Author Topic: How to fertilize a christmas tree  (Read 3551 times)

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Offline Don_P

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How to fertilize a christmas tree
« on: April 26, 2013, 06:22:07 PM »
see if this shows up. They were fertilizing fraser firs over the hill the other day. They are reloading the hanging cone type spreader dangling beneath the chopper.


Very mixed feelings about this, neat to watch, this cannot be good for the water and we are the headwater for a big chunk of the country.

edit; try again,


« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 06:46:30 PM by Don_P »

Offline MushCreek

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Re: How to fertilize a christmas tree
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2013, 01:27:50 AM »
Interesting method- looks expensive for Christmas trees. As for fertilizer run-off, look at what it has done to the Florida Keys. Farming in south Florida has caused fertilizer run-off that has destroyed the fragile coral reefs. When I started scuba diving in 1980, visibility was 100', and it was like a huge tropical aquarium. Gorgeous corals, bright colored fish, etc. When I went in 2000, the coral was largely dead, there were only a few fish, and 'good' visibility was about 25'. On the inside of the Keys is Florida Bay, which averages 6' deep. It, too was crystal clear, but now is completely cloudy and choked with algae.
Jay

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Offline Abbey

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Re: How to fertilize a christmas tree
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2013, 05:35:49 AM »
All that just so people can get a pretty cut tree to put in their homes to decorate, and then throw it away in three or four weeks.

Offline flyingvan

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Re: How to fertilize a christmas tree
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2013, 07:52:25 AM »
There's quite a big difference between agricultural runoff and the tiny amounts of NPK that little Robbie R44 can lift and disperse.  I'll bet every last bit of it gets gobbled up by the bryophytes before it makes it to any water course....As for the disposable trees---- if you believe the whole carbon footprint stuff, what better way to sequester some CO2 than planting some rapid growth trees, cut them down, bury them, and start over?  Nearly all the matter those trees represent comes from CO2 pulled from the air, with only traces of other stuff, the bulk of which is falling from that copter
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Offline flyingvan

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Re: How to fertilize a christmas tree
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2013, 07:53:57 AM »
Actually, to answer my own question---an even better way to sequester that CO2 is to build a house out of lumber
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Offline Abbey

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Re: How to fertilize a christmas tree
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2013, 08:30:44 AM »
The carbon footprint stuff could be a whole new topic. What carbon is saved through growing these trees is easily lost by using helicopters to spread fertilizer, not to mention what fuel is used for equipment to transport the saplings and plant them, and then all of the fuel used to cut, wrap, and then transport the trees. If trees are going to be used as a carbon sequestration method simply plant them, and then never touch them again.

All of the time and expense that goes into this endeavor just hits me as so wasteful. Planting the trees and fertilizing them just to cut them all down to transport them who knows how far away just so someone can have a pretty Christmas tree for a few weeks.

Offline flyingvan

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Re: How to fertilize a christmas tree
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2013, 10:10:19 AM »
You're right about it being able to fill another topic---but the net carbon exchange to the planet is zero.   Even the hydrocarbons fueling the Robbie started in the atmosphere before being grabbed by prehistoric plants then temporarily held underground to be re-liberated and turned into Christmas trees.  There's an underappreciated macrocarbon cycle measured in eons, fueled by the sun.
As far as waste goes--- A fertilizer manufacturer was able to feed his family, as were the equipment handlers, tree farmers, wholesalers, and retailers, even the helicopter pilot, mechanic and fuel truck driver.  You could see it as 'waste', or you could see it as opportunity for a lot of people.  Plus Christmas trees are the very sort of thing that make life richer (for the record we went to the artificial tree 5 years ago, mostly due to fire concerns)
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Offline Abbey

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Re: How to fertilize a christmas tree
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2013, 10:20:47 AM »
There are multiple ways to look at virtually any issue, to be sure. I haven't had a Christmas tree in decades, I just don’t see the sense of one, which should not be inferred that I’m against Christmas trees or Christmas at all, it’s just me and how I feel. Although I see this as wasteful I’m not going to start some campaign to outlaw Christmas trees because of my feelings.

Offline Don_P

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Re: How to fertilize a christmas tree
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2013, 07:39:27 PM »
I'll throw another one into the mix, that was pasture before the trees moved in. They must pay well compared to cattle. What comes out of the cows is also fertilizer and the major pollutant of that watershed. Further upstream yesterday a larger chopper with spray booms was spraying the trees with I assume pesticide. People don't buy an ugly tree so these see alot of inputs. In about 2 months the crews will go in shearing with a machete like knife to shape them and make the folage denser.
I guess the same can be said for most things we consume nowadays, I'm sitting in front of a totally unneccesary computer. There will always be a large real Christmas tree in our house, it's her thing and that's fine. Our trees usually come from friends, clients or a fundraiser. Having seen them grown I'm not in love with the methods but it is no till and it's tying up erodable land with cover. Having planted tens of thousands myself, some of that money has put food on my table. They are clearcutting across the road from us now, it is not unusual for that to go back into white pine or christmas trees, or they take the timber and let the forest regenerate on its own. Next crop, christmas trees 7-12 years, ewpine 30-50, hardwoods 80+ You plant Christmas trees for your income, ewp for the kids and hardwood for the grandkids.
 

Offline flyingvan

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Re: How to fertilize a christmas tree
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2013, 05:08:50 AM »
I like that mixed timeline use, especially if it's intermixed on the same land. 

  I had a friend up in Oregon that decided to make some extra $$$ in the Christmas tree business.  He took a 1000' square field and planted seedlings 1' apart or so with the idea of thinning them later, and eventually lost interest in the whole thing.  That was 20 years ago.  Now there's a perfectly square thicket of evergreen there, totally impenetrable.  If bizarre shaped trees are ever a trend he's gonna hit it big, but he'll have to untangle them first.  I suppose he could make wreathes.  Eventually some fungus will probably turn it into a fire hazard that could be seen from space if it ever goes.

   If you go to South Bend, Indiana, there are these giant English walnut trees in everyone's yard in the older neighborhoods.  Singer sewing machine company was there and when you hired on they sold you a house to live in if you wanted.   The houses came with an English walnut sapling in the yard.  Part of your retirement plan was, after 30 years of working there they'd buy your walnut tree and use the wood for their sewing maching cabinets.  I don't know if people just liked their trees, or Singer switched to portable models first, but fortunately the trees remain
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Offline Abbey

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Re: How to fertilize a christmas tree
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2013, 05:34:20 AM »
Where I grew up in Maine there was an old tree farm way back in the woods and when you got into it, which was difficult because the trees were so dense and the outer trees went to the ground. Once you crawled through the first few rows of the outer trees you got into the main part where many of the lower limbs had died and you could stand up and walk around without any problems. If stood in just the right spot you could look down the rows of trees for what seemed like forever. It was like walking into another world because there were never any animals in there and it was so freaking quiet. I always thought it would be cool to clear out a small patch and build a house because nobody would ever find you in there.

 

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