‘Real’ Christmas trees are big business, quite a bargain in NW

Here are a few facts to consider before purchasing the family tree.

  • Sunday, November 25, 2018 11:30am
  • Life

The weekend following Thanksgiving is when thousands of families begin to celebrate a green holiday season by displaying honest-to-goodness, real Christmas trees in their homes.

It is when America’s Christmas tree growers display their trees at retail lots or invite families to visit their country farms to have fun harvesting home-grown trees.

Christmas tree farmers spend years and considerable dollars nurturing their trees. They are faced with many challenges before a tree reaches maturity following several years of TLC.

The following are some interesting facts and suggestions about the tree a family is going to display in its home.

1. Christmas trees are a terrific bargain when comparing how long moms, dads and kids can enjoy them compared to other family activities. For example, we can celebrate and enjoy the smells of a $60 real tree for up to three weeks versus enjoying a $60 family dinner on the town for one to two hours.

2. Pacific Northwest farmers “baby” their trees for six to 10 years before realizing a return on their investment. During this time growers fight weeds, insects, diseases, heavy rain and/or drought to get a mature tree.

3. Nearly all Christmas trees are grown on plantations. Very few are harvested from the wild under programs sometimes organized by various national forests. Most are grown as sustainable crops like corn or pumpkins. They simply have much longer rotations.

4. Most trees require some type of culturing to create the Christmas tree shape. They are generally harvested when they reach 6 to 7 feet, the most popular sizes.

5. Some trees, like noble firs, cost more because they take longer to grow and have more problems and lower yields than Douglas fir trees. For example, 1,500 to 1,700 trees are generally planted per acre. On average, 80 to 85 percent of the Douglas fir and 60 to 65 percent of the noble fir trees will become marketable as high-quality Christmas trees.

6. Oregon and Washington produce nearly one-third of all Christmas trees harvested each year in the U.S.

7. In the Pacific Northwest, it is estimated that around 20 percent of the Christmas trees purchased are from choose-and-cut farms.

8. It is important to keep trees watered when they reach your home. In the first week, a Christmas tree will consume as much as a quart of water per day per inch of trunk diameter. Check water levels of your tree stands each day since the typical 4-inch diameter tree will drink around one gallon during the day.

9. If the base has dried out and sealed over with pitch before being placed in a tree stand, make a fresh cut by removing one-quarter inch of the trunk so the tree will once again take up water.

10. Research has proven that using plain old fresh water instead of all the “old wives’ tales” formulas is the best way to keep a tree fresh for two to three weeks.

For those families that wish to have a fun-filled adventure in choosing and cutting their own trees, the locations of many local tree farmers can be found at pscta.org.

Dennis Tompkins is an ISA certified arborist, ISA qualified tree risk assessor and Master Gardener from the Bonney Lake-Sumner area. He provides pest diagnosis, hazardous tree evaluations, tree appraisals, small tree pruning and other services for homeowners and businesses. Contact him at 253 863-7469 or email at dlt@blarg.net. Website: evergreen-arborist.com.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Life

Founder and co-owner of Red Tea Room Donna Wong puts the finishing touch on their most popular dessert— Lemon Meringue Glacée. Photo by Haley Ausbun.
Renton catering company pivots during pandemic

The Red Tea Room Catering’s move to takeout helped keep the company going— and get closer to neighbors

Courtesy of Lindbergh High School.
Congrats to the Class of 2020— virtual ceremony June 15

Students were also celebrated using walk-up ceremonies at Renton High School, Lindbergh High School, Hazen High School and Talley Sr. High School

TLG Motion Pictures CEO Erik Bernard and TLG founder Courtney LeMarco on a set. Photo courtesy TLG Motion Pictures.
Local production company seeking film, TV pitches from young minority creatives

The Big Pitch competition, put on by TLG Motion Pictures (“Hoarders”), started about six months ago.

Photo by Haley Ausbun
                                A woman checks out jars of honey and jam at the Renton Farmers Market in 2018. This year social distancing guidelines are changing the look of the market.
Renton Farmers Market is back June 9

The 19th season of the market will look a little different due to social distancing guidelines

Relay for Life of South King County moves online

American Cancer Society donations to be taken during May 30 virtual gathering

Auburn Symphony Orchestra announces 2020-21 season

Begins with Summer Series scheduled to start June 21

Medic One Foundation’s Gratitude Meals offer support to first responders, local businesses

The initiative provides hearty lunches to first responders staffing the COVID-19 testing sites as they work to test their colleagues.

‘Don’t assume it can’t happen to you’

Federal Way resident Evelyn Allcorn shares story of her husband’s battle with COVID-19 after he tested positive on March 28.

Auburn dance studio finds creative solutions to keep going during COVID-19

Pacific Ballroom Dance moves to online classes; group returned home early from national competition

Photo by Haley Ausbun
                                Boon Boona Coffee in downtown Renton is well-known for its large cafe space, but owner Efrem Fesaha has found a creative way to keep people to to-go orders only, putting a table right at the door. The order from the Governor hasn’t been easy for small businesses in Renton, and many are just taking it day to day and hoping for financial relief from local and regional leaders.
Renton communities reach out during shut-in

Local organizations, volunteers and businesses try to make the best of quarantine

Renton and AARP team up for seniors

New fitness park to funded and will open late in the summer

Schindler’s legacy bounces along at Baden

CEO of Baden Sports died unexpectedly in February