by johnah on October 30, 2020
Virginia Pine Tree Information – Tips On Growing Virginia Pine Trees
The Virginias are one of the most popular Christmas trees in North America. They grow well in a wide range of climates and soils. The best part about them is they have no known pests or diseases. Their shape makes it easy to trim down into smaller pieces for decorating your home, office, or even your patio furniture!
They are hardy and durable trees with a long life span. They don’t require much maintenance other than regular pruning to keep them looking their best. If you’re planning on having them outside, make sure you take extra care when handling them because they are very strong!
As far as size goes, they can reach up to 30 feet tall and weigh over 100 pounds each. The branches can be straight or wavy. You’ll want to choose a branch that will give you the look you’re going for. Some people like the straightness while others prefer the waviness.
You may have seen them at holiday parties, but now you know what they really look like under different lighting conditions!
Be sure to feed your tree at least once a week (twice if it’s near a heat source) and keep the water bowl full. The days may be short now but with proper care you’ll have a bright holiday season for years to come!
Make Sure You Get Your Tree From A Responsible Grower
It takes about 10 years for a seedling to become harvest ready. Before you choose a tree, look at the root system. It should be at least 2 feet away from the trunk. If you see circling roots or ones that touch, that’s a sign the tree is much older and may die soon.
After you bring your tree home, keep it in a shady area (under a roof or patio) for at least 2 days before putting it outside. Keep the root system wet until you’re ready to decorate.
Lastly, never use flammable items such as candles to decorate your tree. Even though the needles are thin, they can still cause a large fire.
If you think any of these conditions may be hazardous to your tree, contact a local tree care company. They will know exactly what to do and can easily answer any questions you have.
If you’re still unsure about a tree, don’t be afraid to ask the tree lot owner. They are there to help!
Good luck and happy decorating!
What Makes A Christmas Tree Grow?
When most people think about Christmas trees, they usually think about a lush green tree in a beautiful white bucket. This is not exactly what most Christmas trees look like when you buy one. In fact, most of them are brown and dry looking. The reason for this is that most Christmas trees are cut many weeks before they are sold. It takes time to dry them out and prepare them for sale.
Most Christmas tree growers plant their trees in the spring and then grow them for at least five years before they are big enough to be sold. During this time, it is important to fertilize them and care for them. They are also sprayed with a chemical to keep the needles from dropping off.
During the growing process, some trees may be sprayed with a blue dye to give them a more lasting color (since they do lose some of their green over time while they dry out).
Once the trees are harvested, most of them are dried out using a system of pipes that blow hot air through them. It takes about a week to dry them out for shipping. From there they can be shipped all over the country and maybe even exported to other countries as well.
What Types Of Trees Are Used For Christmas?
Most Christmas trees are either fir trees or pine trees (although it is possible to use other types as well).
The most popular Christmas tree is the Fraser Fir. It has long soft needles that hang straight from the branches and have a scent that many people find pleasurable. This type of tree is grown mostly in Oregon, but also in Washington and California.
The Balsam Fir is probably the second most popular Christmas tree. These trees have short stiff needles that are packed together in clusters of three. They have a strong smell which some people like and others find unpleasant. These trees are native to the northeastern United States and Canada.
The Scotch Pine is a popular tree grown in the United Kingdom. It has long straight needles with a strong scent. These trees have been traditionally imported to the US for use as Christmas trees, but they are now grown domestically as well.
The White Pine is another popular choice for Christmas trees. The needles are long and flexible and hang loose from the branches. The white pine is a native tree to the eastern and central United States.
Other types of trees that are found decorated for Christmas include the Leyland Cypress, Japanese Holly, Silk Tree, English Oak, and Eastern Red Cedar. Many people also prefer to plant their own trees each year and many hardware stores sell seeds to grow them from (in areas where they are hardy, of course).
Caring For Your Tree
How To Care For Your Christmas Tree
Once you have picked out the perfect tree for your home, how do you care for it and keep it fresh through the holiday season?
