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Growing on the High Plains: Fir Sure

To fir or not to fir, that is the question! While we're all pining for the impending holidays, I thought I'd share some festive wisdom about an iconic, annual friend to many High Plains households: the Christmas tree. Even if you're from an artificial-tree household, it's fascining to know more about the different varieites of conifers that grace our holiday homes.

Our family's annual trips to Boise City, Oklahoma's fabulous Brandt Nursery will forever remain one of my favorite traditions. The late Gunther Brant introduced me to numerals horticultural wonders, including the "Doug fir" (which isn't actually a fir) and the balsam fir (which actually is).

What's your perfect tree? Do you care most about the shape, the bright-green color, the tightly-cascading branches that secure decorations, or the fresh, forest fragrance? Whatever you love most, there's surely a tree out there for you. Thanks for tuning in to Growing on the High Plains throughout the year, and from my garden to yours, happy holidays!

Years ago Skip Mancini left the rocky coast of Northern California to return to her roots in the heartland. Her San Francisco friends, concerned over her decision to live in a desolate flatland best known for a Hollywood tornado, were afraid she would wither and die on the vine. With pioneer spirit, Skip planted a garden. She began to learn about growing not only flowers and vegetables, but hearts and minds. If you agree that the prairie is a special place, we think you'll enjoy her weekly sojourns into Growing on the High Plains.