The Sea-Change List

It starts with lists. Lots of lists.

Lists of things we need to do in order to sell our apartment. Lists of places we can rent while we look for our  sea-change  house. Lists of houses to look at which may be ‘the one’. Lists of things we’ll need to buy to start up our new home and kitchen garden. Lists of things we’ll need to do without in our new world. Lists of ways to make money in the land of  sea-change .

It’s a compromise of sorts. What we should do is stay here in the city and progress in our careers, pay off our apartment and invest in the dream house from afar. Meanwhile we buy and rent out the dream house to someone else, live in the apartment box which faces an alley and dream of the gardens, vegetable patches, dogs, beehives (for yes, there will be beehives) and fruit  trees  which will one day be ours.

But the apartment box is starting to close in on us, the alley is not getting any prettier and the careers don’t compensate for the lack of gardens, vegetable patches, dogs and beehives.

Our  sea-change  dream always seemed ‘about a year’ away but my not-so-unexpected redundancy has created an opportunity that I am not quite ready for. My partner still has a great job after all, should I get back out there, get a new job and invest the redundancy package in furthering the mortgage so we are a step closer to paying this box off? But we’ll then have to live in the box for longer than we realised and we just couldn’t take 4 and a half more years of boxes and alleys.

It’s scary, it’s uncertain, and it all has to happen very quickly before I eat through my redundancy package but here’s the deal. We clean up the apartment to make it sales-worthy. We pack up, drive-up and rent a place in the area we’re looking at. As soon as we leave the apartment goes on the market (why don’t we do this sooner? Because we have two very large cats who will put a damper on home inspections, especially in a strictly no-pet strata building). With a bit of luck we sell for the right price. In the meantime we start searching for the ‘the one’, our new  sea-change  home. Once we know what we can spend we put in an offer. The idea is to be moved in before the Australian spring so we can get planting and get self-sufficient as soon as possible.

There’ll be three of us in this project. Myself, my partner and my sister who is joining us on the property which we hope eventually to subdivide into two standalone homes. If we can stop her from adopting too many rescue donkeys this just may work.



The Importance of Tree Planting

Trees have always played an important part in people’s lives, from providing shade and maintaining the beauty of the place to fruits and flowers that attract fauna! Whenever you are around trees you feel a sense of peace and calm and more importantly, protection. If you are concerned about saving the planet, then tree planting is what you should be considering on top priority. Making the most of a spacious yard around your home for planning fruiting and flowering trees, helps the property to look attractive and pricey. In spacious gardens, woody plants enhance the look when supported in visual appeal by shrubs, shorter flowering plants and bushes. For any landscape, an essential part of planning is the choice of trees.

Planting the right kind of trees in the garden is pivotal. By following a few suggestions it is possible to narrow down on the right tree types to invest in. Shape and size is very important while selecting a half or full-grown tree. Many of the trees become a permanent part of your garden and heirlooms. Big trees cannot be transported easily, so make sure you plant them at the right place in the beginning itself. Check on and plan the drainage system in the yard when the landscaping endeavor is being executed. The type of soil and selection of the right kind of trees is very essential to get the best out of the outdoor space around the home.

Undesirable results cause a loss to time, money and effort when the trees are planted in an improper way. To ensure that your plants enjoy a healthy life, space them well in the outdoor space around the home so that they get sufficient sunlight. In time, proper spacing will give you, your family as well as your guests enough shade. After a period of years, when the trees grow to their full size and branch out, trimming on regular basis is necessary. Value of your property increases with a well-maintained garden, developed with exotic trees. There are a number of real-time and online resources you can tap for assistance to source the best trees. You can shop for them online and have them delivered and even re-planted in your garden area.

Planned tree planting is the key to a healthy garden. Though plants and trees grow on their own, they do need a lot of care and concern initially. Mulching, fertilizing, pruning, trimming, etc. help in enhancing aesthetic value, and in turn the overall look and functionality of the garden. If you look after trees well, the future generations too get to enjoy the beauty of the flowering and fruit bearing natural wonders. Plants and trees do get affected by harsh environmental factors, so make sure you take care of them according to the impacting factors identified. Trees play a very important role in the garden landscape. Shop wisely and only after you have done your homework on the factors that will impact their growth, in your region on the planet.



