on an open (Noble) tree.  11-11-12-09-56-18H
Of course, there are Grand Firs and Scotch Pines and Blue Spruce (I don’t recommend; they have very sharp needles) and Douglas Firs (so plentiful and native here that they are somewhat despised) and many more varieties of fir and pine trees.  How long the needles should be is a subset argument.
Another debate looms large: real tree or fake tree?  Your feelings about this, deeply ingrained and prejudiced as they are, may change over the years with the shrinking dollar and your waning energy.  When the kids are little, it is magic-making (even if you’re miserably cold and wet) to tramp around the forest (tree farm) looking for just the right tree and cutting it down and dragging it back to the car and tying it on top of the car (trunk end forward) and driving home and untying it and bringing it into the house dragging half of the forest floor with you.  Magical.  Especially the hot chocolate when the ordeal is over and the tears of those who didn’t get their tree of choice are wiped away.
Later in life when money is more available you can just go to a lot of precut trees and choose one.  They tie it on top for you (it may even come baled if you don’t mind getting one sight unseen—but who is that trusting?) Then you bring it home, cut the end off and put it in a bucket of water to try and revive it after its sojourn in the tree lot, and after a day of soaking bring it into the house dragging it across the floor with half of the tree lot behind it.
Still later in life when you realize that 1) the smell of fresh pine is what’s making you sneeze through December and 2) for the amount you have spent on live trees over the years you could have had an artificial, light weight one with detachable branches that you keep in a box in the attic and never have to crawl on the floor to water and 3) it’s already got the lights wrapped in it so you don’t have to mess with miles of tangled strings of lights and replacement bulbs and then taking them all off again on Jan 1.   4) besides which, you can spray pine scent around in the air…
Or you can just get a teeny tiny tabletop one like the folks in the nursing home. 
After you have settled the Basic Shape issue and the Real or Artificial issue and the Variety of Tree issue, you must settle the last one:
I recently attended an open house at my local gardening store.  They had a back room filled with flocked trees.  Apparently the flocking seals in moisture in the needles so they do not need to be watered and thus can be ready to purchase by Halloween or so.
But wait!  There is a new style of flocking.  It is called
It is truly lovely and as natural looking as any snow-covered tree residing in a snow-free zone can be.   The store says that putting lights on it is problematic but you can get around that by putting spot lights on it from below.  I guess you need a horse trailer to get it home from the store, or maybe they deliver…

O Christmas Tree
English Version 1

Author unknown
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree,
How lovely are your branches!
In beauty green will always grow
Through summer sun and winter snow.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How lovely are your branches!
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree,
You are the tree most loved!
How often you give us delight
In brightly shining Christmas light!
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree,
You are the tree most loved!
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree,
Your beauty green will teach me
That hope and love will ever be
The way to joy and peace for me.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree,
Your beauty green will teach me.


ellen b. said...

Fun post! I think over the years we've dealt with all these controversies with the Christmas tree. Lately I've gone for the mystery tree. Walk into Home Depot choose a wrapped tree, buy it, bring it home and see what I got when I cut the ties in the living room! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I think we'll be seeing Tim and Brenda or maybe not. We'll be seeing some of their kids for sure...

Steven said...

I vote for getting a live tree and planting it in the yard. Not traditional, I know, but has many advantages.

Anneliese said...

We did the flocking or whatever it is called once... what a mess it was! I suppose the methods have probably improved. I had to smile about the little tree on the table. This is the first Chritmas without my mil, who had a little ceramic tree with lights on it.... today I found out that a sister-in-law claimed it. Someone actually wanted it. =)

LM said...

Great post, Mom. But you know I can not come home to a flocked, FAKE tree....

Hollace said...

To LM: You know I will do whatever it takes to get you home for Christmas. Russian Tea, pine needles on the floor, anything.

Gilly said...

What lovely trees! I don't think I have seen flocked trees in our neck of the woods, so to speak, but I expect they have reached London by now! I don't think I like them - you can't put all your well-loved and traditional decorations on them!

We usually had real ones when my daughter was small, but then got an artificial one, and now have a weeny table top one!

One we had we planted in the front garden by the front door, but it grew far too big, and it was hard to get past it. So I asked at a school for deaf and impaired hearing children locally, and they were delighted to come along with a chain saw and take it away for their Christmas!

Willow said...

This made me laugh! Don't tell, but this year we aren't even putting up a tree (usually we buy a fresh one because we have no storage space for a fake tree) since we'll be with our kids for Christmas.

So...what did you choose???

debianne said...

Sadly, because of our drought and fires over the summer, a lot of our tree farms lost about 2/3 of their trees. Not much for pickin'.

Kathleen said...

My mom used to send my sister and me to pick out the tree. Many hours of standing in the cold, sometimes in mud, holding it while we each took turns judging it.
Of course, there was always something wrong with it when we got it home!
And putting that tinsel on strand by strand, and the musical sound of dried needles falling! LOL
Hope you have a wonderful season and a Merry Christmas in case I don't talk to you before then!

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Love seeing the different styles of trees! The First Snow is fabulous...but too hard to decorate it. I'd leave it plain...on the porch so it could shed all it pleases and just look beautiful! lol Happy week!...hugs...Debbie