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Proctor's Garden: Preserve your holiday greenery

Take care with your evergreens and they'll last through the holidays.

COLORADO, USA — We all love the smell of fresh-cut evergreens but dislike the needle drop of our trees, boughs and wreaths.

There's a solution for that. Protect your greenery by spraying it. Use a product such as Wilt-Stop or Wilt-Pruf, available at garden centers.

Spread a tarp or newspapers. Spray when it's above 50 degrees. You can spray in a garage if it's colder. The main ingredient is pine tar so it's safe to use. Spray and cover the needles thoroughly. This will seal in the moisture and help prevent leaf drop. 

You can also spray evergreens grown in containers or evergreens growing in the ground that tend to brown out in winter.

After the spray dries, go ahead and decorate. It's a bit sticky but easily washes off your hands with soap and water.

Pine needles can and should be added to your compost after the holidays. Chipper shreaders are great for this. Adding evergreen needles will not appreciably change the pH balance of your garden soil. Our soil and water are alkaline and raising the acidity is actually a good thing. Put those pine needles to good use. 

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