Gardening

The first gardening.it magazine-December 1999


How to choose your Christmas tree


First, carefully measure the height of the ceiling in your home. Don't forget to consider the height of the tip to decorate the tree and the base in which to place it. These tips can be very useful for saving money if the tree is sold according to height.
Measure the tree you want to buy. Don't forget to do it and don't trust your eye too much: the trees outside seem much smaller than inside. An adequate size of the tree will prevent you from having to cut and shorten branches once at home (the fresh cuts of the branches create edges that can ruin the walls, clothes, etc.).
Almost everyone looks for the perfect tree when it comes to buying a tree. But remember that a tree missing from one or two sides can better adapt to be positioned near a wall or in a corner and this will not make it necessary to cut the branches. Usually every tree tends to have a less rich part of branches in the part grown towards the north.
The coolest tree you can buy is what you see gathering at the moment. However, this is hardly possible in practice. So you prefer trees that come from nurseries near the point of purchase. Do not hesitate to ask your dealer where the tree comes from.
All conifers tend to lose the needles on the inside of the branches and this should not make you think that the tree is already old. In any case, to avoid soiling the car and the house, ask your dealer or shake the tree yourself so that the dry needles fall off.
Prefer a retailer who can carefully tie the tree before bringing it home. This will allow you to transport it more easily by car and maneuver it easily through stairs, doors, etc. once you get home.
One last suggestion: before buying the tree, always check that there is a label that certifies the origin of the plant from authorized nurseries.

The first magazine of December 1999: How to treat your Christmas tree


The Christmas tree that is generally purchased is a fir tree. It is a plant that grows in harsh climates so the ideal position is outside, in the garden or on the balcony. If you intend to put the tree in your home, follow these little tips.
Tree without roots. Keep the tree in a cool place, possibly outside, however away from the radiators until you are ready to decorate the tree. Store it in a large container filled with water (the better the water is, the better). Using hot water (around 30 °) will increase the water absorption by about 50%. Always leave a reserve of water so that the tree remains always wet. Make sure that the water level never drops below the cut because this will harden the trunk and reduce water absorption for the future. The best solution is to place the tree in a tripod and place it in a bucket.
Tree with roots. Use a very large saucer in which you can always leave a good water supply. Wet the tree regularly.
Place the tree away from heat sources and turn off the light bulbs when you leave the house or go to sleep. Contrary to popular belief, a newly harvested and well-watered Christmas tree is impossible to ignite. In any case, use common sense and check that all the bulbs are in good condition and avoid using incendiary decorations.
Once the Christmas season is over, use the tree branches for decorations or to repair the plants in your garden. Fir needles are also excellent for souring the soil of acidophilic plants. Use the tree trunk as a support pole for other plants. If you have a tree with roots place it outside on the balcony or plant it in the garden, remembering that it is a plant that can grow even up to 15-20 meters. Alternatively, you can donate your tree to groups of volunteers who gather trees in many parts of Italy to plant them in reforestation areas. Ask for information at the nearest Forestry Corps station.
Good job.