No Christmas Trees this year

Sprout Farm Nov. 28, 2018 Hello Everyone, What we feared has come to pass. We have been unable to get any Christmas trees for our farm. We've had all sorts of excuses but in the end it all comes to the same thing. We will not have trees for sale this year. We have a full selection of wreaths and greens and we hope you stop by to say, 'Hi'. I know many of you will be shopping for trees as soon as you get this message. If you purchase a balsam tree it will shed it's needles if you bring it in the house and decorate it now. It should hold it's needles between 10 days and two weeks. Keep it cool as long as you can. Fraser trees will hold their needles indefinitely. "The cause of the needle loss in balsam trees is ethylene, a plant hormone. That's the same molecule that ripens many fruits, and the reason why adding a ripe banana to a bag full of green tomatoes will turn them red. In the balsam fir trees of the recent study, ethylene is produced around 10 days after the tree is cut and signals to the tree that it should drop its needles. And by 40 days after cutting, the branches were bare. The researchers then tried two ways of interfering with the ethylene. In their second test, researchers added amino-ethoxyvinylglycine (AVG), which inhibits the production of ethylene, to the water in which the fir branches sat. Needle retention rose to 87 days. Because AVG can be easily dissolved in the tree's supply of water, it's more likely to find use in the home. The scientists caution that they have yet to scale up their experiment from single cut branches to whole trees, but "what is really encouraging is that we managed to double the needle retention period of the branches," says study co-author Seeve Pepin of the Universite Laval." This product is not readily available but if the research proves successful it may become more widely used. So that's the final part of the saga. We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and Happy New Year. Jay and Phyllis Sprout

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