Christmas Trees | New Hampshire Public Radio

Christmas Trees

Selbe B via Flickr Creative Commons

A Connecticut scientist has helped discover a new organism that could help some of the region's Christmas trees. The scientist, Richard Cowles, also owns a Christmas tree farm.

Recently, Cowles was experimenting with ways to grow healthier fir trees. To do that, he studied unhealthy ones. When his team put diseased tissue from a nearby tree farm under a microscope, they noticed the cells looked different.

After running some tests, they concluded it was a new species of Phytophthora, a water mold which rots tree roots. Cowles got to name it.

For the first time in years, it’s a wonderful time to grow Christmas trees.

Christmas tree growers say 2019 has been the industry’s best year in decades — in part because of a number of bad years, says Chal Landgren, a Christmas tree specialist at Oregon State University.

Landgren grows trees on a five-acre farm north of Portland, Oregon, and says seedlings planted in 2019 have seen good rates of survival. That wasn’t the case from 2015 to 2018, when dry, hot summers led growers to plan for losses.

Sean Hurley

Mud Season has arrived in New Hampshire, and the snow pretty much gone. But as NHPR’s Sean Hurley tells us, there’s one final snowflake in the forest near his home that won’t be melting any time soon.

A few years back, while walking the path around Smarts Brook with my family shortly before Christmas, we came upon a group of men decorating a tree in the forest.

Ornaments in hand, John Norman and Mike Boisvert told us they were hoping to spread a little holiday cheer.

 

The Durham Town Council is going to hold a special meeting to discuss its annual tree lighting at a local park and the decision to deny a 9-foot-tall menorah to be displayed next to it.

The Durham council meeting is scheduled for  7 Monday night.

Something Wild: Why We Deck Our Halls

Dec 29, 2017
Fellowship of the Rich via Flickr/Creative Commons.

O Tannenbaum is a song often heard this time of year, and it signals a deeper arborphilia within our culture.

Sean Hurley

Some people get their trees at the supermarket, some at Christmas tree farms.  Some cut them down in the National Forest.  They take them home and get out the tinsel and the ornaments and the lights. But in some New Hampshire parts, not everyone brings a tree home.

Some people like to decorate Christmas trees in the wild.

Producer's note: As with every Sean Hurley story, we really recommend giving this a listen!

Selbe B via Flickr Creative Commons

A judge has ruled that the owner of a popular New Hampshire Christmas tree farm can continuing leasing the land from his parents despite their insistence that he stop.

Amanda Loder / NHPR

New Hampshire’s Christmas tree farms are mostly very small operations—even by Granite State standards.  

Sean Hurley

For the last 3 years, NHPR's Sean Hurley and his family get a $5 permit to cut down their Christmas Tree in the White Mountain National Forest and every year, as Sean explains in this audio postcard, they run into the same problem. 

We walk beside an ice snagged brook looking for the balsam fir we tagged with a purple ribbon the month before.  My wife Lois leads us along, interpreting the wildlife signs as we go.

Sean Hurley, NHPR

When reporter Sean Hurley heard that one of his neighbors was giving away Christmas trees, he wanted to find out more about this local charity. And what he found was that this man's very public act, letting people wander over his property to pick out and cut down one of the Christmas Trees, was also very private. This story won Second Place in the 2007 Best Feature category from the New Hampshire Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

Selbe B via Flickr Creative Commons

According to the National Christmas Tree Growers Association, buying a natural, farm-grown Christmas tree is a traditional custom for up to 30 million American families who celebrate the holidays with the fragrance and beauty of locally-raised, farm-grown Christmas trees. Today, the majority of Christmas trees are plantation-grown. There are an estimated 350 million Christmas trees growing nationwide.