Managing Plant and Tree Aphid Infestation

The aphid is a dangerous plant pest. It can harm a plant slowly, and if the necessary curative measures are not taken, it can spread and start affecting other nearby plants and trees. They have the ability to drain the sap and destroy the flowers and stems of a plant. As aphids feed on plants, they can spread the virus to them, and they excrete honeydew, which causes the growth of sooty mold. This thetreecareguide.com article covers identifying aphids and solutions to deter them from inhabiting and damaging your trees and plants.

How To Identify Aphid Infestation

Aphids have different colors ranging from black, green, red, brown or yellow depending on their species. Their bodies are pear-shaped, and they can easily be identified with their long antenna and legs. Aphids can be distinguished from other insects by their cornicles, (two tube-like projections at the back of their body).

Some species secrete grayish or white substances from the surface of their body; hence they appear wooly or wax-like. A few species of aphids may have wings due to over-population or weather variations, but generally, the adults are wingless. Possession of wings creates an avenue for aphids to disperse to many locations in search of plants to destroy.

Bait to Keep Protective Ants Away From Aphids

Aphids and many ant species share a kind of symbiotic relationship. This is because when aphids feed on plants, they secrete honeydew, and ants feed on the honeydew. To maintain their supply of honeydew, the ants protect the aphids from destruction by predators.

To expose the aphids and make them vulnerable to predators such birds, you need to draw the ants away, for instance by baiting them with honey. When the ants move away from the castle where they protect the aphids, the aphids can then be destroyed by predators.

When you see ants climbing a tree infested with plants, you have to stop them from getting to the aphids by rubbing a sticky material on the tree, such that the material traps them and prevents them from going further up. However, you need to be careful not to put the material on the bark of a young or pruned plant, as it may be harmful to the plant. The best way to go about it is to wrap a fabric or duct tape around the tree bark and apply the sticky material on the tape or fabric.

Also, you can put baits in containers and drop them on the ground to distract insects or cut off some branches touching the ground, other trees or the roof of buildings.

Solutions to Control Aphids

Use of Soap and Water – Soaps are basic in nature and can be used in fighting aphids. To do this, you have to dissolve a small amount of soap in water and sprinkle the solution on the aphid infested plants. You also need to make sure that you sprinkle it on the back of leaves and other places smaller aphids and their eggs and larvae may be hiding. The soap dissolves the waxy substance on the body of the aphids and exposes them to dehydration and consequently, death. This way, you can fight aphids without affecting the plant itself.

Caution should be taken when using this method, because if the soap is applied indiscriminately, it may kill other beneficial species of insects, which can prey on aphids, such as ladybug, lacewings, and hoverflies, and killing of these predators make it easier for new sets of aphids to colonize the plant.

Insecticides – The best choice in fighting aphids is the use insecticidal soaps and petroleum-derived oils like canola oil and neem. They destroy the aphids by suffocating them. Hence it is necessary to apply them thoroughly on the affected areas. 1 to 2% solution of the oil is to be mixed with water and applied thoroughly, paying special attention to the top and underneath the leaves.

The product kills aphids that are present the moment they are sprayed, their toxicity does not persist, so it is necessary to repeat the application. Some natural enemies of aphids present at the time of spraying may also be killed, as their toxicity does not persist, hence natural enemies can migrate to the plant afterward.

Use of Aphids Natural Enemies – You can eliminate aphids from your garden by introducing some natural enemies such as lacewings and ladybugs. These natural enemies can be bought from vendors, or lured into the garden using their individual foods.

Visit http://ift.tt/2pfW7JC for more pest prevention tips.

Working Towards An Ecosystem Free From Infestation

The best way to maintain your garden and not to worry over the population of aphids is by creating a balance between host plants, prey, and predators.

The best way to control aphids is not by totally killing all aphids in your garden, because when they are totally destroyed, their natural predators migrate away from the farm to other places where they can find food, thereby leaving your farm vulnerable.

The most advisable thing to do is to not over-shelter, over-fertilize or over-pamper your plants, instead, allow them to and adapt strongly to the environment such that they can naturally heal from mild damages caused by insects.

