I don’t know if it is the sudden return to near winter type weather or what, but I’ve been thinking about the upcoming holidays. Can you believe that it’s just eleven weeks until Thanksgiving? I can – it feels quite a lot like November around here today. With the dark gray sky and constant drizzle, the sun doesn’t have a chance to warm things up today. I’m sitting near my woodstove, wondering if I’ve ever been tempted to light a fire this “early in the season” before – it’s still summer!
As I sit here, trying to talk myself into believing that the sun will burn away these clouds and I’ll actually warm up this afternoon, my mind has been drifting to thoughts of Christmas trees and the wonderful wintery scent of conifers and cinnamon and peppermint. The winter holidays always bring a smile to my face and warmth to my heart, so why not imagine what my wife might like for her indoor decorating this year?
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m more of a harvest my tree in the wild kind of guy while my wife prefers things to appear neat and tidy with a proper sense of order. I’m thinking about a tree that I’d like to find for my garden, but would make a great containerized live tree for our holidays. I’ll need to convince my wife that it will be a fun new tradition to set up and decorate our tree just a day or two before Christmas so that the live tree will have the best chance of survival after our holiday fun.
Pinus leucodermis (heldrichi) ‘Compact Gem’ is the perfect tree to fit my wife’s expectations of tidiness while providing an abundance of wonderful holiday perfume for my pleasure. There’s just nothing like the scent of fresh conifer greens in the dead of winter to lift ones spirits.
‘Compact Gem’ is one of the nicest, most compact, neat and tidy, perfectly shaped pines available. Its green color is rich and bright – even in winter – so that it will bring cheer to both the landscape and the winter holiday indoor decorations. Its branches are spaced enough to allow ornaments to hang and yet dense enough to hide the wires of the lights you might like to string around the tree.
In the landscape, ‘Compact Gem’ makes a stately specimen with perfect symmetrical form. Hardy to -20 degrees Fahrenheit, even my friends in Zone 5 will be able to enjoy this one. If you need a hardy, somewhat formal looking screen, ‘Compact Gem’ should work well growing up to 12” per year while keeping its compact tidy appearance.
Yes, ‘Compact Gem’ is the tree for me this year. If I were you, I’d get to my favorite garden center early and have them special order one. Then I’d let them hang on to it as long as possible before bringing it home. Check out my list of suggestions for a successful live Christmas tree experience in my past blog, “Weal kwissmas twees” while I cross my fingers and hope for a return to at least a couple more weeks of summer.