9911 Seminole Blvd. Seminole, FL 33772       Ph. 727-397-5563   View TBN's FREE e-Edition today!  
Click here to learn more
Outdoors & Recreation Facebook Twitter
Growing Wise
Christmas tree farms close to home
Article published on
  Print E-Mail
Christmas tree harvesting does not upset the ecology.
We may not be dashing through the woods in a one-horse open sleigh, but we can still have a fresh cut Christmas tree in Florida.

The family tradition of going to the forest, picking out a tree and cutting it down is still available to us.

Besides making memories while having a fun family outing, there are some other good reasons to choose a live Christmas tree. A single farmed tree absorbs more than a ton of carbon dioxide throughout its lifespan. With as many as 350 million Christmas trees growing on 500,000 acres of farmland across the United states, that can add up to 350 million tons of sequestered carbon dioxide. One acre of these trees provides enough daily oxygen for 18 people. That is enough oxygen for 9 million people! Add to this the space and habitat they provide for all kinds of critters and live trees are a sweet deal.

There are two tree farms close to Pinellas County: Ergle Christmas Tree Farm and Lazy Lay Acres, both in Dade City. You can get details at

Christmas tree harvesting does not upset the ecology. It is the rule of thumb for tree farmers to plant two to three trees for every one that is cut. That means for the 33 million trees harvested, about 99 million will be planted this spring.

Real trees also can be recycled and this is a leading reason why many experts agree they are more environmentally friendly than their plastic counterparts. Trees can be recycled into mulch and used in landscaping and gardening, or chipped and used for hiking trails, paths and walkways. They also can be used for erosion prevention, lake and river shoreline stabilization, and fish and wildlife habitat. About 33 million real Christmas trees are sold in North America every year and about 93 percent of those are recycled.

Fresh trees also hold onto their needles, have a good fragrance, green color and will retain their moisture content. Moist trees are less likely to catch fire than dry or artificial trees. Keep your tree watered and away from heat sources which can dry it out or cause it to catch fire.

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, this industry provides more than 100,000 Americans with jobs, which is good for our economy.

If you feel badly about cutting down a tree, you might want to consider purchasing a potted tree for Christmas. Southern red cedar is a good traditional tree choice. Here are some non-traditional trees that would do well in our area landscape after the holidays (as long as they fit your site conditions): Dahoon holly, wax myrtle, myrsine and marlberry.

When you get a cut tree home, recut the stump at an angle (more surface area to absorb more water) and put it in a bucket of fresh water. Keep it in a cool, shady spot until it is time to decorate. Replenish water in the bucket often because trees can soak up a quart or more a day. When you bring the tree inside, cut the stem flush about two inches above the original cut so it will fit in the tree stand. Remember to give your tree a drink of water every day to keep it fresh and moist.

For more information on Christmas trees see this University of Florida website .

The Pinellas County Extension Service is just a phone call or visit away. We are located at 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo, next to the Florida Botanical Gardens and are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To speak with a horticulturist at our Lawn and Garden Help Desk call 727-582-2110 Monday, Tuesday or Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. You also can visit our website at

Happy holidays!

Jane Morse, UF/IFAS Extension Agent, Pinellas County Extension.
Article published on
Copyright © Tampa Bay Newspapers: All rights reserved.
Printable Version E-mail article
Community Focus Online
Featured Print Advertisers
Bell Hearing Instruments, Inc.
801 West Bay Dr., Suite 405, Largo (727) 585-2675
Factory Location
700 Stevens Ave., Oldsmar (813) 814-2355

Web site        View Ad
Oakhurst & East Bay Medical
13020 Park Blvd., Seminole
(727) 393-3404
3800 East Bay Dr., Largo
(727) 539-0505

Web site        View Ad
Omega Gamma Delta Fraternity
Looking for Alumni
Contact Mark Quering
Beta Chi 1972

Web site        View Ad
Flooring America
9012 Seminole Blvd., Seminole
(727) 397-5509
100 Patricia Ave., Dunedin
(727) 733-1356

Web site        View Ad
Five Fish Boutique
735 Dodecanese Blvd, Suite 1, Tarpon Springs
(727) 485-8660

Web site        View Ad
Donna's Cleaning Angels
(727) 942-8289
Web site        View Ad
Tarpon Springs Merchants Association

Art & Crafts Festival
Sponge Docks, Sept. 5, 6 & 7

Web site        View Ad
Tarpon Springs Recreation Division
Sunset Beach Concert
Slickside, 9/3 @ 7 p.m.
(727) 942-5628

Web site        View Ad
Abbey Carpet & Floor of Largo
13120 66th St. N.
(727) 524-1445

Web site        View Ad
Law Office of Stephen C. Whalen, P.A.
1968 Bayshore Blvd., Dunedin
(727) 726-0439
(727) 409-7347(Cell)

Web site        View Ad
Florida Center for Back & Neck Pain
Dr. Greg Hollstrom
11444 Seminole Blvd.
(727) 393-6100

Web site        View Ad
NuSmile Dental
13611 Park Blvd., Suite G
(727) 475-7866

Web site        View Ad
Custom Couture of Tarpon Springs
208 East Tarpon Ave., Tarpon Springs
(727) 238-7194

Web site        View Ad
Casino Over Under

Web site        View Ad
Tampa Bay Newspapers
Online Advertising
For information, e-mail
Online Services Directory
Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
Submit News