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Growing Things: Getting to the root of Christmas Tree problems

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Cut trees will take up 65% of the water over the holidays during their first week indoors so you can see how important it is to make that cut at the right time. The lesson to be learned here is you can make a cut when you first bring the tree home and place it in water but make a second cut just before you bring the tree indoors.

I still like to put it in water after I get it home even if I know the water will freeze. The tree will get some water in before it freezes over. Also, the frozen water will help keep the cut end of the tree from drying out.

What I also like to do is to bring the tree indoors still in the frozen bucket of water. Let it thaw and then make the cut on the trunk. Thawing it allows the branches to open fully so the risk of breaking a branch during decorating is greatly reduced.

SUBHED Another great gift

The Prairie Garden 2021 arrived on my desk too late to be included in last week’s gifts for gardeners column but this gardening annual certainly bears mentioning and would make a terrific gift for any gardener.

It is western Canada’s only gardening annual and it is literally chock full of great gardening articles and tips. I keep every one of mine for reference. This year’s edition focuses on flowering shrubs with a special feature on roses.

You will find more than 60 articles ranging from growing hydrangeas on the prairies to growing edible fruits to growing gourmet mushrooms. I was especially interested in the piece by Dr. Ieuan Evans whose article entitled Bushels of Fruit from Bushes.

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