How to Do Mulching Around Trees

Mulch placed around trees can make gardens look more alluring. This protective cover also helps control weeds. Mulching maintains moisture and the proper temperature in the soil near trees and protects the plant from pests, lawn equipment and diseases. However, you need to learn the proper way of mulching. Incorrect mulching hastens the growth of mildew and attracts a lot of insects.

The first thing to do is to make sure that mulch is placed equally around the middle of the plant or tree. It should be always be few inches away from the base. Then, create a tier which has a thickness of three to five inches only. Take away and recycle previous mulch in a fertilizer mound. Lastly, see to it that the variety and quality of your mulch matches with the plants that you need to cover for optimum results.

On the other hand, do not create heaps of mulch that will jeopardize the physical condition of the tree and become an ugly sight. Stacked mulch can cause excessive moisture and conditions that lead to disease and pest issues. The wet environment can also lead to the uncontrolled growth of roots that can eventually destroy the tree. Do not apply a broad layer since this will impede the growth of weeds and soak up precipitation or overhead water supply. This action can prevent water from penetrating the roots.

Your initial step is to buy a rake and natural mulching substances from the nearest garden supply outlet. Take away all the rubbish on all sides of the tree such as fallen twigs, leaves and weeds. Flatten the ground using your rake. Make it even as much as possible. Apply the mulch in a circular form. This should be approximately the length of branches for young and small trees. On the other hand, allow a span of 12 feet or 3.5 meters for huge and old trees.

See to it that the mulch substance should be roughly two to four inches in depth. This time, spread the mulch uniformly with the rake. Take time to check on the form of the mulch ring. Make the necessary adjustments so that the shape is even. Water the area surrounding the mulched tree if the soil is very dry. Monitor the mulched tree on a regular basis for any weed growth. Make sure to pull out these weeds as well as other unwanted growth.



The Best Tree Service Makes Use Of The Right Tools

A good  tree  service is intended to provide good care and attention to  trees  as well as lawns. When it comes to  tree  removal, the right tools need to be used in order to make sure that the job gets done safely. Safety is an important aspect of any type  of   tree  service because handling  trees  involves a lot of risks so it needs to be done with utmost care.

With the right tools on hand, a  tree  service company can effectively handle different types  of   trees . Aside from  tree  removal, stump removal is also another type of service that you can get. This is done in order to make sure that the area where the  tree  that was removed is clear and can be used for other purposes. The amount of efficiency as to how stump removal is done depends on the types of tools that are used to do it.

In other cases,  tree  trimming needs to be done in order to shorten  trees . In this type of service, large cutting tools need to be used. Large cutting tools allow professionals to handle any type  of   tree  ranging from narrow to thick  trees  and from young to really old  trees . Aside from cutting tools, professional companies also use a crane along with other heavy duty materials to perform their tasks efficiently. These types of tools are used as a medium in order to protect people as well as nearby structures from harm while the service is being done. In other words, they are used in order to ensure a smooth  tree  cutting process.

The larger the  tree  that needs to be handled, the greater the amount of risk involved. If large  trees  are handled, there’s a huge chance that they can topple and cause damage to property. Moreover, this can also result to an unhygienic aftermath especially if the  tree  is rotten or destroyed.

The other types of tools that are used to handle  trees  safely include the pull and lift system. This is specifically used for stump removal. The best advantage of using this tool is that it works with very minimal amounts of digging involved. However, in worse cases, a large amount of digging needs to be done but this tool keeps digging in minimal amounts.

When you look for a  tree  removal company in your area, it’s really important that you check the types of equipment that they use to get the job done. Read comments and reviews about them from their past clients so that you can have a good idea as to how well they can do the job.



Piracy on the Sea of Cortez

An early morning dream-voice told me Chamula was back. As hard as I had tried not to, I had fallen in love with the captain of a co-op shrimping trawler, Joven, out of Guaymas, Mexico. We met six months earlier in a little palapa restaurant at the mouth of the Mulege River. For months now, I had been having the most amazing experiences. The morning of the dream my sister and I talked over coffee, and I told her how much I had wanted to go out with him on this latest expedition. However, Chamula couldn’t promise when he would return and he thought it best I not go. Just then Alisabeth’s boyfriend, Marcos, came through the door, his fierce Yaki Indian face looking even more so today. Gravely, he reported that the Joven had been robbed; the crew held at gun point by the Mexican mafia!

