HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Christmas trees are going fast, as a shortage has cut back on supplies and selections. The lack is blamed on the great recession, and buyers cutting back, so growers didn't replant.
National Tree and Shrubs in the Heights caters to discriminating buyers, importing all its Christmas trees from Oregon, where they're harvested in the snow, and delivered in refrigerated trucks to Houston.
"We don't carry Douglas firs because last year, a lot of them had problems," said Richard Divine, with National Tree and Shrubs.
"They're grown in the northeast, their winters have been warmer in the last few years," he said. "Trees need the cold."
Divine, who is also a landscaper recommends anyone getting a real Christmas tree, should wash it, and allow it to dry before bringing it inside your home.
"Be sure the bottom of the truck has a fresh cut on it to allow it to absorb water," he said.
Divine also said trees don't need a preservative, that's often sold in liquid form at retailers. "The tree doesn't have roots, and what you're giving it is fertilizer," he said.
His trees are on stands filled with water, while they await to be picked. "The key is to keep the water going," he said. "You can give it water in the morning, but by the evening, it will have absorbed that. You have to replenish the water every day."
For people who may be sensitive to fir trees, allergists recommend antihistamines and eye drops to cut down on the symptoms.
It's also recommended that artificial trees are cleaned after they're taken out of storage and before putting them inside your home. Ornaments are also recommended to be wiped and cleaned before decorating.
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