Saturday, December 26, 2015 By: Ask A Master Gardener

Disposal of Christmas Trees--Storing Pecans

Many ways to dispose of Christmas trees

Brian Jervis: Ask a Master Gardener

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Q: Will the city of Tulsa pick up my Christmas tree after the holidays? Glenda, Tulsa
A: Trees will be picked up curbside after the holidays on your primary collection day. The trees should be 6 feet long or less or trimmed to 6 feet if need be.
Other more environmentally friendly options for tree disposal are available. All of these options require the initial removing of tinsel and other decorations.
Trees may be recycled into mulch two ways. First, Southwood Landscape and Garden Center, 9025 S. Lewis Ave., and Owasso Tree and Berry Farm will take live-cut trees and grind them for recycling. You need not have bought your tree from these businesses for them to accept it.
Another way to recycle your tree, if you are able, is to take it to the City of Tulsa’s Green Waste Site. It is located at 2100 N. 145th East Ave. and is open seven days a week 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., closing only on city holidays. The service is free with proof of Tulsa residency. At the green waste site, you may also obtain all of the free wood chip mulch you may need. In addition, free firewood is on site.
Trees also make great winter bird sanctuaries in your landscape. They offer a place out of the wind and cold, as well as protecting them from predators. The addition of peanut butter and suet to the limbs is a good energy source for birds and a good project for children.
The smaller limbs and fronds can be removed and be either added to the compost bin or in the garden bed as a mulch, the remaining trunk used as a stake in the garden. Another option for the fisherman is to sink a bundle in a local lake or pond, creating a fish shelter, especially for crappie.

Q: What is the best way to store pecans and what is the storage life? K. S., Tulsa
A: Pecans can be stored and maintain good quality if certain guidelines are followed. They should be harvested as soon as they fall from the tree. If not, they will absorb moisture, begin to deteriorate and become rancid and discolored. Whether shelled or not, they should then be allowed to dry at room temperature with good air circulation for about two weeks.
Pecans should be stored airtight in a solid plastic or glass sealable container or a heavy duty sealable plastic bag. They survive best in a refrigerator and the colder the storage, the longer quality is maintained. If left exposed in the refrigerator, they pick up odors of other foods, which will spoil the taste. Generally, unshelled pecans last a few months longer than shelled ones at any temperature.
Typically, shelled pecans stored at 70 degrees should last 3-4 months, those at 32 degrees 12 months, at 20 degrees 18 months and at 0 degrees for a few years.

Garden tips
§  Poinsettias must have at least six hours of bright, indirect light daily. Keep plants away from drafts.
§  Now is a good time to fertilize spring blooming bulb plants such as daffodils. Their leaves are now growing and emerging from the ground and can use extra nitrogen fertilizer. Now and in the fall are the best times to fertilize these plants rather than after blooming. After blooming they go dormant. Most tulips are grown as annuals and do not need fertilizer.
§  Wait to prune fruit and other trees and shrubs trees until late winter and early spring. Don’t prune spring blooming shrubs such as azaleas until after blooming is competed.


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