With today being Christmas, one of The Rhode Show's old friends has some tips on how to pick out that perfect tree and maintain it through the holidays.
From West Greenwich, R.I., at Big John Leyden's Christmas Tree Farm, it's Big John himself.
John says "If you are picking your tree from a group of cut trees, like at a retail lot or garden center, here are a few of his tips to get a fresh tree"
There are three tips to live by when picking the perfect tree Johns says:
1. Bend the branches to see if they snap. "If they do, absolutely don't buy it, the tree is old and dry."
2. Bend the needles. "If they bend easily, the tree is fresh. If they break, keep looking."
3. Check the butt of a tree. "Turn it upside down to make sure it is sappy. If it's not, the tree was cut ages ago and is almost dead."
What are the most popular trees? John says on his farm they are the Fraser Fir, the Balsam Fir and the Blue Spruce.
Proper care will allow your tree to last through the New Year, John says "Make sure your tree stand holds at least two gallons of water; the tree needs lots of water — a new tree put in a stand can drink up as much as 1 1/2 gallons of water in the first 24 hours that it is home."
Leyden says you should recycling your tree after the holidays is the best option "Don't ever think about throwing it away. Most communities have their own chipping machines where you can take your tree and turn it into mulch. Then you can take your mulch back home and use it gardening. I have my own chipper right here on my farm for my customers."
John Leyden has been selling Christmas trees for more than 50 years. Since 1975, he has owned and run Big John's Christmas Tree Farm, a 94-acre farm in West Greenwich, R.I. Before he began selling Christmas trees full time, he taught agriculture and won a "Teacher of the Year" award.
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