Pam Lightsey has been helping area residents select the perfect Christmas tree for the last 23 years.
Employed with A Very Merry Christmas Tree Farm for the past 19 years, Lightsey says choosing a tree doesn't have to be overwhelming.
"Make sure a good fresh cut is given to the bottom of the tree, at least a good inch," she said. "And get your tree in water as soon as possible once your fresh cut has been made."
While some folks might suggest including additives in the water, Lightsey said research has failed to show that doing so adds to the health of the tree.
"There has not been anything proven scientifically in regards to adding additives to the water," she said. "Mother Nature waters them without any aspirin, 7-Up, Miracle Gro, etc. Just plain water works best."
Lightsey adds that when selecting the perfect tree, be sure that there are no brown patches on it. Needles should be dark green in color.
She also reminds buyers that the tree should be watered frequently in the stand to prevent it from drying out.
"All of the sap will run to the bottom and your tree won't take on any more water," she said.
Finally, be certain to keep the tree away from heat sources, such as fireplaces, heat vents and heaters. The heat will dry them out quickly and can cause the needles to brown.
"One advantage we have with our lot is that it is a grower's lot," Lightsey said of A Very Merry Christmas Tree Farm. "He cuts our trees and brings them down. They are not part of a massive cut and taken from that, but selected for our lot here in Augusta."
A Very Merry Christmas Tree Farm owners Waightstill and Linda Avery have been bringing fresh-cut Fraser firs from their North Carolina farm to Augusta for more than 25 years. Today they operate one lot, on Walton Way Extension next to Savannah River Banking Co. They once operated six lots in the area.
In addition to trees, local buyers will find wreaths and garland.
For information about caring for a live tree and the benefits of having a live tree, visit the Averys' Web site at www.averychristmastrees.com.
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