Scientists Target Mess From Christmas Tree Needles
NEW YORK (AP) — The presents are unwrapped. The children’s shrieks of delight are just a memory. Now it’s time for another Yuletide tradition: cleaning up the needles that are falling off your Christmas tree.
“I’m not particularly worried about it … I’ll just sweep it up,” said Lisa Smith-Hansford of New York, who bought a small tree at a Manhattan sidewalk stand early this week. She likes the smell of a real tree, she said, comparing it to comfort food.
But others do mind. Consumers consistently cite messiness as one of the most common reasons they don’t have a real tree, says the National Christmas Tree Association.
Keeping a tree well-watered goes a long way toward minimizing the needle problem. But beyond that, scientists are trying to find ways to make trees less messy and keep them fresh through the holidays.
IT’S IN THE GENES
Some kinds of trees, like the noble fir or Fraser fir, are better than others at maintaining moisture and keeping their needles once they’re in your house, says Gary Chastagner of Washington State University. But even within a given species, some trees are better than others, he said. Needle retention is an inherited trait: if a —> Read More Here