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Buying a perfect Christmas tree

WILMINGTON -- One item on many shopping lists is a Christmas tree. It's a purchase many people don't take lightly. There's a lot that goes into selecting the perfect tree. Christmas tree shopper Beth Baker said, "Pull the needles, do the needles come off? No, good tree." The Baker family has a tradition of shopping for a Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. This year eight-year-old Nikki had one picked out in no time. Baker said, "We wanted a nice, fat tree so when she comes down the steps on Christmas morning, she's got the magic of seeing what Santa brought and put under the tree." Melton McLaurin says he's downgrading this year and was looking for a nine-foot tree with his three grandsons. "Shape is more important than anything else. You've got to determine how high you want it, then the shape of the tree," McLaurin said. No matter what shape and size you're looking for, co-owner of Lee's Trees David Mowrer says there some must-dos when shopping. Mowrer said, "A way to check for a fresh tree is, one way, is to reach in, grab the trunk at the very middle, pull out on the limbs. If you come out with a bunch of brown needles or needles in your hand, the tree is not fresh. Another way is take one of the tips and bend it over. If it springs back, it's fresh." The Fraser furs in this lot come from the western part of the state, where they are cut down three to four days before arriving here. The statewide drought didn't affect this supply, but rather prices at the pump. The owner of Lee's Trees says it's the high gas prices that have prices of trees up about ten percent from last year. A tree in this lot will cost you anywhere from $55 to $325." Regardless of the tree's cost, the memories for families like the Bakers are priceless. Mower says once you get your tree home, be sure to keep it away from heaters and heat vents and water it every day.

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Buying the green tree

When you go out and buy your fresh green tree and tie it up on your SUV's roof you are making a big carbon faux-pas. That tree has been removed from the chain of carbon sequestering organisims to be used to consume electricity (lights) derived from coal that releases more carbon and then finally to be inserted into a dump to take the place of materials and increasing the dump size. Over all, how can a person that cares about the environment actually have a real tree during this episode of the Inconvienient Truth as we know it. We can celebrate big corporate big business greed during the Christmas shopping season by increasing the demands on our environment to deal with our carbon emission carelessness. This sounds stupid. no green trees here. Less fire risk as well. By the way, what about the Saffo (Senior, not mayor) project to have a New Hanover County dump developed next to the North Western side of the Landfall Community? What permits have been already signed off by the State of North Carolina?


I have not had a real tree for 15 years. The last one we had we bought 2 weeks prior to Xmas had it up till the 2nd of Jan. I kept it watered and misted. When we took it down we stuck it in a metal barrel and just for giggles we lit it. That tree went up in 9 seconds, the whole tree and the flame was about 12 feet high. It was so hot we all had to back well away. It was just like a huge match.....Scared me. If that happens in your home, you and your home are pretty much screwed. I bought a 7 foot flame retardant artificial one that year while they were still on clearance. I still have it and it is really lovely. I do miss the smell of a tree but if you buy a few branches or pick some up off the ground at a tree site (ask) you still get a nice smell. I like that I may have saved a few trees.