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No Christmas tree shortage here — if you keep it real

While artificial trees are caught in transit, real trees are ready for customers

Christmas trees upright and still wrapped
Area nurseries and home improvement stores, plus pop-up sellers, will have stock of live Christmas trees. The Plant Foundry, above, in Oak Park received its trees early in the week and the staff members were setting them up as fast as they could. (Photo courtesy The Plant Foundry)

Will there be a Christmas tree shortage this holiday season? No – if you keep it real.

While artificial trees may be stuck in supply chain snags, real trees should be in good supply, according to the National Christmas Tree Association.

In particular, trees should be in good shape and in good supply from El Dorado County growers. After months of drought, October rain refreshed the pines, firs and cedars. They’re now ready for cutting and customers.

Clustered around Placerville in the Apple Hill area, local growers traditionally open their farms to visitors the day after Thanksgiving and keep selling until sold out. Challenged by drought and pandemic, some family farms have stopped selling trees, but about 20 El Dorado County growers are expected to be offering trees this season. For a map, details and directions, got to https://chooseandcut.com/ .

City shoppers also should find a healthy selection of fresh trees, says the national association, but shop early. The lack of fake tree availability is driving more demand for the real thing.

An intense summer heat wave did sunburn lots of Oregon-grown trees, causing concern, say industry experts. Farms in the northern Willamette Valley reported many heat-related losses. Fortunately, the sunburn was often only cosmetic and could be trimmed off.

Looking for a Christmas tree near you? Check out the tree locator map (and tree tips) at: www.itschristmaskeepitreal.com .

What about a potted living tree? Firs, pines and other conifers are not houseplants; it’s best if these trees’ days indoors are numbered.

If you decide to use a living Christmas tree, keep it outside in a sunny location and well-watered until Christmas week. This reduces stress on the young tree. Make its stay indoors as brief as possible before returning outside – and hopefully finding a spot where it can put its roots down.


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Sept. 25

This week's warm break will revive summer crops such as peppers and tomatoes that may still be trying to produce fruit. Pumpkins and winter squash will add weight rapidly.

Be on the lookout for powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that may be enjoying this combination of warm air and moist soil.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Plant for fall now. The warm soil will get cool-season veggies and flowers off to a fast start.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with "eyes" about an inch below the soil surface.

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