"give a man a fish and you've fed him for a day;
teach him to fish and he never shows up for work"


live trees vs dead trees

Friday, December 12, 1997

every year at this time, a controversy seems to erupt over Live Christmas Trees vs Dead, Cut Christmas Trees, and I'm usually at the center of it. My long running Dead Tree Merchant ad started it all several years ago it now seems to have a life of its own and I resurrect it every year at this time to inform people of the perils and stupidity of cut, dead Christmas trees. I also wrote a piece for David Siegel's Journal that detailed the arguments of this ongoing controversy. Spend a few minutes reading Evergreen and get an earful of the truth about why live trees are the best way to go.

Live Tree Sales.
This year because of being involved in some major capital expansion projects and having an inordinate amount of late landscape work for the crews to do I haven't made a special effort, as in past years, to stock up on live trees. I'm a little burned out on the holidays, again.
Besides, just about all of the vendors who've sold the cut, dead trees in past years, have read that ad and now carry live trees as an alternative to the cut variety. So many customers of theirs have asked for live trees as a result of the ad, that they're now being forced to carry them. I'm both surprised and gratified.
The problem with this newly-developing situation is that their live trees only have 13" (diameter) rootballs and come in wooden peach baskets; quality, landscape-grade trees should have a 20-24" rootball and come in a wire basket, so that the tree has a better-than-even chance of living, once it's re-planted after the Holidays.
Anything less than a 20" rootball doesn't bode well for a tree's survival: there's simply no root system left to uptake water and food for the the tree. By Spring, most of these badly-dug trees will be dead, the Xmas Tree Merchants will be gone, and the homeowners will be out all that money. Buying inexpensive (read cheap) B&B (balled & burlapped) Christmas Trees still means, you got what you paid for. If lugging a live tree inside is too much, get an artificial tree and plant the live tree outside right away. It's better than Killing a living tree for 2-3 short weeks.
The National Christmas Tree ass'n (NCTA) refuses to acknowledge that they whack trees needlessly in a worthless pseudo-tradition. The distinguish only between artificial and real trees; they're gutless cowards when addressing the living tree issue. These are very greedy people, afraid to face the truth, who are still in denial about the entire destruction and replacement process.

Christmas Party.
It's a cold and blustery Saturday night in early December and I've been here at the office since 7am. It's now 10pm and I'm waiting for a local group's Christmas Party to finish so I can clean up and leave. They've been here since 5pm and it's now getting old.
How I let myself get talked into hosting this party for 53 people, I'll never know. Screaming kids running all over the place, long lines waiting to use the bathroom, kids chasing Pickles, trying to pet him. Jeeez, gimme a break here, people. They're not serving drinks and I don't have a bottle of either my favorite 1994 Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon or 1993 Guenoc Cabernet Sauvignon along tonight, either. Guess I'll just have to tough it out until it's over.
I occasionally rent out The Great Greenhouse for parties, weddings or whatever, but I usually have work to catch up on that fills in the time until the event breaks up. This time, I'm caught up and have little or nothing to do. Well, it could be worse, but I wonder how much? At least my internet connection works. Yo Ho Ho...
BTW, there were only live, healthy Christmas Trees at this party, with 24-30" rootballs.

Physical Facility Changes.
Greenhouse 1, the Propagation and Potting House, is now shut down and everything not hardy transferred to the back one-third of the Main Display Greenhouse. GH-1 will freeze out for the Winter, and get renovated in early Spring, just in time to begin the cycle all over again.

Dig Them Up.
Once again, Slick Willie The Bubba has shown the nation he'll do anything for money. He's a dollar bill whore, plain and simple. He's sold graves at Arlington National Cemetery to a lowlife liberal democrat named M. Larry Lawrence, who not only bought an ambassadorship to Switzerland, but a plot at Arlington with phony WWII service and college records. In fact, everything about this guy was phony.
Lawrence, aka Larry The Liar, owner of a rundown, flea-bag hotel in San Diego, was a minor contributor to Clinton's re-election campaign to the paltry tune of $196,000 or so; hardly enough to justify a burial plot among our nation's heroic military. The Lawrence lowlife is now dead thankfully so but his pathetic family still believes the lies he told everyone about his so-called service in 1945 with the US Merchant Marine and his graduation from the University of Arizona, neither of which are true. He went to a junior college and got some kind of basic equivalency degree.
Many other non-military are buried in Arlington, almost all through political favors going back through every president to the criminal Nixon regime. And all should be dug up and moved out of there into civilian plots, where they belong.
It outrages me that this kind of shit happens, by either Republicans or Democrats. Political favoritism cannot purchase honor; the brave military personnel who are interred there are now disgraced by the civilian scum who bought their way in through crooked presidents and other devious financial means.
When the hell is America going to wake up to this shit and put a stop to it? Or don't we (collectively) give a shit anymore? After seeing the Clinton scumbag elected and re-elected, and putting up with his lies, philandering and criminal activity, I kind of think we're (collectively) turning a deaf ear to ethics and a once high standard of morals that this country used to espouse. His one loyal friend doesn't play golf very well..
A couple of weeks after the lies surfaced, the evidence supports the facts that Lawrence was a fraud, and Lawrence's widow (read 4th wife) has asked that he be dug up and moved to a location (somewhere in San Diego) more befitting his non-honorable status, outside of Arlington Mational Cemetery. Well, that's one scumbag out of there; how many more are there to go? Time will tell.

Creeping Up.
Since the gardening season has ended, visits to my website has dropped off considerably, except on the days after this Journal comes out. And the volume of email has also slowed down, giving me a chance to do many other things now in the evenings, instead of answering all the horticulture-related questions.
The website has just recorded 97,000 hits. I'm waiting until it hits 100,000 before I remove the counter from all of the 227 pages.
I'd hoped the magic 100,000 mark would be reached before the New year, but that doesn't look like it will happen now. Rather than set a date, I'll wait until the 100k mark is reached.

Upcoming Speech.
I had an interesting phone call today from two board members of Southeast Greenhouse Conference & Trade Show (SGCTS) to give a marketing-oriented speech next June 25-27th in Greenville, SC, to over 1,600 attendees from the southeast USA.
They've asked that it be on the topic, How To Do Business On The Web; a subject that I'm intimately familiar with.
More likely than not, the people attending this conference will be die-hard non believers in the InterNet and it's unfolding potential. And that's fine. It's easier to plant the seed of change in a doubter's mind, than to try to change it right on-the-spot.
I dusted off MS-Word and MS-PowerPoint and started working on a preliminary outline. Should be fun.

Christmas Gift?
Well, they've though of everything now. For the religiously-challenged, here's a life-like Jesus Doll. Go and read about what er it, er he does. I'm laughing too hard to write any more about this just now.

Fed Up.
I've had it with all this browser shit; get your acts together, Microsoft and Netscape. You act like spoiled children. Sun, Oracle and a dozen other spoiled brats need a good attitude correction. Get me the bat. Here's a petition that mildly tells them both to get over it and get on with business. Go ahead, send them each one.

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