The story unfolded. Shrimp boats worked nights and rested during the day, the crew catching well deserved sleep. They had anchored off the coast of Sinaloa, Mexico, and it was then they were boarded by six men with guns. Forced to take off all their clothing, they were thrown into the hold. The 600 kilos of shrimp, their personal belongings, and money were taken.

We hurried out to the ship, and I will never forget the sight of them: bare-chested, ratty sweatpants, and hatless, squinting against the sun. At that moment it would have been hard to tell the difference between the banditos and the crew. Everyone looked really rough. We were told that this was a common occurrence, because of the wealth the shrimp represented, as valuable as gold, the Mexican mafia regularly took its share. Alisabeth looked at me with great big eyes. “You wanted to be on this boat trip.” I looked at Chamula. He nodded. I could not even picture the horror I would have faced, or the likelihood I would not have returned.

The blustery north winds kept the boat grounded for several days. Since the captain and crew were paid according to the amount of shrimp brought in, it was critical to get back to work and make up the loss. I still couldn’t get myself to say goodbye and head back to the states, so when he asked me if I wanted to go back out, I foolishly said yes. Alisabeth reminded me that it was an “experience of a lifetime” and we both laughed at the old joke. Back on board, I watched as the palm trees receded in the distance and the water caught the last golden rays of the sun; I was already having grave doubts about my decision. Chamula had not told me where we was going or how long we would be gone. I found him at the helm and it was then I learned the truth. We would be motoring for two days, and the first mate mentioned that we were headed to Sinaloa! What? Chamula sheepishly affirmed that it was true, not wanting to tell me because he did not want me to return to the states. We were headed to the coast of Sinaloa, exactly where they had just been robbed!

“Pendejo!” I retorted angrily, swearing like a Mexican sailor. Out on the deck, I flopped down and leaned back on the salt encrusted nets. I was in shock. I felt like I had volunteered to be kidnapped. All this because I didn’t have the guts to say goodbye. Well, I had made the choice, and the choice put me here. Done. Now the only thing to do was either stay mad or have an adventure. Since it was such a small world aboard a boat in the middle of the sea, I thought adventure was the better choice.

Chamula followed me. I did not understand how he could put me in harm’s way, and told him so. His answer was very pragmatic. He assured me that since all the shrimp were gone and the mafia knew that, we would be safe from the threat for a while. The seas began to pick up the further south we went. I started taking heavy doses of Dramamine and went to sleep. When I got up the waves had turned dark blue with deep troughs and white caps. I brought coffee forward to Chamula and asked if he could show me where we were. Might as well learn something during my voyage into hell. He was all too happy to see I was not holding a grudge. In the evening we had gone south to Loreto then southeast across the Gulf in the night. Now we were near mainland Mexico. I sat on the step of the wheelhouse, sipped coffee, and watched the whales spouting.

At 4:00 p.m. the rumble of the engine went silent. We tied up at the stern of another co-op boat in the middle of nowhere. Well, I knew we were in the Gulf, but I could see no land. The sea was a constant relentless motion. Worried, I asked the Captain if we weren’t going near the coast. No, he admitted, this was much different from Mulege. It was unlikely we would see land, because the gulf was so shallow here that boats could anchor right in the middle without a problem. I thought the boats might not have a problem, but I certainly did.

The next morning I crawled from the bunk and the motion of the Joven threw my body against the cabin wall. “Mierda!” Another day of heavy seas. I wondered how many days I could keep myself drugged and asleep. It was then I wondered if I could get Chamula to let me off the boat. When I asked he said he had a friend in Los Glorious, Sinaloa who could probably help. And just like that the captain pulled anchor and we headed to the mainland. I felt horrid to be the reason that everything was changing course. My hermanos looked at it as just another lark, an “aventura” in the moment, and if you were a woman stuck in the middle of the gulf, their attitude had a lot going for it.

Once moored off Los Glorious, the wonders of Mexican transportation became clear. Everyone knew the Joven, and a panga was already on the way out. The seas were turbulent. I literally jumped from the ship to the smaller boat below as both were tossed around. The pescador handling the launch maneuvered through the breaking surf. And like a surfer, riding the curl, he would pause a moment, and then at the perfect time he would use the force of the water to propel us forward. We would glide on the force until another wave would reach us. We rode the momentum all the way to the beach.

