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“Oh Tannenbaum!” By John Kahre

Oklahoma Christmas tree growers grow basically one variety of pine and that is the Virginia Pine, pinus Virginiana. As our children grew, I thought I should provide the Christmas tree from our farm. Indeed, provide a memory of cutting our own tree from our own farm!

I learned a lot about this Pine species and what is required to produce a beautiful Christmas tree. The following is a review of what this tree has taught me so far:

Growing Virginia Pine is a lot more intensive of a project than I ever imagined. Each tree has to be shaped twice a year, into a common Christmas tree shape. “They don’t grow that way naturally.”

These Pines are very susceptible to Pine tip moth. Keeping these moths and their larva at bay requires several applications of insecticides, timed just right, to get the best results.

These Pines turn yellow in the fall, not a great color for Christmas trees. Most growers dye the trees green and add a flame retardant to give the trees a delightful green color.

Virginia Pines grow very fast. A 4-5 foot tree can be grown in about five years. A five year old tree is a fine tree for a small living room like we have at the farm. A ten year old tree looks very nice in the tree grove, but I discovered that it hardly fits in the door. I discovered that it hardly fits in the holder. I discovered that you can hardly find the cat when it decided to use the tree as a place of refuge from whatever problems an extremely spoiled house Cat can have. I discovered that a tree that only fits in the corner of the living room can only be decorated with ornaments on the half of the tree that was exposed to the room. I discovered when you only decorate a tree on half of the tree; you add a lot of weight to that side of the tree. I discovered when you put all of the weight on one side of the tree; your family will be awakened at 3:00 A.M. when the imbalanced tree seeks a more natural position, which is lying on the floor with broken ornaments lying around it. I also discovered that two cinder blocks, covered with the tree skirt, looks a little strange but will keep an oversized tree erect.

I recommend making a memory with your family and cutting your family’s tree fresh from a farm. Fresh trees last longer and provide a scent that celebrates the Holiday in your home. I hope that all of you have a great Christmas and an upright Christmas tree all season long.