The Value of Christmas Trees

"...there is no reason why the joy associated with the Christmas evergreen may not be a means of arousing in the minds of children an appreciation of the beauty and usefulness of trees; and keen appreciation of the beauty and usefulness of trees is a long stop toward the will to plant and care for them (Arthur Sowder, US Forest Service, 1949)."

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I'm surprised how many spruce spider mites I'm seeing this spring, considering how wet it's been. I have been in several fields where individual trees were absolutely cover in mites.

This terminal is covered up in spider mites and their eggs. There is even some webbing between the needles which is where spider mites got their name.

This shot shows my fingers after handling the mite covered terminal. This is the color of squished mites!

These trees were at the site of our organic study. I think I will treat them all sometime in the next few weeks. What's complicating this is that the new growth is out. I'm afraid I'll burn them which is why I'm going to hold off a few weeks.

The final shot I'm posting today shows the difference in the ground covers between the organically grown trees, which are full of grass, and the "late" organic trees that are still being grown conventionally with Roundup use. We will switch to organic production the last three years before sale.

The organic is in the background, and that's where Brad's mowing. In the foreground are the "late" organic, which haven't been treated yet with Roundup. There were areas of the field where the clover was keeping out any weed problems. There appears to be much more biodiversity with the use of Roundup. Hopefully this summer I can get some data along these lines. But for right now, a picture is worth a thousand words!

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