After pulling the boat above the tide line, we walked into the barrio of adobe brick houses. Chickens and dogs ran loose everywhere. We stopped for cold drinks at a little tienda. The sun was hot and penetrating. Sitting under a shade tree near the Sinaloa River, the old friends talked while a lone gringa looked on. In Mexico there was a time to visit and a time to go. You never thought about going when you visited. But when it was time we had to go back out to the trawler to get my belongings. We jumped back into the panga and roared through the Mangrove trees out the gaping mouth of the Sinaloa River into the smashing surf. The breaking waves hit the bottom of the boat so hard we had to hang on with both hands, not to be thrown out. I knew Chamula was expecting me to be afraid, but when he looked over at me, I was grinning so big we both must have looked like loons. I was “muy loca” for more! And that day I earned the title, “Pirata.”

Back aboard the heaving decks of the Joven, I went in to pack. Chamula would not let me to go alone, and so we both went to the beach to meet his friend. We rode in the back of an open truck all the way to Los Mochis airport. It was a tearful goodbye. My life had been profoundly changed in these months. I had lived and loved life fully. Yet I had to leave and it hurt. Looking down on the shimmering gulf waters, I picked up my journal to keep the memories fresh. Like a giant backbone of ancient volcanic rock the Baja peninsula rose up out of the water. Slowly, I closed the journal to prepare for the landing in La Paz.



Choking the Trees to Death

A few years later, climbing plants were already choking the  trees  to death and transforming the new forest into a tropical jungle complete with orchids, butterflies, snakes, and numberless birds and bats, and with a small lake. Krakatoa became a naturalist’s paradise; the Dutch made it a Nature reserve and allowed no one but accredited scientists to set foot on the island. The naturalists worked out a complete inventory of life on Krakatoa. They counted the steadily growing number of new arrivals and observed how they lived with each other and fought each other. Then, one day, the scientists discovered that still another sort of life was stirring on Krakatoa-life in the earth itself. The old volcano was not dead.

Deep down under its rocky foundations a pocket of lava were seeking an outlet for its energies. The bottom of the inland  sea  was heaving and buckling again. A submarine cone was building up; on January 26, 1928, it broke the surface and showed its top, a flat, ugly island a few hundred feet across, which the waves washed away a few days later. A year passed. Then, suddenly, not far from the place where Danan and Perboewatan had first appeared, a geyser began to spout steam and ashes. Sulphurous fumes were drifting over the ocean. Again  the   sea  was covered with dead fish floating belly-up. The scientists measured the temperature of the water a hundred yards from the geyser. It was 30° F. warmer than the surrounding  sea . The new geyser is still there. Its identity has been established; it is a portion of the ancient crater rim with mud deposited on its top and flanks and a flue in its center-a safety valve for the stupendous pressure generated by the lava pocket underneath. The natives call the new volcano “Anak Krakatoa,” the “Child of Krakatoa.” No name could be more ominous.

Now that the guns are stilled and men fly on missions of peace, the question arises as to what war did to the birds of  sea , land and air in the Pacific. Much of the havoc of war is indirect, and only a careful study can measure its total effect. However, on the basis of certain facts, plus experience and conjecture, we can arrive at some conclusions. These are both interesting and important. From time immemorial most of the central Pacific islands have been nesting places for myriad  sea  birds. Guided by hereditary impulses, these birds returned, year after year, to the island of their original nest. There was virtually no month in the year in which birds of some species were not on these islands. These birds were threatened, in 1939, when naval bases were established on a number of low-lying coral islands. Then came war itself, with the necessity for speed and extensive development that could reckon with nothing save the goal of victory. Such activity could not be reconciled with the normal routine of great colonies of birds carrying on their life cycles in vast isolation. Into this peaceful avian picture came man and his machines.. Then, one day, the scientists discovered that still another sort of life was stirring on Krakatoa-life in the earth itself. The old volcano was not dead.

Deep down under its rocky foundations a pocket of lava were seeking an outlet for its energies. The bottom of the inland  sea  was heaving and buckling again. A submarine cone was building up; on January 26, 1928, it broke the surface and showed its top, a flat, ugly island a few hundred feet across, which the waves washed away a few days later. A year passed. Then, suddenly, not far from the place where Danan and Perboewatan had first appeared, a geyser began to spout steam and ashes. Sulphurous fumes were drifting over the ocean. Again  the   sea  was covered with dead fish floating belly-up. The scientists measured the temperature of the water a hundred yards from the geyser. It was 30° F. warmer than the surrounding  sea . The new geyser is still there. Its identity has been established; it is a portion of the ancient crater rim with mud deposited on its top and flanks and a flue in its center-a safety valve for the stupendous pressure generated by the lava pocket underneath. The natives call the new volcano “Anak Krakatoa,” the “Child of Krakatoa.” No name could be more ominous.

