Few decorations are as bound to their holiday as the Christmas tree.
For those wishing to eschew the plastic needles and canned-pine scents of faux Christmas trees, Columbia County features many outlets carrying the real thing.
Volunteers with Young Life ministries will unload more than 280 trees and about 70 wreaths Friday as they begin their ninth annual charity Christmas tree sale at the Publix shopping center on Furys Ferry Road.
The sale raises between $8,000 to $10,000 annually to fund the ministry's program and provide scholarships to its annual camp, Young Life volunteer Fredrica Clary said.
"Our volunteer leaders go to the teenagers at football games, sometimes at school, wherever they're congregated," Clary said.
"We also have a wonderful camping program," she said. "That's what the funds will go to."
Christmas trees destined for Greenbrier Nursery and Gifts arrive today, co-owner Julie Logan said.
Logan warns that shoppers should take extra care in choosing a tree.
"Some have been cut as much as a month prior to them getting sold and they're already starting to dry out," she said of many Christmas tree lots. "When you run your hands through it, the needles should be soft. If they're falling out in your hands, then it's too dry."
Water is an important factor in keeping a tree healthy through the Christmas season, according to the Georgia Christmas Tree Association.
A tree can absorb more than a gallon of water in the first 24 hours after it is purchased and one or more quarts a day afterward.
A properly hydrated tree remains fragrant longer, keeps its color and loses fewer needles, according to the association.
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