Once you get the tree home, cut off about a centimeter or so from the bottom of the trunk to make up for the portion that was cut when you bought it. Then stand the tree in a bucket of water which should be changed every day or two. (If you don’t have a bucket that’s big enough, cut the bottom out of a larger garbage bag, place it over the top of the tree trunk and secure it with a thick rubber band).
Make a fresh cut on the trunk each week (this will promote the flow of sap and keep it fresh).
Be sure to keep your tree well hydrated by watering it generously and making sure that it drains freely. You can also add a product that prevents the needles from falling off (look for one that’s non-toxic and isn’t going to give the tree an unpleasant scent).
Make sure that your tree is placed in a stand that is shallow enough to allow the top portion of the trunk to be completely submerged in water.
Give your tree at least a couple of hours each day in a space where it can “breathe” (don’t keep it in a garage or some other enclosed area).
Each day, take the tree out of its stand and make a slight cut on the trunk (near the bottom) with a sharp knife. This will allow the water that is held in the roots to flow freely through the trunk.
Many people like to place their tree in a bucket of sand in order to keep it from falling over. This is particularly useful if you have very young children who might knock it over accidentally.
Keep the tree out of direct sunlight when you aren’t around to watch it, as this can cause the needles to dry out and they may fall off. It should also be kept away from heaters and fireplaces.
Most importantly, keep the tree hydrated by watering it daily (perhaps even twice a day if your home is very dry). Make a fresh cut on the trunk as described above and add a product that prevents the needles from falling off.
The History Of The Christmas Tree
Where Does The Tradition Of The Christmas Tree Come From?
The modern tradition of putting up a Christmas tree in homes can be traced back to Germany in the sixteenth century. They were most commonly decorated with nuts, fruits, cookies, and figurines of angels. These early Christmas trees were considered to be symbols of life in the midst of winter.
Around the eighteenth century, people in England also began putting Christmas trees in their homes. At that time they were very popular among the upper classes. These trees were decorated with nuts, fruits, cakes, and even small presents.
In nineteenth-century America, the Christmas tree was a much more humble affair. Most people did not have artificial trees and those that did place them in their homes were only decorated with a few homemade ornaments.
It wasn’t until the late 1800s that commercial production of Christmas trees in America became popular. In 1851, Frederick Mills of Massachusetts invented the very first mechanical Christmas tree. This tree was made of paper and powered by a hand-cranked mechanism. It was a great success and was placed in stores and homes all across America.
Various shows, books, and magazines also helped to popularize the Christmas tree throughout the 1800s and by the early 1900s they had become a standard decoration in most American homes.
Today, most artificial Christmas trees are made from a combination of plastic and PVC. They are shipped all across the world and can be found in tens of millions of homes.
Examples Of Christmas Trees
Evergreens have been symbols of life for centuries. In bible times, the evergreen tree was a symbol of everlasting life and was often used to decorate temples. The ancient Egyptians revered the cypress tree and used to plant them near their tombs. In Nordic mythology, the world was formed from the evergreen tree. It is also thought that the Druids worshipped trees, especially the oak tree.
In many cultures, evergreens are thought to have magical properties and in England it was once common to bring a sprig of holly (which is a type of evergreen) into the house at the start of the twelve days of Christmas. It was believed that this would drive out evil spirits.
Trees are an important part of Christmas, which is why they have been incorporated into the holiday in so many ways. From the very start, decorations have included evergreens and it’s not surprising that they have now become the most popular type of Christmas decoration.
Make A Wish To The Yule Goat
The Yule Goat Comes Down The Chimney
In Scandinavian countries, children leave out food for a Yule goat in order to receive gifts. This tradition is hundreds of years old and was started by poor people who could not afford to buy Christmas presents for their children.
In Finland, the Yule goat comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve and lands in the center of the house. It is very loud when this happens as his hooves are made of iron. The Yule goat is also known as “Joulupukki” (Yule Goat) or “Jullemort” (Mischief Ghost) in Finland and “Tomten” (Tom Thumb) in Sweden.
