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Keep your Christmas tree fresh in our desert climate

More than thirty years ago, Joe Whitney brought Christmas trees from a 29-acre lot near Salem, Oregon to the Coachella Valley.

“Here, in the winter here, you’re talking the 80’s all the time. It’s going to burn your tree! Get it out of the sun and into your home early,” Whitney says.

Family owned and operated ‘Whitney Christmas Tree Farms’ on Highway 111 and Jackson, across from Jackalope, covers and waters its trees, but many mass retailers don’t.

For a better chance of ringing in the new year with your tree, here are some of Joe’s tips:

Cut at least a half-inch off your tree trunk.

Put bowls of water around the base of the tree, if there’s room. The needles will soak in the moisture.

Constant water. Add a drop of bleach to your tree stand.

If the tree isn’t retaining the water well, use a knife to cut the bark at the end of the tree. Create open “veins”. The only place the tree drinks is right around the Cambius layer (between the bark and the wood).

Test the “sap bubbles” at the base of the trunk. If they pop empty, the tree is already dry. If they pop with water and sap, it is retaining moisture well.

The three best trees for the Coachella Valley environment are the Nordmann, Noble, and Grand Fir.

“The longest (lasting) is the Nordmann. The next is the Noble,” says Whitney. “The noble’s got a lot of smell, the Nordmann doesn’t smell as much.”

Want fresh, Christmas-tree aroma in your home?

“You whole house will smell up if you have just a couple branches of Grand Fir.”

For more information, visit Whitney Farms on Highway 111 and Jackson, across from Jackalope.

KESQ News Team

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