Christmas tree care tips

The National Christmas Tree Association offers care tips for Christmas trees on its website.
When a Christmas tree is cut, more than half its weight is water. With proper care, you can maintain the quality of your tree. Below are a number of tips on caring for your tree:
1. Displaying trees in water in a traditional reservoir type stand is the most effective way of maintaining their freshness and minimizing needle loss problems. View the four types of tree stands that NCTA recommends.
2. To display the trees indoors, use a stand with an adequate water holding capacity for the tree. As a general rule, stands should provide 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter. Devices are available that help maintain a constant water level in the stand.
3. Use a stand that fits your tree. Avoid whittling the sides of the trunk down to fit a stand. The outer layers of wood are the most efficient in taking up water and should not be removed.
4. Make a fresh cut to remove about a 1/2-inch thick disk of wood from the base of the trunk before putting the tree in the stand. Make the cut perpendicular to the stem axis. Don't cut the trunk at an angle, or into a v-shape, which makes it far more difficult to hold the tree in the stand and also reduces the amount of water available to the tree.
5. Drilling a hole in the base of the trunk does NOT improve water uptake.
6. Once home, place the tree in water as soon as possible. Most species can go 6 to 8 hours after cutting the trunk and still take up water. Don't bruise the cut surface or get it dirty. If needed, trees can be temporarily stored for several days in a cool location. Place the freshly cut trunk in a bucket that is kept full of water.
7. The temperature of the water used to fill the stand is not important and does not affect water uptake.
8. Check the stand daily to make sure that the level of water does not go below the base of the tree. With many stands, there can still be water in the stand even though the base of the tree is no longer submerged in water.
9. Keep trees away from major sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, direct sunlight). Lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process, resulting in less water consumption each day.
10. Use of lights that produce low heat, such as miniature lights, will reduce drying of the tree.
11. Always inspect light sets prior to placing them on the tree. If worn, replace with a new set.
12. Do not overload electrical circuits.
13. Always turn off the tree lights when leaving the house or when going to bed.
14. Monitor the tree for freshness. After Christmas or if the tree is very dry, remove it from the house.
15. Visit the Tree Recycling page to find a recycling program near you.
16. Never burn any part of a Christmas tree in a wood stove or fireplace.

Want to cut your own tree? There are tree farms right here

Third Stone Farm
106 Garland Road, Barnstead Parade

Watson Farms
30 Watson Road

Neva Dun Farm Christmas Trees
77 Peacham Road

Muehlke Family Tree Farm
320 Belknap Mountain Road

Lemay Christmas Tree Farm
12 Emerson Road

Glove Hollow Christmas Tree Farm
395 Daniel Webster Highway Route 3

Fox Farm Christmas Trees
158 Upper Bay Road
(603) 581-6336


Cut your own or support a charity with Christmas greenery

GILFORD — Nothing inspires the Christmas spirit like a beautiful fragrant fir tree trimmed with colorful decorations and sparkling lights. And Lakes Region residents have lots of options for finding that perfect tree, whether they prefer to cut their own or pick one from a retail lot.
Christmas trees are being offered for sale at many locations throughout the area, with charitable organizations raising funds for their projects through the sales, like the Gilford Rotary Club, which is now in its 29th year of selling trees.
This year, they are set up at the Gilford Cinema 8 Plaza on Route 11, where they are selling freshly cut Fraser fir and balsam fir trees in all shapes and sizes, from table top to 12 feet tall. Sales started Friday and run from noon till 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 13.
The Laconia Kiwanis Club is selling trees on Court Street in a lot next to Coldwell Banker Real Estate from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. daily and are offering free delivery for their customers. Proceeds will benefit the Belknap House, a seasonal shelter for the homeless which is being developed in Laconia.
And on Route 106 in Belmont, the Friends of Belmont Football are selling Christmas trees at at the Gates Farm, just south of the Country Kitchen outlet. They offer balsam fir, Fraser fir and the hybrid Fralsam fir. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.
In New Hampshire, there are nearly 200 Christmas tree farms throughout the state, most of them family owned and operated, tending thousands of perfect trees. Many of them offer a cut-your-own experience, like Lemay Tree Farm on Emerson Road in Gilford, just off from Swain Road near the top of Liberty Hill.
Owner Greg Lemay has been growing trees since there since 1981 and has between 5,000 and 6,000 trees on 10 acres. His trees include Fraser and balsam firs, as well a blue spruce – "The ones with the prickly needles," says Lemay – as well as white pine, and the Concolor fir, which is native to American Southwest and has a citrus fragance like tangerines.
"People come here from all over the state just because of the white pine. We're one of the few tree farms which sells them," said Lemay.
He also has a $10 corral, which is populated by Scotch pine, the trees he originally raised and which have since fallen out of favor.
Other cut-your-own operations include the Muehlke Family Tree Farm on Belknap Mountain Road in Gilford, which, in addition to the other popular varieties, offers Colorado blue spruce and white spruce; Fox Farm on Upper Bay Road in Sanbornton; Watson Farm on Watson Road off from South Road in Belmont, where all trees are $35; Neva Dun Farm on Peacham Road in Barnstead; Glove Hollow Christmas Tree Farm on Route 3 south of Plymouth; and Third Stone Christmas Tree Farm on Garland Road in Barnstead Parade.

Caption pix slugged Lemay tree
Greg Lemay of Lemay's Tree Farm in Gilford measured an eight-foot high Fraser Fir which was cut by Joy Southworth and Amy Breton of Gilford , who were helped out in their search for the perfect tree by 15-week-old Marco, a Yellow Lab. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)