It is said that if children have been good, the Yule goat will leave gifts for them under the tree. If they have been bad, he will beat them with his iron hooves. In order to avoid this, Scandinavian parents often threaten their children with the Yule goat if they have been naughty.
The Yule Goat Comes Down The Chimney The Yule Goat Comes Down The Chimney
How The Christmas Tree Was Replaced By The Fir Tree
In the 16th century people living in what is now modern day Germany did not decorate evergreens at Christmas. Trees were considered to be symbols of nature and remained green all year round.
It was Catholic Church leader Gregory that first introduced the idea of decorating trees with fruit and candles. He wanted people to have a symbol of Christmas that wasn’t related to any old pagan traditions (like the Yule goat for instance). He wanted people to focus on Jesus Christ’s birth instead.
The first decorated Christmas tree was only small; it didn’t even reach the ceiling! It was a small fir tree placed in the nave of St. Peter’s Church in Erfurt, Germany. It had apples, nuts, paper flowers and small wax candles pinned to its branches.
Even though it was very small, a lot of people were very angry when they saw it! They thought that the Church was trying to replace the Yule goat with this new custom. They thought that by putting up trees they were taking away from the worship of God. In fact some people went into the church and destroyed the tree!
However, over time the custom spread and most people accepted it. Until the 19th century, fir trees continued to be the only type of trees that were decorated. It was Queen Victoria who first had a Christmas tree made from another type of tree.
Why Do We Give Presents At Christmas?
The custom of exchanging gifts is another that has its roots in pre-Christian times. The ancient Romans celebrated a festival called Saturnalia every year in honor of the god Saturn. This was between December 17th and 24th, but even though it was a festive holiday, there was still work to be done. On the day of the winter solstice however, it was a day of complete rest.
The festival started very early in the morning with a bribe (gift) from masters to slaves. This was the only day of the year that this happened, and it showed that everyone was equal. Slaves were allowed to do anything they wanted to their masters without punishment, and masters had to accept the abuse. The rest of the days of the festival were filled with merriment and gift-giving.
Even though the Saturnalia had been banned by the time Christianity arrived in Rome, some of its customs still survived. Christmas eventually took over the date of the 25th of December, and many of the gifts that were exchanged in the Saturnalia were continued in Christmas.
Gift-giving also has roots in the ancient Germanic tradition of “Wren Day”. This occurred every year on the 26th of December and involved killing a bird and exchanging gifts. The bird was usually a robin redbreast, but it eventually came to be any small bird because, over time, people had forgotten why the tradition started and just continued it out of habit.
Even modern Christmas traditions have old roots. The common modern idea of Santa Claus and reindeer pulling a sleigh loaded with gifts is just a modernization of the old Norse legend of a flying, drunken, cigar-smoking, elf called “Old Norse: julemanden” who rode through the air on a deer-drawn sleigh. This legend merged with the Christian tradition of a kindly old man who gave gifts and merged with Saint Nicholas, a 4th century Greek bishop who was famous for secret gift-giving.
The German Protestants changed much about Christmas, but they continued the gift-giving traditions.
So there you have it! The true origins of Christmas, and some of its more interesting (and bloody) history!
conquer – seizer af, vinne
literature – litteratur
shrine – helligdom
superstition – overtro
custom – bruk, skikk
influence – virke, innflytelse
bribe (n) – bestikkelse (m)
civilization – kultur; samfunn(et)
origins – opphav, historie
desecrate – ødeleggj, misbruk
amalgam – blandet seg (II)
rebellious – opposisjonell
orthodox – den offisielle retningen
heresy – farer, opposisjon
heretic – opposisjonell, farer
merge – blande
secretive – hemmelig, skjult
mysterious – uforklarlig, gåtefull
tradition – tradisjon; skikk
controversial – omstridt
A Brief History of the World
Part IV: From Now To The Future
The First and Second World Wars
It’s difficult to describe the horror of the 20th century. World War I was truly a bloody spectacle, with the introduction of weapons which were vastly superior to those which had come before. There was a reason why it was known as “The Chemist’s War”, due to the large use of deadly gas and other chemicals. More people died from casualties of toxic gas than all other weapons combined.
