Keeping the garden tidy requires a few deft moves with the right tools, and, time and again over the seasons, shrub rakes are... Read more »
Entire books have been written on the science of making compost, but it isn’t as hard as people think. In five easy steps, you... Read more »
Weeding, pruning, and raking all make a huge difference in the appearance of a garden, but, to finish the job, you have to rou... Read more »
The Fiskars® aluminum shrub rake features a slim head with uniquely tapered tines that are perfect for reaching into tight spac... Read more »
Our Eco Bin Composter features an easy-to-assemble, easy-to-use design that can simplify and speed the composting process. It i... Read more »
Our HardShell® Kangaroo® Gardening Container is perfect for all your outdoor cleanup needs — whether you’re gathering yard and... Read more »
Are school fundraiser ideas keeping you up at night? A unique handmade art piece that represents your school is sure to be a p... Read more »
Creating beautiful and personal touches does not have to be difficult, especially when you have great designs to work with! Read more »
Recycle and give a new life to some of your old T-shirts Read more »
Teresa Collins is a top craft celebrity who has been featured numerous times on My Craft Channel, HSN, QVC and DIY network, wel... Read more »
Our unique Tag Maker with Built-in Eyelet Setter features an innovative design that makes it easy to create tags perfect for gi... Read more »
By creating a few simple tags, you won’t be caught at the fabric store not knowing what fabrics or yardage you have in your st... Read more »
A brocade drawstring pouch can be a beautiful and luxurious accessory or gift. Read more »
Transform a simple hoodie into a super simple unicorn costume and take the stress and pressure out of making a complicated Hal... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Serrated Fabric Shears sense blade separation an... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Try some new punches out and make some cards to celebrate World Card Making Day! Read more »
A personalized Duck Tape® crown is quick and easy to make with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors. It is a fun way to cele... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
Transform a basic jacket into something personal and unique. Read more »
Create a simple reusable calendar to plan all of your back to school activities. Read more »
Creating a miniature collage with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors is a great way to use up any last bits of Duck Tape® yo... Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Designed for all-purpose cutting through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
Preserve your wonderful vacation memories with these heart-felt, embellished, glass vases.
For those of us trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, this time of year poses yet another green dilemma. One of the most common reasons for buying an artificial tree is their longevity. Although artificial trees do get credit for their re-usability, an important factor in environmental stewardship, eventually they are discarded where they remain in a landfill forever more.
I certainly respect there are circumstances where artificial trees are more appropriate for certain users. Moreover, if you already have one, discarding it prematurely is not environmentally responsible either. However, when the opportunity presents itself, think twice before opting for artificial Christmas trees as the greener option, because they’re not.
Part of what makes artificial trees so sturdy are the components used in their construction. PVC plastics are made from petroleum by products, heavy metals are used to stabilize the plastics and the metal branches are mined from the earth. In California, warning labels are even required on artificial trees to alert users of the potential risk of hazardous materials…including lead. And the idea of buying local and supporting area businesses doesn’t apply to artificial trees. Most are made in China, shipped across the Pacific and then travel many more miles to reach their final destination.
If you haven’t figured out by now, contrary to a common misconception, live trees are a better environmental choice. At any moment, there are approximately half a billion trees growing for future harvest that otherwise would not be there. While growing, they’re absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, stabilizing soil and providing habitats for wildlife.
As trees are harvested, new trees are planted to take their place. And unlike artificial trees, real trees can often be purchased from local farms. After they have served their purpose they can be utilized as a mini-habitat for wildlife or hauled off and shredded for compost.
But the best option is a live Christmas tree you can plant in your yard. Over the last several years, the popularity of living Christmas trees has
been on the rise. But many of these trees don’t survive the holiday season. Knowing how to choose, plant, and care for a live Christmas tree will make for a happier holiday, and a valuable addition to your landscape.
When purchasing your tree, select a variety known to grow well in your area. Consider the mature height and width of the tree and know where you will plant it in your landscape. Particularly in areas where the ground freezes, consider preparing the planting hole in advance of freezing weather.
Once home, your tree needs to stay outside, in a protected area, until a few days before Christmas. Water the tree immediately and make sure the soil is kept moist, but not wet. It also needs to be sheltered from high winds and full sun. The objective is to acclimate your tree to warmer temperatures over a period of three to four days.
Avoid the temptation to bring your tree indoors too early. In fact, the less time indoors the better. One or two days before Christmas is best, but no more than a week! And be sure to move your tree back outdoors as soon as possible after Christmas. However, don’t immediately plant it. The tree will need to readjust to outdoor conditions in a protected area for several days.
Plant this tree as you would any other, following sound planting practices. The hole should be at least twice as wide as the root ball, but no deeper, even slightly higher is better. Contrary to conventional information it is not advisable to amend your planting hole with organic matter. Rather, backfill with the original, well-pulverized soil.
Finally, be sure to water and mulch your tree to retain moisture. Continue to monitor soil moisture. Winter conditions can be very dry, and your plants and trees need water now as well, especially newly planted ones.
So if you’ve made the choice to go with a live tree instead of an artificial one, the proper care and planning, before and after the holidays, will help ensure your tree survives for years to come. Just not in the landfill!