Decide to get a “real” Christmas tree this year? You’re not alone.Scotch pine’s the most popular, followed by white pine and some fir varieties that are appearing. ISU Extension forester Paul Wray points out that it’s another way you can support Iowa farmers.He says it’s a good way to diversify agriculture, and with more than 150 growers, most have choose-and-cut operations but there are producers big enough to wholesale the trees. While a tree farm may be a dusty place, Wray says it’s up to you whether you wash off the tree before bringing it inside, though he says many producers have “shakers” to bounce off any dust or debris.Some people take it into the garage, and run a gloved hand or a vacuum through it to clean out loose needles. Wray says those concerned about dust or spiders have been known to get out the garden hose and rinse off the tree before bringing it inside. He’s even heard of people who tie the tree onto the car to haul it home, and take a trip through the car wash. Once home, Wray says you shouldn’t park that tree out back.Go ahead and put it in the stand, and if it’s sat for a few days, cut another inch off the trunk because fresh wood will let it take up water better.
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