Did you put up your Christmas tree, yet?

If not, consider visiting a local Christmas tree farm to make your purchase. It's a guarantee you will get a fresh tree.

Freshness is one of the main factors in preventing seasonal fires. Many local tree farms let you cut your own tree. Or, you can select your tree and farm personnel will cut it for you.

You will get guidance there from experts on the types of trees available and which will be fit your need. The tree farms have numerous species from which you can select.

As proof of the great quality trees you can get locally, both the state and federal governments have gotten trees grown in Carbon and Schuylkill Counties.

The national Christmas Tree came from the Crystal Spring Tree Farm in Mahoning Township in 2006 and 2010. In the past, it was supplied by Paul Shealer in Auburn.

Only by winning national Christmas tree competition, in which growers from all over the country participate, can your tree be selected for White House displaying.

This year's state Christmas tree, as well as trees supplied in all the state offices, comes from the Crystal Spring Tree Farm. In fact, Crystal Spring has supplied the state tree for 11 of the past 12 years.

People from as far away as New York, Philadelphia, and other cities visit local tree farms for the fresh trees.

They know, by coming here for a tree, they will get one that hasn't been sitting in a truck or along a curb for days or weeks; and that it's a tree that has had proper care.

By purchasing your tree from a local grower, you're also helping the local economy. Christmas trees are a major local industry. The tree farms employ a lot of local people.

Many local tree growers have more than just trees on the premises. Some have gift shops. At most of the local farms, you can purchase fresh wreaths and other decorative items.

Visit a local Christmas tree farm. You won't be disappointed. All the local growers take great pride in their trees.

Caring for them isn't just a seasonal job. The growers work throughout the year on keeping the trees free from disease, properly groomed, and in good condition.

By RON GOWER

rgower@tnonline.com [1]