Holiday Inventories Branching Into Christmas Tree Business

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As of Nov. 30, the Pleasant Valley Ranger District in Young only had 35 permits left for those who want to go out and cut their own Christmas trees.

Thursday, Dec. 1, Plant Fair Nursery in Star Valley received hundreds of Noble and Douglas fir Christmas trees in their first shipment from Oregon.

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Butch Pigg (left) and John Schulz unloaded the first delivery of fresh-cut Noble and Douglas fir trees at Plant Fair Nursery Thursday morning.

"These trees are not in cold storage at all," said Glen McCombs, owner of Plant Fair. "They are cut, stacked in piles and there are trucks on the other side of the piles ready to ship them out."

"Douglas fir is the traditional tree that is sheered and looks solid. It is still the most popular. Noble fir is less traditional. It has branches that are better for hanging ornaments, plus the needles hang on a lot longer. It's a better tree for inside."

Available trees range in height from 6 to 11 feet and cost between $25 and $120.

McCombs recommends the Colorado spruce as the best living Christmas tree to plant, but his nursery also carries the longer needled Austrian pine.

"You can plant it anytime after Christmas," he said. "We don't recommend they be in the house more than seven days, because it can damage the tree if they are inside too long. So, a lot of people will decorate them, put them on the front porch, move them in just for Christmas, or decorate them the week before, keep them inside all week and take them right outside after Christmas."

"We spray all of our Christmas trees and wreaths with Cloud Cover. It keeps them from drying out," McCombs said.

Once a cut Christmas tree is purchased and taken home, an inch or two of the end should be cut off and the tree placed in water for six to eight hours to soak up the moisture. When the Christmas tree is placed in the stand, a home remedy or chemical should be added to the water to keep the tree fresh longer.

An average tree consumes between two pints and one gallon of water per day. It is essential to keep water in the stand so that the butt of the tree does not form a seal against the water.

Plant Fair doesn't sell flocked trees or flocking products, but it is available in stores for people to do themselves.

"I don't think it hurts the tree, it just adds coloration." McCombs said.

A fresh shipment of poinsettias came in Thursday too.

"Poinsettias are just like a house plant. They should be in some illumination and watered every seven to 10 days."

Bashas' also has cut Christmas trees to bring one of the scents of the holiday into a home. Their six- to nine-foot Douglas fir trees are $29.99 plus tax.

Wal-Mart has Douglas and Noble firs and Afghan pines, ranging from just under $20 to just under $90.

"We have about 10 different kinds of artificial trees," said Jim Taylor, a customer service representative at Walgreens.

Novelty and artificial trees, some adorned with lights, are available from Walgreens, Safeway, Wal-Mart and some other stores in town.

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