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Are imported trees always drier than locally grown trees because of differences in harvesting dates?

Research has shown that trees shipped into markets from some of the major Christmas tree production areas generally arrive with as high a moisture level as "fresh" cut locally-grown trees. Generally, the handling of trees on the retail lots has the greatest effect on their moisture levels (freshness) and quality.

What's the best way to prevent trees from drying out?

Trees being stored should be held in a shaded area that are protected from temperature extremes and wind.

In most cases, covering trees with shade cloth, burlap or boughs and spraying the piles with water is more effective than using plastic, which may allow light to pass through it and result in damage to the trees.

Will spraying trees in hot climates cause the needles to discolor?

The greatest potential for drying occurs once the trees are un-baled and displayed. Retailers can significantly reduce the rate of drying on trees displayed by spraying their foliage during the night and early morning.

Can you determine if a tree is fresh by bending the needles?

Needles on fresh fir trees break crisply when bent sharply with the fingers. Trees that have lost a significant amount of moisture are more pliable and tend to bend without breaking. The needles on fresh pines do not break, because of their fibrous nature, unless they are very dry.

Information provided by: North Carolina Christmas Tree Association

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