Green Your Holiday
by Mary Gottschalk
A tromp through cold and snow to find the perfect Christmas tree is a holiday tradition for many families. With an estimated 125 growers in Iowa, it’s easy to find a nearby farm where you can choose and harvest a tree.
Keeping the tree green throughout the holidays can be a challenge. Jan Pacovsky, who’s grown Christmas trees near Hampton, Iowa since 1959, offers this tip to keep your tree fresh: “Water your tree every day with the hottest water you can run out of your faucet. Hot water keeps the sap soft and you won’t lose needles. I swear by it,” she says.
Christmas trees contribute to holiday fun, but they can be green long after:
• Out in the yard, decorate the tree with orange slices, suet, and seed to attract birds.
• Many Iowa communities provide programs for mulching trees. Some use the trees to make sand and soil erosion barriers at beaches and on riverbeds.
• Mulched trees are great for gardens to retain moisture and hold back weeds.
• Sunk into private ponds, the trees provide fish habitat and feeding areas.
To locate an Iowa Christmas tree grower near you, visit iowachristmastrees.com.