Originally created 12/01/05

Nurseries, tree lots beckon holiday shoppers



The scent of fraser firs, a scent synonymous with Christmas, was strong as Jenny Addie recently talked about her nursery's large selection of freshly cut and live trees.

"Typically our biggest seller is the fraser fir," said Ms. Addie, the nursery manager of Green Thumb West on Davis Road.

Green Thumb's fraser firs were cut Thanksgiving morning and were delivered the next day, she said.

As the holidays get in full swing, area tree lot owners have tips for shoppers. they say dryness is the primary cause of shedding needles and a poor looking tree.

Glenn Brown, of Snowy Mountain Tree Farm located at National Hills Shopping Center and West Town Shopping Center, both on Washington Road, said customers should put the tree into water immediately after taking it home.

"We trim the bottoms of the tree when we sell it to people," Mr. Brown said. "You just keep water in it...Don't let your stand go dry."

Ms. Addie said she reminds her customers to make a fresh cut on the bottom of the tree.

"(The tree sap) seals off the cells of the tree, but if you make a fresh cut then the tree can keep on absorbing the moisture," she said.

When buying a Christmas tree, customers also should examine it to make sure it has received plenty of moisture. Buying a tree shortly after it is cut is best, Ms. Addie said.

The color of the tree, whether the green is a deep rich color, is another indicator of the health of the tree, she said.

"Typically, if it gets a bluey-grey, slightly cool (color) to the needles, then that's showing it's getting a little bit dehydrated," Ms. Addie said.

Another tip pointed out by tree sellers was to keep it away from heat sources.

In addition to cut trees, some lots and nurseries sell live Christmas trees.

With live trees, Ms. Addie recommended wrapping the burlap covered root ball with wet newspapers and sealing it closed with plastic garbage bags.

She said some customers prefer the live trees so they can replant them in their yard following the Christmas season.

"The secret with the ball and burlap trees is the least time they are in the house the better they are," Ms. Addie said.

The nursery manager said the first year, and especially the hot Augusta summers, are stressful on the trees once they've been planted.

"Once you do plant them, keep them well-hydrated," she said.

Reach Scott Trubey at (706) 868-1222, ext. 109, or scott.trubey@augustachronicle.com.