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Tree Pest Prevention and Treatment Tips

When things are natural and balanced, the process of nutrient recycling,
decomposition, and plant recycling is helped with the use of bacteria,
microorganisms and insects. When it comes to your yard, these
microorganism and insects manage to coexist to build the perfect
well-balanced habitat. This natural balance can’t be replicated by any
man-made means and when things grow naturally in this manner it leads to
natural pest control.

The ideal environment is created by balancing the amount of healthy
plants with the insects and diseases that naturally show up in the
environment. When one particular aspect outweighs the others then you
can end up with a real problem. We discuss many of these problems on thetreecareguide.com,
but the good news is that there are ways to tackle such as scenario and
re-balance the ecosystem to get everything working properly.

Increase Age Disparity and Species Diversity

Some property owners will keep only a limited species of trees.  Then
there are people with the property to grow their own little woods in
their backyard. Even people with a forest for a back yard are unaware of
how beneficial these are in keeping pests at bay.

These small wooded areas that have a large diversity of tree species
will be less susceptible to outbreaks of pests compared to wooded areas
featuring just one or two species of trees.

Having a diversity in the age of trees also helps reduce the chances
of a pest outbreak. A diversity in age, much like the diversity in
species, will make the ecosystem more complex and stable.

Maintaining a healthy age diversity is likely going to lead to a
natural balance of organisms. This balance works to keep pests away from
young trees. This harmony is created as these pests are eliminated by
the predators and parasites that are already in the area from the older
trees.

Maintaining a Healthy Ecosystem as a Pest Prevention Strategy

In a similar vein to pest prevention, there are two key benefit of
keeping the landscape healthy. The first is that the healthier a tree
and its ecosystem is, the less likely it is to succumb to pests. The
second is that, should there be an outbreak, these healthy plants are
better equipped to survive the infestation and respond well to treatment
afterwards.

In order to keep your trees healthy and less stressed you should
ensure that they do not get overcrowded. Much like anything in nature,
when plants are overcrowded they will fight each other for important
nutrients and sunlight. This stresses out the plants and makes them more
likely to fall victim to a pest infestation.

Tree Pest Warning Signs

There are signs and symptoms that your tree is unhealthy. These
include discolored needles and leaves, dieback on the crown or upper
limbs of your tree, and thinning foliage. The tree could also be
affected by rot or crumbling bark around the trunk and roots. Diseases
and insects typically cause these reactions.

There is also the chance for damage to come from problems unrelated
to pests. This includes a soil deficiency, a drought, or damage from
construction and herbicide application. Though a side note, these causes
are good to have awareness of.

If you want to contain and treat the tree pest infestation then you
first need to diagnose it properly. Call in a tree care specialist or an
arborist. They will be able to identify what issue has befallen your
tree and impact on the surrounding area.

After getting a proper diagnosis you can then employ the proper pest management treatment and solve the problem.

Pest Management and Tree Health Services

The outbreak of tree pests is a natural part of the ecosystem and
there’s nothing wrong with the occasional outbreak. However if you
ignore these signs of an outbreak you tend to end up exacerbating the
problem and with a more severe outbreak.

If you have the right guidance you can mitigate the damage that such
an outbreak will cause. Following a guided plan to pest management gives
you the right steps to keep your landscape healthy, prevent the
outbreak of destructive pests, reduce the likelihood of infestations,
and sure that your property stays naturally diverse and strong.

If you’re proud of your garden and want it to be the best in town
then you need to do proper maintenance and continuously evaluate the
ecosystem. When you keep your plants, shrubs and trees healthy they
contribute to the overall health of your garden.

Keep an eye out for pests and take the preventative measures that you
can, including using mulch and irrigation. You can get the help of a
local plant or tree health company to find and purchase what would be
best for your garden.

However if you do suspect that your trees could be infested then it
is important for you to contact a professional who can keep your trees
and landscape safe and protected.

Visit our home page http://ift.tt/294eVIh for more tree care articles.

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2nwuPQ4

Tree Pest Prevention and Treatment Tips

When things are natural and balanced, the process of nutrient recycling,
decomposition, and plant recycling is helped with the use of bacteria,
microorganisms and insects. When it comes to your yard, these
microorganism and insects manage to coexist to build the perfect
well-balanced habitat. This natural balance can’t be replicated by any
man-made means and when things grow naturally in this manner it leads to
natural pest control.

