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  The tree
An Earth friendly Yule
Christmas wouldn't be the same without a tree and this year most of us will have one in some form or another.
Decorating it can be as individual as the tree itself and in most cases, well thought out. Fashion can play a part in how we dress our tree though this year I am not sure that really matters. With climate change a big issue I think some of us are taking a fresh look at what kind of tree we select, and what we choose to put on it. Choosing to buy a real tree is by far the best option, especially if it is sourced locally. However, if it is impractical or impossible to have a real tree, a wooden tree can be both stylish and practical and will still tick all the eco-friendly boxes.
Moving away from plastic there are so many wonderful Christmas tree decorations to be found which are green and ethically produced. From hand-felted snowmen and golden geese to tiny, knitted festive jumpers or wooden ornaments which are brightly coloured - they are all easily found in local shops, Christmas fairs or online.
Jane Cappleman
  Says Jane
I really like mixing colours on a Christmas tree. I think it should be bright and cheerful with lots of ornaments in all different colours shapes and sizes. Having a multi coloured theme makes it much easier to add to your ornament collection over time
    Above and left, Felt and wool-made tree ornaments
What trees typically survive in houses for the longest?
A Douglas or a Nordmann Fir are the best options - they'll last for about six weeks before withering. It depends on how well you care for it but lowering the temperature in the room really slows down the drying process and keeps your tree fresher for longer.
What are your best watering tricks to help the tree last longer?
Your tree should drink one litre of water per three cm of the stem diameter. That means a fresh cut tree can consume 4- 5 litres in 24 hours. Watering is critical, especially for Norway Spruce trees. Check the water levels daily and never let it go below the tree's base. Without water, to the tree's base, it will dry out in 7-8 days. You can’t overwater your tree, it will absorb only as much as it wants.

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