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‘Go local’ also applies to Christmas trees

Thinking of cutting your Christmas tree on Crown land this year?

“To do this, you will need to obtain a permit from an Alberta government forestry office,” said provincial woodlot extension specialist Toso Bozic. “When cutting your own tree, you know that it’s fresh.”

For information on obtaining a permit, go to the Alberta Agriculture website and search ‘Christmas tree.’ There are also two Alberta U-cut Christmas operations listed at www.prairiechristmastrees.org.

If you’re buying a tree, be sure to conduct a freshness test, said Bozic.

“Grasp a branch between your thumb and forefinger and pull it towards you. If the tree is fresh, no more than five or 10 needles should come off in your hand, unless it is very cold and dry outside, and then a few more needles may come off. This is a good time to check the fragrance of the tree as well.

“The balsam fir tree species is often considered the ‘real’ Christmas tree and many growers grow this species for its special aroma. White spruce and varieties of pine are excellent choices as well.”

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