Now that the guns are stilled and men fly on missions of peace, the question arises as to what war did to the birds of  sea , land and air in the Pacific. Much of the havoc of war is indirect, and only a careful study can measure its total effect. However, on the basis of certain facts, plus experience and conjecture, we can arrive at some conclusions. These are both interesting and important. From time immemorial most of the central Pacific islands have been nesting places for myriad  sea  birds. Guided by hereditary impulses, these birds returned, year after year, to the island of their original nest. There was virtually no month in the year in which birds of some species were not on these islands. These birds were threatened, in 1939, when naval bases were established on a number of low-lying coral islands. Then came war itself, with the necessity for speed and extensive development that could reckon with nothing save the goal of victory. Such activity could not be reconciled with the normal routine of great colonies of birds carrying on their life cycles in vast isolation. Into this peaceful avian picture came man and his machines.



Breathe Easy With Self-Hypnosis

Ok, so I think I may have made it quite clear to those nearest and dearest to me in recent weeks… I have been ill.

Booo!

In the past I have shared processes and techniques that help ease and deal with other symptoms, and with this technique I am sharing with you a wonderful process for breathing more easily.

I was going to call it “unblocking your nasal tubes” but suspect that may not sound as attractive.

7 Steps To Breathe Easy With Self-Hypnosis:

Get yourself in a comfortable posture, in a place where you’ll be undisturbed for the duration of this exercise, get into a receptive posture with your hands and legs not touching each other, and then we’ll get cracking…

Step One: Induce hypnosis. Use whatever strategy or technique you are familiar with. Get yourself focused, absorbed in the process, engaged in the now with a quiet mind and allow yourself to relax if you’d like that.

Once you have entered hypnosis, move on to the next step.

Step Two: Really engage your imagination and find yourself in a place in nature where there are   trees . It may be a forest or a wooded area. Start to notice the colours, the sights of the other plants, flowers and shrubs, notice the shades of light of the place all around you.

Hear the sounds of the place, those that are near and obvious and those far away, notice the sounds of your own feet as you walk further into this area.

Feel the temperature, sense the air being fresh and enjoy feeling calm, relaxed and at ease in this place. Become aware of the weather, which is just right for you and all the time imagine and allow this scene to take you deeper inside your mind with each step that you take further into this wonderful place.

Once you have drifted inside your mind, then move on to the next step.

Step Three: As you continue to walk, you see and notice a collection  of   trees  that look a bit like eucalyptus  trees , but are different somehow… As you get closer to the collection  of   trees , you notice the scent upon the air, a strong invigorating and enlivening scent and aroma coming from the  trees . The smell fills your senses and sharpens your thoughts.

You walk in amongst these  trees  and stand firm and strong and as you inhale you raise your arms above your head and as you exhale you lower them again. As you breathe in, you inhale the strong, enjoyable scent of these  trees  and you feel it enter into your nose and work its way into your nasal passages.

Spend a few moments just enjoy this fresh, vibrant, sharp and enjoyable smell and natural odour as it fills your nose and then move on to the next step.

Step Four: As the fresh natural smell fills your nostrils, you can feel it beginning to effect your airways… You can feel a freedom, a loosening and a freedom happening within your nasal passages. It is almost as if the strong and powerful, healing smell has properties which break down the congestion, absorbing it and developing in a way that feels wonderfully freeing and comfortable.

Notice it getting more and more comfortable, relieving the congestion, absorbing and cleansing the passages ways whilst healing them and allowing them to feel fresh and at ease. Then move on to the next step.

Step Five: With your senses filled with this wonderful aroma and with your airways freeing up and becoming more comfortable, you start to walk to a clearing beyond the  trees … Maybe it is a fresh mountain view, or  the   sea  front that is beyond there, but wherever you choose and create before you, there is a strong, fresh wind, a cool and easy breeze that sweeps through and freshens your nasal passages as you breathe it in.