The war also saw the first modern day uses of aircraft in battle, with fixed-wing planes being used for reconnaissance and bombing. People had already been speculating about the potential of using planes for travel before the war, but it was during this time that air travel became a necessity rather than a luxury. Airports were quickly built all across the globe so governments could have quick access to planes when needed. The largest airport was the City of London Airport, located in the heart of England.
The war also saw the first use of automatic weapons in battle. The deadliest of these were machine guns, which were mounted on frames or tripods and could fire hundreds of bullets per minute. In the hands of a skilled operator, they could lay down a field of fire that no soldier could pass through alive.
Guns were not the only weapons which saw an upgrade. The war was also the first time in human history where weapons of mass destruction were used on a large scale, with the Germans using chlorine and phosgene gas to deadly effect, as well as horrific poison gas. Their most infamous weapon was chlorine gas, which had a deathly smell and could burn through the lungs, killing the victim by necrosis.
The most horrific weapon of the war used by the Germans was the Poison Gas Bomb. These were shells containing several pounds of deadly gas which could kill everything within a blast radius of 200 feet. It was for this reason that the trench warfare seen in World War I became possible, as soldiers dug holes to hide in from the constant possibility of death from above. In no other war before had soldiers dug long channels to hide in.
With these new weapons coming into play, soldiers needed a new kind of armor to protect them. It was during this time that the first modern helmets were used, as well as the advent of parachutes and pilot goggles. Without these, it would be almost certain death for any soldier or pilot involved in an aerial battle.
modern-day automatic weapons, and the advent of bombs that can level entire blocks.
The most terrifying invention of World War II, however, was the atomic bomb. The first one was created by the United States, who in a bold move decided to use it on the city of Hiroshima, killing over 100,000 people instantly and wounding many more. Three days later, the United States destroyed the city of Nagasaki with a second atomic bomb, killing over 75,000.
The atomic bombing of two civilian cities ended the war, as Japan would surrender within weeks of the bombs being dropped. Afterwards, the world entered an even darker age than the Cold War, with a new threat looming over the horizon. The Soviets developed their own atomic bomb by the start of the 1950s, and the prospect of Nuclear War became all too real.
Before the first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the world lived in a state of peace. The leader of the free world, the United States, decided to use it to destroy an enemy city. Since then, humanity has lived in fear of complete and utter annihilation.
The world lived under the looming threat of World War II, with constant skirmishes in Africa and Asia. It was during this time that the United States developed its first atomic bomb. The dropping of this bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, ended World War II and ushered in a new era of international fear and loathing.
The Cold War lasted from around 1947 to 1991, beginning just after World War II ended. It consisted of a constant state of hostility between the Western Allies (The U.S. and its allies) and the Eastern Bloc (The Soviet Union and its allies). It was marked by actions such as proxy wars, nuclear arms races, propaganda campaigns, espionage, and competitive technological development.
The period after the Second World War is generally regarded as the beginning of the Nuclear Age. In this age, there was a constant threat of annihilation for the human race. During the Cold War, it was the U.S.A and the U.S.S.R.
against each other, with both sides trying to one up each other with technology. The Space Race was a major part of this, with both sides developing space travel for military and civilian purposes.
With the death of the Second Sons’ leader, the group falls apart without his iron fist leadership. A number of its members are absorbed into the ranks of the Ebony Claw, whose power in the city has grown as a result of their alliance with the late Mr. Mol. Others leave the city entirely, no longer trusting to stay in Klyton and opting to become bandits or adventurers instead. Still others attempt to start their own bandit gangs.