The ideal environment is created by balancing the amount of healthy
plants with the insects and diseases that naturally show up in the
environment. When one particular aspect outweighs the others then you
can end up with a real problem. We discuss many of these problems on thetreecareguide.com,
but the good news is that there are ways to tackle such as scenario and
re-balance the ecosystem to get everything working properly.

Increase Age Disparity and Species Diversity

Some property owners will keep only a limited species of trees.  Then
there are people with the property to grow their own little woods in
their backyard. Even people with a forest for a back yard are unaware of
how beneficial these are in keeping pests at bay.

These small wooded areas that have a large diversity of tree species
will be less susceptible to outbreaks of pests compared to wooded areas
featuring just one or two species of trees.

Having a diversity in the age of trees also helps reduce the chances
of a pest outbreak. A diversity in age, much like the diversity in
species, will make the ecosystem more complex and stable.

Maintaining a healthy age diversity is likely going to lead to a
natural balance of organisms. This balance works to keep pests away from
young trees. This harmony is created as these pests are eliminated by
the predators and parasites that are already in the area from the older
trees.

Maintaining a Healthy Ecosystem as a Pest Prevention Strategy

In a similar vein to pest prevention, there are two key benefit of
keeping the landscape healthy. The first is that the healthier a tree
and its ecosystem is, the less likely it is to succumb to pests. The
second is that, should there be an outbreak, these healthy plants are
better equipped to survive the infestation and respond well to treatment
afterwards.

In order to keep your trees healthy and less stressed you should
ensure that they do not get overcrowded. Much like anything in nature,
when plants are overcrowded they will fight each other for important
nutrients and sunlight. This stresses out the plants and makes them more
likely to fall victim to a pest infestation.

Tree Pest Warning Signs

There are signs and symptoms that your tree is unhealthy. These
include discolored needles and leaves, dieback on the crown or upper
limbs of your tree, and thinning foliage. The tree could also be
affected by rot or crumbling bark around the trunk and roots. Diseases
and insects typically cause these reactions.

There is also the chance for damage to come from problems unrelated
to pests. This includes a soil deficiency, a drought, or damage from
construction and herbicide application. Though a side note, these causes
are good to have awareness of.

If you want to contain and treat the tree pest infestation then you
first need to diagnose it properly. Call in a tree care specialist or an
arborist. They will be able to identify what issue has befallen your
tree and impact on the surrounding area.

After getting a proper diagnosis you can then employ the proper pest management treatment and solve the problem.

Pest Management and Tree Health Services

The outbreak of tree pests is a natural part of the ecosystem and
there’s nothing wrong with the occasional outbreak. However if you
ignore these signs of an outbreak you tend to end up exacerbating the
problem and with a more severe outbreak.

If you have the right guidance you can mitigate the damage that such
an outbreak will cause. Following a guided plan to pest management gives
you the right steps to keep your landscape healthy, prevent the
outbreak of destructive pests, reduce the likelihood of infestations,
and sure that your property stays naturally diverse and strong.

If you’re proud of your garden and want it to be the best in town
then you need to do proper maintenance and continuously evaluate the
ecosystem. When you keep your plants, shrubs and trees healthy they
contribute to the overall health of your garden.

Keep an eye out for pests and take the preventative measures that you
can, including using mulch and irrigation. You can get the help of a
local plant or tree health company to find and purchase what would be
best for your garden.

However if you do suspect that your trees could be infested then it
is important for you to contact a professional who can keep your trees
and landscape safe and protected.

Visit our home page http://ift.tt/294eVIh for more tree care articles.

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2nwuPQ4

How Do Trees Survive The Winter Months?

Have you ever wondered how trees are able to survive the coldest and harshest weather and come back to life in the spring? In this article, we will take a look at how trees pull it off and learn a little about nature in the process.

How trees prepare for and enter dormancy after pruning to survive the freeze of winter months

What To Do With Trees In The Winter Besides Pruning

Basically, nothing. Trees, for a millennia, have been evolving and adapting to their surroundings and weather patterns. At the onset of cold weather, one of the first signs of dormancy is when a tree’s leaves fall. For those trees, this is the ideal pruning time, as the tree is slowing its energy consumption and will not try to compensate with new growth. So, besides the annual pruning, there isn’t much else to be concerned about. Your tree “knows” what it is doing. To learn more about what you can do to help your trees, visit http://ift.tt/2l2iuPL.

