Thought you were allergic to real Christmas trees but didn't understand why? Organic landscape specialist Tanya Hans thought she was too...until she realized it wasn't the tree that bothered her but the toxic chemicals sprayed on it. She discovered that trees grown with natural methods and with organic alternatives to toxic pesticides were no longer a threat to her system. As a parent and grandparent, she shares her love of naturally grown plants at Christmas and throughout the year.
Husband David Hans, who designs natural landscapes for people throughout the Nashville Metro area in Tennessee, spends much of December tending the tree lot and baling up each family's favorite pick. Hans said most of this year's trees were organically grown in Pennsylvania, where they narrowly missed damage from Hurricane Sandy. While the hurricane destroyed the crop of Frasier firs there, several other varieties survived. The lot at All Naural Lawns and Landscape in the Nashville suburb of Antioch is filled with compact Canaan firs, colorful blue spruce and Norway spruce, even 10-foot-tall, frosty toned concolor firs with a hint of citrus. The trees are attentively watered for maximum freshness.
How can trees on the Hans' lot look so beautiful when they didn't get the typical rounds of pesticides used around most evergreen trees? "There's always an organic alternative," said Tanya Hans. Growers using USDA Organic methods adopt integrated pest management and a limited amount of more earth-friendly and people-friendly products to control insects.