Tuesday, October 31, 2006

News Updates

After tomorrow, the ghouls and goblins will be put away for another year and we’ll be 3 weeks and 2 days from the start of Christmas Tree sales season. Harvesting will begin in the large production areas soon and the Choose and Cut farms will put the final touches on their farms for customers.

We saw a few interesting stories this week. This one was about a woman who got badly shocked by a pre-lit, fake plastic tree. Link: http://www.wvrecord.com/news/newsview.asp?c=185937.
Now, not only are fake trees a potential health hazard from lead dust, but they can shock you too? Yikes. Yet another reason to use a natural, farm-grown Christmas Tree... they won’t shock you since wood is a non-conductive material. One interesting note from the story: the insurance company for the store where the fake tree was purchased told the woman that she would have to take up her issue with the tree’s manufacturer.....IN TOKYO! Nice.

Here’s another one that was interesting. Someone has kept their Christmas Tree in their basement since last year and say it’s fresh enough still to use again this year. Link: http://www.mykawartha.com/article/5017 .

Now, I know there’s powerful sentimental value attached to the tree for the owners, and we’ve heard of the occasional specimen of tree maintaining moisture and needles for an uncommonly long time. However, we’re going to recommend against using the same tree for two years in a row.

Happy Halloween.

Friday, October 6, 2006

It's Almost Time

Almost time!

Christmas Tree sales season starts 7 weeks from today, November 24, the day after Thanksgiving.

Many Choose & Cut farms and retail lots around the country will open up that day. Many farms are already open for pumpkin sales and Autumn agri-tainment. If you’re going to get some pumpkins to decorate for harvest season and/or Halloween, and you want a fun family day outing in the country, check the Christmas Tree farms in your area to see if they are offering pumpkin sales. Many of them also offer hay rides, corn mazes, haunted barns, gift shops, arts and crafts, and many other activities.

Here at NCTA, we’re gearing up for 3 big things this year.

First is the essay contest. We have had many questions and inquiries about the contest already this year. Here’s an example from Amanda:

From: Amanda Walker
Sent: Sunday, September 17, 2006
Subject: The Real Christmas Tree Scholarship Contest

I have been trying to download the entry form and official rules for the contest but for some reason it will not work. If you could please help me with that, it would be greatly appreciated!

Answer: Yep Amanda...and all other kids out there. The contest will be held again in 2006 and the entry forms are ready for downloading and printing. You can find a link on the front page. The entry form has already been downloaded more than 3,600 times since we posted it in mid-September!

The second big thing we will be concentrating on this year is the 2nd Real Trees for Troops program sponsored by the Christmas Spirit Foundation and Fed Ex. Christmas Tree farmers all over the U.S. will be donating more than 14,000 trees this year while Fed Ex delivers them to more than 20 military bases. It’s an ambitious but very worthy effort. You can read about the plans so far and support the program through this link:

The third thing we’ll be concentrating on is new for 2006 and related to the Trees 4 Troops program. The National Scrapbooking Association and the Christmas Spirit Foundation will be coordinating Harvesting Memories, a srapbooking crop and shop experience on Veterans Day - November 11 - to raise funds for Trees for Troops, a nationwide effort to boost the Christmas spirit for U.S. military men and women. If you are a scrapbooker, you don’t want to miss this.

Here’s a link to more info http://www.harvestingmemories.org/.

As you can see, it’s going to be a busy year, especially if we see another increase in the number of fresh, farm-grown Christmas Trees purchased for the third year in a row. Check back often in the coming weeks as we’ll start posting more frequently.