Let’s Discuss What Dormancy Is

Dormancy, in many ways is similar to hibernation. The same way animals slow their bodily functions to dramatically reduce energy consumption, trees stop producing food in the winter months and have no use for the photosynthesis of the leaves. So, to save the energy, the leaves must go. Deciduous trees produce a chemical in its terminal buds (where leaves connect) called abscisic acid (ABA) telling the leaves that it’s time to go.

In both deciduous and coniferous trees, ABA is responsible for the stopping of a tree’s growth. Impeded growth is another attribute of dormancy, reducing even further, the energy consumption of the tree. Now that the tree is in conservation mode, it’s metabolism has also slowed down, utilizing it’s stored food slowly and for vital functions only.

Trees Don’t Entirely Freeze

Even in a low energy, dormant state, trees won’t entirely freeze. Looking much closer, trees prepare for winter on a cellular level. For as incredible as it may seem, part of a tree’s winter survival mechanism happens quietly inside the tree.

By changing the cell membranes to be more pliable, water is allowed to evacuate from the cell to the space between the cells. Thus, the cells shrink, occupying less space and relieving the pressure from the evacuated water.

Starches within the tree are converted to sugar, literally sweetening the liquids within it’s living cells. This process lowers the freezing point of the fluid within the cell, which has already become more pliable. Through this process, living cells neither rupture or are punctured from expanding ice crystals.

Through the previous traits, the tree has a third line of defense at a cellular level. Through cellular dehydration, the cellular liquid becomes viscous, preventing it from crystallizing.

The whole idea here is to keep the tree’s living cells from freezing. As a tree is comprised of and fully utilizes both living and dead cells, the dead cells can and do freeze.

Trees Know when To Exit Dormancy

As the days grow longer and the temperatures begin to warm, trees will spring back to life. If you have done your part, the tree will thrive and provide another year of shade and beauty.

Your part, by the way, is to literally let nature run its course. Once the seasonal pruning is out of the way, and you have protected your tree, let the tree’s natural survival mechanisms do the rest.

Visit our home page http://ift.tt/294eVIh for more tree care articles.

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Preparing Trees For Winter

When trees go dormant, there are several things you can do to help your tree get through the winter months. Keep in mind that ground freeze, daytime heat and nighttime freeze, snow and ice storms all potentially interact with your tree in a harmful way. Let’s discuss a few of the measures that will get your leafy friends through the coldest months.

Tree Care Maintenance Tips For the Winter Months

Pruning – Prune only when your tree has entered dormancy, when there is no risk for new growth. Late season growth is particularly susceptible, as it has not had the growth time to prepare for the winter months. Ice crystals can potentially form within and rupture the cell walls of new growth. Without proper and timely pruning, die off in the spring would be a likely occurrence.

Hydration – More severe in the early spring (warming sun with still frozen ground), Winter drought occurs when a tree shrub or plant loses more moisture than it can absorb. While we cannot control the weather, we can minimize its effects. Before reaching winter temperatures, laying a thick layer of organic mulch around the tree’s base will act as insulation for the roots. The mulch will also work to prevent runoff and moisture loss, all working to benefit the health and hydration of the tree.

Tip: Leave some clear space around the trunk of the tree to avoid or rather discourage mice from making it their winter home.

Tree Wrapping – Frost Cracking a.k.a. Southwest Injury (this refers to the side of the tree receiving the majority of winter sunlight) is a form of Cold Stress caused by extreme temperature variations from daytime heat to nighttime freeze. This type of stress affects the relation of the inner wood to the outer bark. Over the course of several years, this can lead to major issues for the tree, leaving it vulnerable to infestation, fungal growth and a laundry list of other issues. Tree wrapping is worth considering to get your tree safely to the other side of winter. Your tree care professional can easily evaluate which trees are at most risk, as well as which tree blankets are most effective.

Inspecting Tree Health – The overall health of your trees will ultimately depend upon the attention they are given throughout the year. Accompany your local tree service professional through a spring inspection to assess any damage or potential issues. This “Annual” inspection will give both insight and direction on what to do for the next winter season.

