Over a month ago, Speedy called me up from S&R and asked if I wanted a fresh Christmas tree. S&R was accepting reservations and the tree would be available on the first week of December. I said, sure. Sam had made me promise we’d put up a Christmas tree this year and the smell of fresh pine was a hundred times more seductive than the thought of assembling a vinyl tree that needs to be washed and put away after the holidays. Speedy arrived home last night with a Douglas fir tree — over eight feet tall and gorgeous. After dinner, we started putting it up. I asked Sam to take photos.
The Douglas fir tree came all strung up and I had to hold it upright while Speedy attached it to a special stand filled with water.
He was in his boxers — I had to censor out a portion of the photo. :wink:
Where did the tree originate from?
S&R imported it from Holiday Tree Farms, Inc…
… A grower of Christmas trees in Oregon.
The tree came with the assurance that it was not harvested from a natural forest.
We had already re-arranged the furniture to accommodate the tree but it was a little cramped so we moved it to the dining area beside the doors leading to the lanai. But there was no electrical outlet there and we would have to use an extension for the lights. Not a good idea to have wires running on the floor because we have cats. So we rearranged the furniture, moved the tree again and it looked great between the living and dining areas.
When we were finally happy with how the tree looked, after moving it twice and making so many adjustments to make sure it stood straight from every angle, Speedy picked up the instruction sheet and, well… He handed it to me much earlier and I read it but I thought it was an FYI kind of thing, you know? I never thought he actually meant, “Read it and tell me what needs to be done.” See, the bottom of the tree trunk has to be cut to remove all the sap. Otherwise, the tree will be unable to absorb the water in the container and it will just wither and die. I mean, why bother moving it back and forth to where it will least likely get blasted by wind and touched by the sun if it can’t absorb water anyway? But I presumed all of that had been done by the S&R people.
The thing is, from the second we started putting up the tree, Speedy was already saying how it was so much like his childhood. And I echoed his sentiment. His father bought their trees from Subic; mine, from Dau. In short, we’re no strangers to putting up fresh Christmas trees. The only problem is that during the years that we enjoyed fresh Christmas tree at home, Speedy was still wearing short pants, and I was wearing a pony tail and retainers. And we didn’t know that the other existed. I guess we never really bothered watching our fathers put up those trees from long ago. If we did, we probably wouldn’t have neglected the sap part.
Bottom line? We had to remove the tree from the stand — yes, after all the meticulous adjustments to make sure it was straight — and lay it on the floor while Speedy took out his saw. Right there on the floor of the living area, he started sawing off the edge of the trunk to get rid of the sap. Then, we went through the whole routine of putting it up again, adjusting it this way and that to make sure it was straight… Well, we survived it and I think the tree won’t die on us until after the New Year. We’re decorating it tomorrow to give the branches a chance to fall naturally and straighten themselves.