NEW HAMPTON — The president of the Iowa Christmas Tree Association, John Beckwith of New Hampton, says the growing season for the trees was a good one despite the dry weather.

“Some folks had some issues you know with some winterburn from last year and kind of carry over from the drought — and then there’s drought this year in some areas, but for the most part, I’m hearing that there’s a lot of good nice trees out across Iowa and we’re looking forward to a good season here,” he says.

Beckwith says as the president of the association he has to recommend that you get a live tree. “That’s what we’re all about and the advantage of that is they’re fresh trees and oftentimes you can cut your own or get a fresh cut from the lot,” Beckwith says. “And if you start out with a nice fresh tree the odds are they’re going to hold their needles and you’ll have a really nice tree throughout the season.”

Beckwith says proper care once you get the tree home is important. “It’s fairly simple, you want to have a stand that’s big enough to hold the amount of water that the tree takes and then you want to water it and keep water on it,” he says. “When you get it home do a fresh cut and put it in the water and it should be fine since it’s since it is a fresh cat tree it should have no problem holding needles and being a nice tree throughout this whole season.”

When it comes to the Christmas lights make sure you unplug them before you retire for the night or when away from home. There are approximately 140 Christmas tree growers in the state with 60 of them members of the statewide Christmas tree association.

For more tips on Christmas trees in Iowa go to www.iowachristmastrees.com