These half-assed efforts at best and are crushed within a month by the Klyton militia, or they join together and manage to carve out a niche for themselves outside the city limits where they trade their banditry for simple burglary and pick pocketing.
Of course this is all on the up and up stuff. The Black Hooks continue their more criminal ways, but they’ve lost their protection from the law and are now fair game. The militia cracks down hard on them, hanging several of the gang’s members. Eventually the Black Hooks follow in the footsteps of their former brethren and either leave for safer climes or go deeper underground.
The only major success story is your old friend Warts who apparently avoided all this by simply leaving Klyton entirely soon after you did.
As for you, you still live in Klyton and you still work as an instructor at the university, though you made a lot of money selling your guns to the military during the war. You’re doing OK, but you can’t say the same for the rest of the city…
Klyton is in worse shape than it was before the war. The war itself didn’t directly effect it (Though there were a few minor scuffles near the border). But the purges of undesirables, the rebuilding of the army, the loss of cheap labor in the form of prisoners and the loss of funding for unnecessary subjects like philosophy have all had a negative effect.
Rationing is still in effect, and people are unhappy. There is a lot of tension among the citizens and the militia who are always on edge from potential attack. You certainly aren’t making things any better with your anti-authoritarian attitude. You have to walk around with a militia guard at all times.
Still, you do what you can for the downtrodden when you can and it makes you feel a little better, if no one else.
In the meantime you continue to teach. Not just the youth of today, but also the tomorrow of tomorrow. You take a real interest in some of your students. You see a lot of potential in them and really want to aid them any way you can in reaching their fullest potential.
You have a lot of plans…
“Warts! You’ll never guess who I ran into today!” you say to your old friend as you enter his home.
Warts asks, taking a swig out of his jug.
Warts spits some of his drink out upon hearing that name.
“You’re kidding me. Please tell me you’re kidding me,” Warts says.
“I’m serious. He’s the new head of the militia!” you say.
“Yeah! I passed him on the street and didn’t recognize him until he spoke to me.”
Well what’d he say?”
“He said ‘Hello Professor’”.
Warts begins laughing.
What’s so funny?”
“You. You’re a professor.” Warts continues to laugh.
We’re friends and I still don’t call you anything other than your nickname.
Why the hell would I call some stranger by their formal title?”
“It’s just a sign of respect.”
“It’s stupid,” Warts says.
The laughter subsides and Warts looks at you with a more serious expression.
“I’m glad you thought to mention him, I was wondering if I could ask a favor,” Warts says.
Of course, what is it?”
“I need you to defend me from the militia.”
You in trouble with the militia?”
“Sort of. I’ve been selling some of my brew for a little extra coin, and one of the customers got drunk and shot two militia men while trying to rob a bank.”
You’re being accused of bank robbery and homicide?”
“Bank robbery, homicide and also selling illegal alcohol. They got me on everything but the bank robbery. They even threw out the fact that I had a gun which I used to shoot a bear once.”
“Yeah, I was hunting. The stupid sonofabitch must have no sense of humor whatsoever.”
This guy running against you in the elections?”
“Yeah, his name is Rook. He’s been slowly encroaching in my territory for years. This is just another way of trying to put me out of business.”
“I thought you said this was just some small town politics and not some grand conspiracy.”
“It isn’t! It really is just some small town politics! Look, I knew you could be an undecided voter. I need you to vote for me. If I get elected, then I’ll make sure the militia leaves you alone and you never have to deal with these accusations again.”
“I don’t know, Warts. I’m still not sure if I like the direction this town is going in.”
“Come on! You can’t vote for that guy! He’s an idiot!”
“I don’t know…”
“Look, just meet with him and see what he’s planning for this town. If you still don’t like it, you can always vote for me instead. But I can’t convince you if you don’t meet with him.”
“I suppose that’s reasonable. Alright, I’ll meet with him.
Where is he?”
“He should be in the saloon right now. Go downstairs and into the back room. It’s where we hold town hall meetings and the sort.”
“Okay. Um, I guess I’ll see you later then.”
