Still looking for that perfect, Michigan-grown tree for the holidays? Guest blogger Marsha Gray of the Michigan Christmas Tree Association shares some tips on finding the right tree for your family!
This is the year; the year to make forever holiday memories with your family! There will never be a season with more days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so there is plenty of time to plan a family outing to a local Christmas tree lot or farm to pick out that perfect, Michigan-grown tree.
Because Michigan is the third largest producer of Christmas trees in the US and because we grow more varieties than any other state, Michigan consumers have an abundance of choices when it comes to selecting a tree. Will it be a Fraser fir, a spruce or maybe a traditional Michigan scotch pine? The wide variety of choices insures that you will find just what you are looking for. And, with so many knowledgeable growers here, they can guide you to a tree that meets your needs.
At Michigan’s “Choose & Cut” farms, you can spend as much time as you like, walking among the trees; taking in the fresh air and evergreen fragrance. Once your family finds the perfect tree, there is the perfect chance to get a great family photo with the tree. (And maybe a funny photo of the lucky one who gets to saw it down!) After the work is done, many of the farms offer a warm up with hot chocolate by a wood burning stove or bon fire. Wagon rides, animals and even visits from Santa are common at many of the farms.
Whether you are cutting down your own tree or picking a beautiful Michigan-grown tree at a retail lot, consumers are urged to follow a few simple rules to keep their Christmas tree fresh and beautiful for the whole season:
- Give your tree a fresh cut. If you are cutting down your own tree, you are all set. If you buy a pre-cut tree, the lot operator will typically give your tree a fresh cut. This is the most critical step, as it opens up the base of the tree so that it can take up water.
- Get your tree into water within a few hours. If you are not displaying the tree immediately, place it in a bucket of water in the garage or another protected area.
- Check the water level daily – twice each day on the first few days. Never let the water level drop below the base of the tree trunk. No additives needed – just plain water.
- Decorate your tree with UL approved lights and display away from heat sources, fireplaces and warm, southern facing windows.
Enjoy your fresh, Michigan-grown tree and the wonderful holiday memories that you will make!
Marsha Gray has served as the Executive Director of the Michigan Christmas Tree Association for the past 10 years. She has worked in the field of trade association management in Michigan for the past 25 years. This holiday season she is busy with the “Make it a Real Michigan Christmas” campaign, encouraging Michigan residents to celebrate the holiday with fresh, Michigan-grown poinsettias and Christmas trees.