Sever Ice and Snow Buildup – After severe winter weather, it is common to see ice and snow built up on or clinging to the branches of your tree. It is of utmost importance that you DO NOT try to shake it off the tree. Chances are, the branches are frozen and brittle. Shaking them may cause severe damage to the tree or even cause the branches or limbs to fall – now posing a severe hazard. When the weather creates this type of scenario, call your tree professional to evaluate the situation and recommend a sound course of action.

Seek Professional Help As Needed

At times, our trees, the weather and the environment will present us with new and unusual scenarios. When in doubt as to which course to take, call upon your local certified arborist to guide you through it. Seemingly innocuous missteps can lead to dangerous and expensive results. Enjoy the winter season worry free by taking care of your trees – before they need it!

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Why Some Trees Topple In Storms While Others Don’t

Whether being from wind, snow, ice, either individually or in combination, blowdown (otherwise known as ‘windthrow’ and ‘windsnap’ being the breakage of the trunk instead of uprooting) is a real threat from trees that you may believe to be safe. Having your local tree professional survey the trees on your property is always a good move. As always, preventative measures save time, effort and money in the long run.

Trees In Urban Landscapes Suffer Greatly With Storms

Trees that grow or are planted too close to buildings or developed areas will not grow as they should. With one-sided roots or over-trimming by utility companies, these trees lack the necessary symmetry to prevent blowdown. Another factor in the urban area is sunlight. Without even sunlight, canopies will not grow evenly – causing further symmetrical disruption and ultimately leading to tree failure.

So, it is easy to understand why a seemingly light storm may actually wreak havoc in an urban setting – especially in the surroundings of recently developed areas. If you work or reside in such an area, bring out your Local Arborist to conduct a survey of the surrounding trees. AGAIN, prevention is key.

Tip – In urban areas look for uneven growth, sudden color change in parts of the canopy or leaning. These are all indications that something is wrong.

Shallow Root Systems Are Common

The bulk of nearly every tree’s root system will be found very close to the soil surface. Oxygen, moisture and nutrients are found there in abundance, so naturally, roots thrive there (typically 6 to 12 inches below the surface).

Few trees will grow tap roots (deep anchor roots). Depending on the environment, trees attempt to adapt. In dry arid climates, tap roots may develop in order to access deep underground aquifers.

Now combine a shallow root system with soaked soil from storming conditions, add gusting winds and the recipe for failing trees is at hand. Not to mention that a falling tree causes stress to its neighboring trees, which in turn may cause them to fall as well.

Tip – When you are able to see roots reaching across the soil, which were not visible before, erosion may be at play. It’s time for action.

Other Issues Floods and Storms Can Cause

Fungal Attacks – If you spot mushrooms growing on or near the base of a tree, this is a serious event. Mushrooms require decaying material to thrive and may signal that the tree is beyond salvation. Be on the lookout for small canker-like sores on twigs and branches, mushroom-like spores developing on recently pruned areas and “wet spots” which may appear anywhere on the tree. These are also forms of fungal infestations that must be quickly addressed.

Tip – Knowing how to identify some of the more common fungi will help in the extended health of your trees.

Root Rot – Fungal infections will also invade a tree’s root system. Without digging them up, there are ways to detect rotting roots. If you see mushrooms growing in the grass above the roots or areas in the soil or under the tree that seem mushy or hollow (as if the ground is losing support), it may be a signal that the roots are dying from a fungal infection.

Change or Loss of Beneficial Microorganisms – While the average homeowner is not a micobiologist (the study of fungi) nor microbiologist, from time to time, your local tree expert should be called upon to evaluate the soil surrounding a tree’s root system.

Insect Infestation – Easily detectable on the trunk, branches and stems, tiny (perfectly round or oblong) holes will be present. Frass (sawdust-like material) pushed out of the hole by the insect is sometimes present near the holes.

Tip – After a period of either drought or continuous rainfall and water shed, it may be prudent to call your Local Tree Professional to survey your trees for these and other potential issues.

Your Local Arborist Can Help Prevent Blowdown

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that a vast majority of incidents involving tree failure are implicitly due to a lack of preventative measures. Trees are living, adapting, growing members of the landscape and should be cared for. Contact your Local Arborist and take action while it is an option.

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Choosing and Preserving Your Christmas Tree

Now that we are well into autumn, the most spirited and celebrated holiday season is around the corner. Lights, roasted marshmallows, hot chocolate, and Christmas carols are the experiences and cheer we enjoy this time of year; however, the holiday cheer is not quite complete without colorful ornaments and the sappy aroma of a magnificent Christmas tree.