It helps you be free of the  tree  scent and washes through and as you notice it working its way through your nostrils, you start to notice that the clean, fresh air ( sea  air or mountain air or whatever you chose) is carrying tiny particles of light that seem to shine and glisten in the air. They seem to get to work on your airways, cleaning, cleansing, absorbing anything that was there, they work all the way through to the back of the nose, and those passages connected to the ears, the particles of light absorb, collect and cleanse your passages while you inhale them and then as you exhale, they disperse it all out and away from you, sweeping it out and away, cleansing the areas and leaving them wonderfully healthy and vibrant.

As the nostril become free, you imagine them as healthy passage ways that are delivering this wonderful, fresh clean air to your body and as you breathe it in, you relax more and are calmer.

When you have enjoyed the benefits of the scented  trees  and the fresh cleansing air, then move on to the next step.

Step Six: Start to tell yourself that when this session is at an end, that your mind continues to build upon and enhance the benefits of this session, enhancing your resistance and boosting your immune system so that you have comfortable and easy breathing very soon indeed.

Step Seven: Take a couple of deeper breaths. Open your eyes and wiggle your fingers and toes to bring this session to an end.

Throughout the day ahead, continue to imagine the goodness being spread by the hypnotic air and scent and let it works it wonder within you.

I have been practicing this a great deal in the past 24 hours and although it does not offer up any immediate solution (heck, anyone who has that would be world famous, right?) but it helps your mind to enhance your body’s defences in any way it possibly can, which certainly beats moping and depressive thoughts that assume you are going to continue being ill!



How to Make Money Selling Christmas Trees

Would you like to earn $10,000 to $20,000 profit every December? You can do it by operating your own Christmas Tree Lot in your area. Even in a bad economy, people shell out big money during the Christmas Season. You would be surprised how many families buy $200 Christmas Trees every season.

The National Christmas Tree Association records show that millions of U.S. families plan their Christmas traditions around a real Christmas tree. That means that a lot of real trees will be sold this year starting around the end of November. 24 percent of consumers will buy their trees from a Christmas Tree Farm, while 68 percent will buy their tree from a retail lot. The remaining small number of consumers buy their trees over the internet.

If you don’t mind hard work, you can earn your share of the profits in this industry. You will be extremely busy during the month of December, but you can profit up to $20,000 from one Christmas Tree Lot. Some Christmas Tree Lot owners started with one lot and have grown their business to 10 or 20 lots. Some of these people currently profit over $300,000 a year even though they have only been in business less than five years.

If you don’t know what type of tree to sell, here is some information that can help you.

The most popular Christmas Tree is the Fraser Fir. It is a native southern fir and very similar to Balsam fir. It grows naturally at elevations above 5,000 feet. This tree has dark green needles, 1/2 to 1 inch long and ships well. The tree has excellent needle retention along with a nice smell.

The second most popular is the Douglas Fir. Unlike true firs the cones on Douglas fir hang downward. Douglas fir grows cone-shaped naturally, has 1 to 1-1/2 inch needles that are persistent and has a sweet scent. The Douglas fir tree is shipped to nearly every tree lot in the Unites States.

The Balsam fir is a beautiful pyramidal tree with short, flat, long-lasting, aromatic needles. The Balsam fir has to have cold winters and cool summers. Balsam fir has a nice, dark green color and is very fragrant.

The Colorado Blue Spruce is most familiar to people as an ornamental landscape tree. The tree has dark green to powdery blue needles, 1 to 3 inches long and a pyramidal form. The Colorado blue spruce is often sold “living” and with an entire root ball, so it can be planted after the holidays. The spruce was chosen and planted as the official living White House Lawn Christmas tree. The young tree is pleasingly symmetrical, is best among species for needle retention.

The Scotch Pine is the most planted commercial Christmas tree in North America. However, it is not the most popular. Scotch pine tree has stiff branches, two bundled dark green needles 1 to 3 inches long that are retained for four weeks. The aroma is long-lasting and lingers through the entire season. Scotch pine does not drop needles when dry which is a nice characteristic.

The Eastern red cedar is mainly a regional favorite and has been a traditional Christmas tree of the South. Branches of eastern red cedar are light but compact and forms a pyramidal crown when it is young.

White spruce is a tree of the northeast US and Canada. It is a regional favorite because it grows into the best shapes in the wild. White spruce has green to bluish green needles but crushed needles have an unpleasant odor. Another problem with the spruce is it has poor needle retention.

