Despite the cold and the dark that the winter season brings, the end of the year is by far my favourite time of year, for one very important reason: the holiday season. For many, this is the time to spend with loved ones, a time of celebration and merriment. And this year, festive cheer is all the more needed, to raise our spirits following a year plagued with coronavirus, lockdowns, and social distancing restrictions – at least, this was the argument I used with my partner to convince him that the 13 November was a completely acceptable time to put the tree up during a global pandemic.
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Wrapped in bright lights and adorned with glittering decorations, the Christmas tree has become a focal point for the Christmas period. In the UK, the most famous tree sits in Trafalgar Square in London, a gift sent over from Norway.
There is no one species of Christmas tree, though firs and pines are traditionally the most popular, particularly in Europe and North America. However, in New Zealand, a tree that has red flowers, called the ‘Pohutakawa’ is sometimes used. Furthermore, in some areas of India, banana and mango trees are decorated during the holiday period.1
With such a large market demand, and to mitigate the environmental impact of cutting down hundreds of thousands of trees each year, many natural Christmas trees are now grown in farms. And as with any farmed product, in order to obtain optimum growth and quality, optimum fertility conditions are required.
First of all, it is important to remember that each tree species requires a specific soil pH. For example, two very popular species of Christmas tree, the Douglas Fir and the Fraser Fir, require markedly different soil pHs, 6 – 7 and 5 – 5.5, respectively.2
In addition to soil pH, as with all plants, different trees require different levels of nutrients. Pine species, for example, have a lower nutrient requirement than most fir species.3
Thus, in order to obtain optimum fertility conditions, producers need to keep regular checks of the soil quality, and most importantly, ensure they are applying the right amount of the correct fertilizer, in order to achieve optimum quality.
While our holiday celebrations may look a little different this year, from all of us at World Fertilizer, we wish you safe, well and let us hope for a brighter, healthier tomorrow. Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up to date with all the latest industry trends as we enter the New Year, and if anyone has a particularly handsome tree this year, please feel free to tag us on twitter at @WorldFertilizer.
- ‘The History of Christmas Trees,’ www.whychristmas.com/customs/trees.shtml
- ‘Fertilizing Christmas Trees’, Spectrum Analytic Inc., www.christmas-trees.org/fertilizing_christmas_trees.pdf
- ‘Fertilization of Christmas Trees,’ HD 2412, www.hd2412.co.uk/fertilization-of-christmas-trees