Q. When are the trees cut?
A. Even though the big growers start cutting in late October for shipments to Mexico, Hawaii, and Asia, trees for California are harvested daily throughout the selling season. Normally trees arrive no more than 5 or 6 days after they are cut.
Q. How are the trees kept fresh?
A. With normal winter conditions, the temperature inside the truck is stable for the 24 hours that the truck is en route. In warm weather or long distances, trees are loaded on refrigerated trucks or trucks packed with ice. Trees loaded with ice take longer to unload because they are heavier, harder to handle and more easily damaged.
Q. Any “pricing tricks” to watch for ?
A. The USDA Standard for grading Christmas trees is written in general terms and is not adhered to closely by most growers. A price list offering, “Premiums & #1s”, or “Special #1 Grade” or “Nursery Grade”, instead of “U.S. No 1” or “U.S. Premium”, according to the USDA specification, most likely will lead to an unpleasant surprise.
Q. What causes the needles to be damaged or stripped from the top leader ?
A. After trees are harvested they go through a string-bailer that wraps them up like a cocoon. Untrained workers can make the mistake of tying the end of the string to the top leader instead of to the loops on the side. As the tree flexes during subsequent handling, the string rubs the needles off. We work closely with our growers to be sure this does not happen.
Q. Some Noble firs are so heavy, it is hard to lift them onto cars. Some even have trunks that don’t fit in tree stands. How can this happen ?
A. There has been an industry-wide problem of trees that were held back from year to year and sheared too many times, causing the stumps to get unusually large. Our quality guarantee does not allow for such trees.
Q. Are Fresh-Patches™ available for individual home use ?
A. They are, but remember the purpose of the Fresh-Patch™ is three-fold. It, (1) keeps the tree fresh on the way home, (2) it keeps sap from getting on hands, clothing, cars and carpets, and (3) it helps the tree drink more water, eliminating the need to re-cut the stem at home. For those reasons, it is better to have the Fresh-Patch™ applied by the retailer. If your retailer does not have them, please as them to contact us Sales@CaliforniaChristmasTrees.com
Q. Is the Bio-Stand™ the best choice for all trees ?
A. Unfortunately not at this time. It is available in three sizes for trees up to 6 feet (depending on tree variety). Trees larger than that require conventional rebar stands. Note however that every Bio-Stand™ has a bowl that holds two or three times as much water than a conventional stand to allow the use of Crystal-Fresh®, and insures that every tree gets plenty of water.
Q. How big are the Bio-Bags® ?
A. There are three sizes, two of which are made from corn in Indiana. The third, a much larger one is made from a biodegradable plastic. The small (64 gallon) one is good for wreaths, garland, gift wrapping, and trees up to 4 feet or so. The medium (96 gallon) can handle trees up to 6 feet. Larger trees require the large and stronger biodegradable plastic one.
Q. How does the Crystal-Fresh® work ?
A. The 1 oz paper cartridge is adequate for most water stands, holding up to two gallons, but remember “too-little is better than too-much”. It is better to use less Crystal-Fresh® and have some liquid in the bottom of the stand for the tree to absorb easily, rather than using too-much and asking the tree to work harder. It is best to use a single Crystal-Fresh® cartridge and lots of ice early in the season, then reduce the amount of ice as the Holiday winds down. That way the tree gets all the water it needs but there is less to clean up at the end.