Eastern White Pine is grown mostly in the mid-Atlantic states for commercial Christmas trees. It retains needles throughout the holiday season but has little or no fragrance and not a good tree for heavy ornaments. This tree is bought by people who suffer from allergic reactions to more fragrant trees. The White pine is the largest pine in United States

The White fir is one of the longest-needled firs and is a significant portion of the Christmas trees used in California. The fir has a good shape with a nice aroma and good needle retention.

The Virginia pine has only recently been used as a Christmas tree. It tolerates warm temperatures and has been developed as an alternative to the Scotch pine. The foliage is usually dark green. Virginia pine is one of the most purchased Christmas trees in the Southeastern United States.

The Noble fir is also sometimes used. It has upturned needles, exposing the lower branches. The tree is high in beauty, has a long cut life and its stiff branches for using heavy ornaments.

To be successful, you will need to planning for your Christmas Tree Lot in Late summer, or fall.

For more information, on how to get started, go to: http://www.americanbusinessbuilder.com/christmas_tree_sales_business.htm



Tree Structure – The Basic Makeup of Trees

Trees are made up of three main components: the roots, the leaves and the woody structure that connects them. The function of the roots is to bring the water and minerals to the rest of the tree. The leaves also serve to feed the tree. They absorb carbon dioxide from the air and use sunlight to combine this gas with the moisture brought up from the roots, making the simple sugars which feed the tree giving off oxygen as a byproduct.

That is the true magic of trees; they feed off of a toxic gas and provide clean oxygen in return. They are truly the earths air filter. According to David Nowak of the USDA Forest Service a persons oxygen needs could be supplied by two trees. To make up for the carbon dioxide created by the average household with a single car would take about 1/6th of an acre of trees (so start planting).

The woody structure, including the trunk, branches and twigs hold the trees leaves in position to receive the life-giving sunlight and carbon dioxide; they also act as a means of carrying the raw materials and nutrients back and forth between the roots and the leaves. The moisture taken up by the roots is pulled up by a process of capillary attraction and the osmotic action induced by the evaporation of water from the leaves. This loss of water through the leaves is called transpiration.

On a warm summer day, a single birch tree may transpire as much as 900 gallons of water. This enormous flow of water causes a continuous flow of tree sap from the roots of the tree to the uppermost leaves.

When moving a tree or working around an existing tree that you wish to preserve, the highest priority is to protect the root structure of the tree itself. The larger roots at the trunk anchor the tree to the ground and stabilize it, while the small root-hairs at the ends of the rootlets absorb the water from the ground.

The trunk of a tree is made up of the bark, the wood and the pith. The pith is the middle section surrounded by the wood. Between the wood and exterior bark is a thin layer that creates new wood on the inside and bark on the outside. This layer is known as the cambium layer. When the cambium ring is severed the tree is killed, such as when a fence wire is wrapped around a tree and wears through the bark. Damage to the cambium layer also makes a tree vulnerable to insects and disease, so anything driven into it can wound a tree severely.

Besides man himself, trees have many natural enemies. There are more than 200,000 known insects that attack trees. Diseases, such as blight, rust, and rot, just to name a few can cause tremendous amounts of damage to trees or groupings of trees. High winds, ice storms and droughts can also create a great deal of havoc with trees. Fortunately, trees have several thing going for them. They are extremely resilient and can survive even serious damage, storms and droughts are not terribly common and birds ally themselves with tree to keep most of the insects in check.



Unusual Christmas Tree Ideas

When is a christmas  tree  more than a christmas  tree  and more akin to a piece of art? After reading the following christmas  tree  ideas you will realize that there is a very fine line between just a  tree  and a piece of original sculpture. If you have a passion for unusual christmas  trees  maybe you will find some of the following ideas inspirational. Keep in mind that most of the christmas  tree  ideas below work best as miniature tabletop  trees  or holiday table centerpieces.

The Bead  Tree 

Bead  trees  are simply a cone of paper that is circled by a long strand of beads that are glued to it. These beads coil repeated around the cone until they resemble a christmas  tree . These unusual christmas  trees  can be made out of any material that you like – pearls, glass beads and novelty beads. You can also twine fine foil braid or ribbon around the beads to give your  tree  special holiday flair.

