Now is the time to decorate

Published 12:16 am Sunday, December 2, 2007

Now that the holiday season is officially around, it is time to focus time on decorations and family activities that keep the home place looking good and bring us closer as a family.

What better thing to do than make a holiday tree that will last a lifetime?

Now is also a good time to make sure lawn decorations are in good shape for the holidays.

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Q. What is a good tree to plant this time of the year?

Here is a good idea for everyone with children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews.

If you have oak trees around your home you will notice acorns are falling this time of the year.

Why not plant a new tree with your family members that will last for years to come?

Plant several acorns several inches apart and let them go. Once they begin to establish themselves select the one that is the most prosperous looking and pull the other ones up leaving one remaining and now you have a tree you can label with the child’s name that will be visible for a long time.

Remember oak trees get large so be careful with your planting site.

Q. Is there any winter maintenance required on water gardens?

If you have a water garden or fountain at your home you may want to remove yellowed foliage from hardy water lilies so they don’t decay at the bottom of your pool.

Now that leaves are falling they can quickly cover up the surface area of water garden so you may want to watch that and clean the pool of tree leaves that may fall in and build up.

During winter months we usually receive ample rainfall to keep pools at adequate levels but don’t forget to replenish the pool with water if the levels happen to drop due to a dry spell during the coming months.

Q. What is a good holiday decoration using natural landscape?

In my case I am blessed with a wife that loves holiday decorating around my house but if you want to settle for an easier task, making wreaths is easy, fun, and something the whole family can do.

Wreaths can be made from most trees you choose however some do work better than others.

If you can get grapevine or other vines to start and build a good plump base it helps.

Using sprigs from the red cedar or Leyland cypress works great as the base of the wreath.

Pine needles in cluster work great and the color will fade very little throughout the holiday season. For a nice accent you can use a variety of natural things.

Some other trees that offer good variety are magnolias, hollies, pines and even the tallow tree.

Burr oaks provide the huge acorns that are attractive and even the sweet gum balls can add some unique variety.

Using florist wire you can fasten almost anything together from the pine cones, berries, leaves or sprigs.

Have fun and be sure to let the children be creative.

Then hang it on the door or if you make more than one all around the house inside or out.

David Carter is director of the Adams County Extension Office. He can be reached at