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A green Christmas
Byk Paul Schnare
People seem to be focused on decorating their homes at this time of the year to celebrate Christmas. One category of items they are using is natural Christmas greens in the form of swags, wreaths, garlands and real trees.
I can remember when I was a kid, my parents would always go to the local Christmas-tree lot right after Thanksgiving, pick out a tree, and take it home. We would then spend the evening as a family decorating the tree. Then when we were done, Dad would usually make donuts and we would eat as many as we could before we burst.
After we had eaten our fill of donuts, we would all sit back and gaze at the beautiful decorated tree and pat ourselves on the back. We had done a great job decorating that fresh, green tree.
Dad usually checked the water level in the Christmas-tree stand every other day or so. He was concerned the tree needles would start to brown before Christmas Day. Sometimes he was successful, and other years he wasn't.
If you use real evergreen trees, garland and wreaths around the house for decorations, you may have the same browning problem my Dad fought. I would like to suggest a solution to the problem.
Evergreen trees and shrubs growing in the natural environment use lots of water to survive. As the atmosphere warms up and the natural humidity levels decrease, moisture in the soil moves up into the roots and then into the needles of evergreens. Under dry conditions, moisture is evaporated out of the needles through pores, called stomata. The stomata allow for moisture to naturally move out of the needle. The moisture lost is replenished by moisture in the soil that moves up into the plant through roots.
Obviously, cut Christmas trees and fresh swags and wreaths have no roots. The foliage still loses moisture through the stomata, and if enough moisture is lost, the needles begin to turn brown, then shed.
In order to reduce or eliminate this problem, begin by misting the fresh-cut greenery with water right after taking it home. Keep it outside in a cool, shady area before you decorate it.
In addition, spray the foliage with a product called Anti-Stress. This product clogs the stomata pores and reduces moisture loss when outside weather conditions turn warm, and when the foliage is placed in your home or office. One application before moving it inside should reduce moisture loss for the entire holiday season.
I pray that this year you and yours have a Merry Christmas on the day of Jesus' birth.