The Candy Cane Christmas  Tree 

This little  tree  looks nice using candy canes that are either red or green striped. Once again you will need some kind of conical armature. If you make a really small one you don’t need an armature at all. The idea is to make a teepee frame using long candy canes. Then take smaller ones (or chop of the length of the longer ones) and place them symmetrically around the  tree  frame with the hooks of the candy canes u upside down and sticking up like branches. If you are really ambitious you can also glue candies to the tipped up edges with butter cream frosting to resemble Christmas decorations.

The Lollipop Christmas  Tree 

This is one of the simplest of do it yourself unusual christmas  trees . All that is required is a Styrofoam armature and red and green lollipops. You can also roll up a piece of stiff paper that is green in color into a cone and poke the stems of the lollipops through the  tree  so that only the candy part is showing. This is done so that the lollipops are facing downwards to look like  tree  boughs. You can use a brightly colored yellow lollipop stuck with the stem straight down through the top of the cone to be the  tree-topper . This is one of the more unusual christmas  tree  ideas.

The Marshmallow and Gum Drop  Tree 

This is inspired by one of Martha Stewart’s unusual christmas  tree  ideas. All you need to create this is a conical Styrofoam shape in the size you desire (to use as an armature) and some mint green and white marshmallows. You spear the marshmallows on a toothpick or pin and then affix them to the sides of the Styrofoam cone so that it simulates an evergreen with snow-laden boughs. You can also decorate this  tree  with edible gold or silver cake decorations. A Christmas star made out of shortbread covered with glitter makes a great  tree  topper for these types of unusual christmas  trees .

The Pine Cone  Tree 

To make this  tree  all you need is several very healthy looking pine cones. Glue them together in a conical shape until you have a shape that resembles a christmas  tree . Glue acorns and holly berries on the sides to mimic christmas decorations and glue a large one on top of the  tree  to create a christmas  tree  topper.

If this look is too naturalistic for you can always spray paint the  tree  silver and paint the acorns a gold color.

The Pipe Cleaner Christmas  Tree 

This is one of the classic christmas  tree  ideas that is fun to do with the kids. All you need is lengths of green pipe cleaner cut into equal shapes and beads with holes large enough to slip over the pipe cleaners.

Your next step is to create a trunk out of a single pipe cleaner or two. Simply find a wine cork and jab the end of the pipe cleaner into the cork to create a base for the  tree . The limbs of the  tree  can then be constructed from pipe cleaners that are twisted outward from the trunk to resemble branches. The beads can then be slipped over the pipe cleaner branches as decorations. A star shaped bead can be used as the  tree  topper.

The Puff Pastry Christmas  Tree 

You have probably seen those wedding cakes that are made of puff pastry filled with cream and then stacked in a pyramid shape. Usually these are drizzled with chocolate icing. These actually look like Christmas  Trees .

You can make the same recipe and stack the christmas puffs in a conical shape. Then instead of chocolate drizzle try drizzling them with a white icing to mimic snow. Edible gold and red glitter can mimic the effect of christmas decorations and a pastry pipe filled with red or green decorating gel be spiraled around the cake to achieve the effect of christmas garlands. You can also dispense with all of that fuss and just wrap it with spiral of pretty ribbon.

Of course this kind of cake will need some kind of topper. Instead of a bride and groom, why not top it with a battery run blinking snowflake or star?

The Sequined Christmas  Tree 

This novelty miniature  tree  is one of the prettiest of unusual christmas ideas but it takes a lot of patience to realize it perfectly. To make one all you need is a lot of hatpins with pearl tips (preferably in christmas colors such as white, green and red) and bags of sequins in the colors of your choice. The idea is that these sequins will be threaded onto the hatpins and painstakingly tucked into a conical Styrofoam shape until no white space is left. Tiny plastic crystals can also be suspended by pins to serve as xmas decorations.

The Tropical Fruit Christmas  Tree 

If you like christmas  tree  ideas that are made of food then you will like this exotic centerpiece. This centerpiece is made of pomegranates of different sizes (to mimic the look of a red christmas  tree .) Larger pomegranates are placed in a circle on the bottom and the smaller ones are stacked on top until a  tree  shape is achieved. You can then tuck lychee nuts (still in their natural gauzy white wrapping) in between the pomegranates to simulate gold and white xmas decorations. The  tree  topper can be made from a slice of star fruit that has been dipped in candied sugar.