The Secret to a Perfect Tree
We were lucky enough to speak with a genial older gentleman who has devoted his life to the holiday industry and knows—perhaps more than anyone else—about Christmas trees.“What’s most important,” says Christmas professional Mr. S. Clause, “Is that you decorate your tree in the holiday spirit, with positive thoughts, surrounded by friends and family.” He adds (with a jolly chuckle): “Always speak kindly and with love around the tree and it will grace your home for the entire holiday season.”
December is the brightest month of the year. Whether you celebrate Kwanzaa with the seven candles of the mishumaa saba, Christmas with tiny flames illuminating the branches of an evergreen, or Chanukah with a traditional menorah, the desert shimmers with light all month. No matter your beliefs, an evergreen tree—adorned with shiny, sparkling ornaments and lights—will probably “spruce” up your home. So, how do you choose the right tree for your family’s tradition?
You have three choices: a live potted tree (to be planted after the holiday); a live cut tree (to be recycled in January); or an artificial tree (which requires a bit of storage space for the other 11 months of the year.)
Most of us go right for the live, cut trees, readily available at nurseries around town and in seasonal tree lots set up just for the occasion during the month of December. Many a family tradition revolves around walking slowly through a faux forest of evergreens searching out that one tree that speaks to every member of the family. Be it tall and slim, short and full, or something in between, a Christmas tree becomes an adopted family member for several weeks, bringing mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters together. So the choice is important.
There are at least eight kinds of evergreen tree readily available in Las Cruces at holiday time. Gary Guzman, owner of Color Your World Garden Center, is fond of the cut Fraser Firs, “because they smell wonderful and last way after Christmas,” he says.
A Noble Fir sports needles that are easy to decorate, and a Douglas Fir is an inexpensive option, but tends to dry out quickly, Gary says. Color Your World carries Fraser and Noble Firs.
When choosing the perfect tree, make sure the needles are soft and pliable, especially at the end of the branches. “The tree should have a fragrance and smell fresh,” Gary says, and it should have a “deep green appearance with no wilted branches.”
The tree should be stored in water at all times, and ask the seller to make a fresh cut at the bottom of the trunk (or do it yourself) so it can easily absorb the water. “Keep your home, or at least the room you are keeping your cut tree in, as cool as possible. You may want to shut off the heating vent in that particular room,” Gary advises. And turn the tree lights off when you are not at home.
A more lasting choice is a live potted tree, which includes Eldarica Pine (aka Mondell), Afghan Pine, Goldwater Pine, Pinon, and Italian Stone Pine. These trees need to stay cool and should be kept inside the home for a maximum of two weeks, Gary explains. “Water the tree with ice cubes,” he says, and let it get acclimated to the outdoor temperatures by moving it to a covered patio for a week before exposing it to the colder weather.
“I have heard some people may be allergic to certain trees,” Gary says. Color Your World hoses off its trees daily to help keep any spiders, dust and allergens at bay. In addition to a variety of trees, the nursery offers up a delightful holiday store with Christmas-themed items, poinsettias, live wreaths and garland, Christmas cactus, and rosemary tree cones.Color Your World Garden Center
540 N Telshor Blvd. | 270 Avenida de Mesilla | guzmansgreenhouse.com
Ready to decorate?
Tis the Season is your one-stop, locally-owned shop for all your holiday ornaments and decorations. Owner Laura Romero says many of her customers come in to see the iconic Victorian house the store calls home, and they end up staying for the unique array of holiday décor items displayed throughout the home on antique furniture.
From Santas and nutcrackers to mugs, stockings, and ornaments, Laura says she stocks up on decorations you’re not likely to find anywhere else in town. Added bonus: One room of the store is dedicated to a lighted holiday village display, something Laura’s been doing for 25+ years.Tis the Season
2402 Avenida de Mesilla | seasonsdemesilla.com