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Keeping up with real tree traditions

By Vicky O. Misa | Vicky.misa@news-star.com | (405) 214-3962 | Twitter: @Vicky_NewsStar
The Shawnee News-Star
Cross Timbers Christmas Tree Farm, in Harrah.

With the calendar page finally turned to December and holiday shopping days counting down, another annual tradition for some is soon to arrive — putting up the Christmas tree. For some, fake trees offer a long, low-effort showcase in the home, but for those who prefer the longstanding institution of plucking a tall fir directly from Mother Nature and erecting it indoors, time is ticking.

From the moment a tree is cut down, it begins to dry out, which can shorten the length of time it has for display.

“When you bring your tree home, saw a couple inches off the bottom of the trunk before setting in water,” the Old Farmer's Almanac website, at almanac.com, states. “When trees are cut, pitch oozes out and seals the pores. By sawing off the base, you will open up the pores, and the tree will be able to absorb water.”

Watering is critical, the site explains.

“A freshly-cut tree can consume a gallon of water in 24 hours,” the site reports.

The top-selling Christmas trees, as reported by growers across the United States, are the Scotch pine, Douglas fir, white pine, and balsam fir, according to the almanac website.

Oklahoma is home to 18 Christmas tree farms where evergreen trees can be cut — or purchased pre-cut — as well as offering wreaths for sale, according to Oklahoma Agritourism website, at oklahomaagritourism.com.

Some of the tree farms in Central Oklahoma include:

• All Pine Christmas Tree Farm;

• Cross Timbers Christmas Tree Farm;

• Martinbird Tree Farm;

• Pioneer Homestead Christmas Tree Farm;

• Silver Bells Christmas Tree Farm;

• Sorghum Mill Christmas Tree and Blackberry Farm; and

• Wells Family Christmas Tree Farm

Whether choosing fake or live, be careful. Having a heat source too close to a Christmas tree causes one in every four winter fires, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.