“Sure thing kid. And thanks! Thanks a lot!”
You walk downstairs into the saloon and enter the back room. There you see a heavyset man with a dark beard and messy hair. He’s dressed in a brown cowboy hat, rustic brown jacket with gold buttons and a black shirt underneath, a pair of worn jeans with a rattlesnake belt, and cowboy boots. He’s talking to the bartender, who points you out to him. He turns to look at you.
“Ah, the ale enthusiast. I understand you might be willing to vote for me in the upcoming election.”
I don’t know, what are your plans for the town if you get elected?”
“That’s a good question! A very good question! I’ll tell you what, let’s head to the table over there so we can talk about it.”
You look at the table he’s pointing at and see that there are already two other men sitting there. They both look like they’re already pretty drunk. You had not noticed them before since you were focused on the man speaking to you. One of them is a young man with thick black hair, a thin mustache, and a goatee. He’s dressed in denim jeans, a brown leather vest, a blue button up shirt and a newsboy cap.
The other man is older with thick gray hair and a thick gray mustache. He’s dressed in denim overalls over a gray t-shirt and is missing his lower teeth.
Are those guys with you?”
“Yeah, don’t worry though, you’ll like what I have to say. Come on, let’s sit down.”
You grab a chair from an empty table and walk over to sit with the man running for mayor as well as his two companions.
“Hey fellas, this is the guy I was talking about. The ale enthusiast.”
“Hi,” you say as you sit down.
“I’m Stinky Joe,” the man in the vest says extending his hand to shake.
“Nice to meet ya,” you say as you shake his hand.
“And I’m Casey Jones,” the overalled man says extending his hand.
“It’s nice to meet you as well,” you say shaking his hand as well.
So, you’re the ale enthusiast, huh?”
Stinky says with a grin.
“Apparently,” you say with a smile of your own.
“I think you’ll like what I have to say about this town. First off, I think we should start getting these tourist types in here more often.”
Huh? What do you mean?
I thought this town relied on the farms.”
“It does. But it could also benefit from having a lot more people living here full time as well. There’s plenty of room to build more houses. The area outside of town is practically empty, except for some farmland here and there.”
So you want to turn Piedmont into another Oakland?”
“Well, I don’t know about going that far. But I think if we build enough houses, we could definitely double, or maybe triple the amount of people living here. If we got enough people in this town, we could even get a baseball team together. All this empty space and we don’t even have a ballpark! It’s ridiculous!”
You laugh and nod your head as you like what Stinky’s proposing. This man seems like he has a good head on his shoulders and knows what he’s talking about. And the more people in this town, the more money you could make, which would be even better for you.
“That sounds amazing! I think if you get voted in we should definitely build a bigger town. I think I know just the place to put a new ballpark!”
Stinky and Casey ask simultaneously.
“Over by the old train tracks. There’s plenty of room over there, and you could build it in such a way that the tracks run right behind home plate!”
Stinky starts shaking your hand excitedly.
“With a view like that, I’d definitely be willing to watch a few baseball games!” he says excitedly.
“If only I was twenty years younger…” Casey says wistfully.
“I like your idea,” you tell Stinky. “Maybe you could build more than just a ballpark though. I mean a town with more people in it would be able to support shops and the like as well right?
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The inorganic nutrition of loblolly pine and Virginia pine with special reference to nitrogen and phosphorus by HA Fowells, RW Krauss – Forest Science, 1959 – academic.oup.com
Increase of polyphenol oxidase and decrease of polyamines correlate with tissue browning in Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana Mill.) by W Tang, RJ Newton – Plant science, 2004 – Elsevier
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Sensitivity of Virginia Pine to Ozone by DD Davis, FA Wood – Phytopathology, 1973 – apsnet.org
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Oxidant effects on forest tree seedling growth in the Appalachian Mountains by SF Duchelle, JM Skelly, BI Chevone – Long-Range Transport of Airborne …, 1982 – Springer