While some opt for a maintenance-free imitation tree, there’s nothing like the beauty and fragrant aroma of a real Christmas tree. Depending on your budget and desired experience, there are several options for choosing a tree. It must then be cared for properly to last the entire holiday season. In this article we will highlight tips to make your Christmas tree selection and preservation process simple and straightforward.

Choosing a Pre-Cut Christmas Tree

Before you set out to go pick out your tree, you want to consider where you are placing the tree and its clearance from walls, appliances or furniture. Once you know the dimensions, you want decide the type and time you’d like to spend finding your perfect tree.

Part of the magic of choosing a tree is the process in which we harvest our Christmas trees. Obviously there are convenient vendors set-up at locations around your neighborhood where you can easily drive up and choose a pre-cut tree of your liking. This option is a fast and convenient way to bring a live tree into your home.

You should consider that trees sold on retail lots usually come from out of state. These trees are often tied down haphazardly and are exposed to the elements and drying winds during their transport. Also, most trees imported from other states have been cut quite some time prior, causing detriment to their longevity. Ask the vendor when his trees were cut. You can also look for browning needles that fall easily, a clue that the tree was likely cut weeks earlier or transported improperly.

Since you want your tree to maintain its lush look and forest green needles, find a retailer that is selling freshly cut trees.

Scouting and Harvesting at a Tree Farm

Another available option is creating memories by heading to a local Christmas tree farm. The trees have been planted and grown specifically to become holiday trees, and the farms cater to this process. Many farms have snacks, hot drinks, and treats for a pleasant experience in the welcome center before heading out to harvest.

Find a christmas tree farm near you, then the scouting and tree selection process begins with riding in a wagon or tractor to the field where you begin your quest for the perfect Christmas tree. There are several species and rows of trees that range in size, width, and price. Talk to the farm attendants and learn as much as you can about the specific care for each type of tree what makes each species different and unique.

Once you select the ideal Christmas tree to adorn your home, the fun begins. The farm attendant provides tools and you get the opportunity to cut a live tree from the ground and bring it home. This process is more involved, but likely to create a story and unforgettable memory.

Preserving Your Tree Throughout the Holidays

Once your tree has been delivered or transported to your home, you must create a suitable environment to maintain its health and integrity. The following tips are on how to keep your tree fresh and vibrant throughout the holiday season.

After the tree arrives, if you do not plan to put the tree up right away, store it in an unheated garage or other location out of the elements (wind and freezing temperatures). Once the tree is placed in its tentative location, make a one-inch cut on the base stump and place the tree in a bucket of warm water.

When you decide to bring the tree indoors to its permanent location, you will want to make another fresh one inch cut and place the tree in its base. You want a sturdy stand that holds at least one gallon of water. Larger trees need more water, but a good rule of thumb is one quart of water per inch of tree trunk diameter. For example, a four-inch diameter trunk needs 1 gallon of water in the reservoir of the stand. If the base dries out, resin from the tree will form over the cut end and the tree will not be able to absorb water, causing it to dry out quickly. Be attentive in checking and maintaining the proper water level.

Another measure that prolongs the life of the tree is using miniature lights that produce less heat and reduce the drying effect on the tree. Unplugging the tree lights at night before heading to bed is another simple way to reduce unnecessary heat exposure. Follow these tips, because if properly cared for, many fresh cut trees will last at least five weeks before drying out.

Christmas Tree Disposal and Recycling

Generally, before the New Year, most take down and dispose of their Christmas tree. Some choose to let their tree stay around longer, but you want to take down the tree before it dries out; otherwise it will drop needles all over the house, causing undue necessary cleanup.

Before hopping into your car and heading to the local dump, it’s probably more convenient to find a local recycling program. Many communities will either pick up or accept drop-offs. This also helps the environment as your tree is recycled and turned into mulch or reusable chips. Visit the link for info on finding a recycling program http://ift.tt/2fbTVg1

Tree Selection and Care Tips

Now you are fully prepared with knowledge and tips for your perfect, custom Christmas tree festivities! Choose between pre-cut or farm harvesting your Christmas tree, and follow the tips and recommendations to have a long-lasting, healthy, succulent tree throughout the holiday season.

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