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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Trying to keep the needles on

The presents are unwrapped. The children’s shrieks of delight are just a memory. Now it’s time for another Yuletide tradition: cleaning up the needles that are falling off your Christmas tree.

“I’m not particularly worried about it. … I’ll just sweep it up,” said Lisa Smith-Hansford, of New York, who bought a small tree at a Manhattan sidewalk stand last week. She likes the smell of a real tree, she said, comparing it to comfort food.

But others do mind. Consumers consistently cite messiness as one of the most common reasons they don’t have a real tree, says the National Christmas Tree Association.

Christmas trees: real or fake? When do you take yours down?

Re: Watering the Xmas tree as a kid

If you were assigned that job, how seriously did you take this responsibility?

A) I watered it 14 times a day. B) There were whispers of "OCD." C) My attitude was "Look, let's not kid ourselves, it is dead and no amount of watering is going to change that." D) It sucked up so much water I was tempted to shout "It's aliiiiiiiiiiive!" E) We always had an aluminum tree. F) Other.

Wild mushroomer goes ornamental over Christmas

WILD EDIBLES — For Metaline Falls mycologist Drew Parker, Christmas is the season to reflect on the Return of the Fungi, as you can see in the photo above.

Meantime, would you be shocked to discover that the secular tradition of Santa Claus and the flying reindeer was based on consumption of psychedelic fungi, the Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria)?  Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service scientists, read the story here, and never look at Santa the same way again!

This date in Slice history (1999)

Here's The Slice's proposed code of conduct for Spokane area Christmas tree lots.

1. No arguing in front of the kids.

2. No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service.

3. Keep the bargaining cheerful.

4. Sniffing is free.

5. No cell phones.

(Sort of makes me laugh now to think that 13 years ago I thought No. 5 was even remotely realistic.)

Don’t burn that Christmas tree

If you are looking for a way to dispose of your Christmas tree, the Spokane Valley Transfer Station is willing to take it off your hands. Residents can take their undecorated, unflocked trees to the station at 3941 N. Sullivan Road for a $5 disposal fee. Trees taller than six feet must be cut in half. The trees will be composted.

Above all, don't haul your tree out in your yard and torch it. I've already heard one call on the scanner for that recently. Outside burning is illegal in almost every area served by the Spokane Valley Fire Department. The trees also burn hot and fast and could spread fire where you don't really want it.

Just wondering

1. Why would someone put the Christmas tree out by the curb on Dec. 26?

2. You are aware, aren't you, that black-eyed peas aren't always shelved near the beans?

3. If you overheard someone referring to a Spokane wrestling showdown between Thompson High and Hoover High, would you know what's being discussed?

Pictures of cats in Christmas trees






Before the Festivus pole there was…





Recycle your tree for Ferris High School

The annual tree recycling benefit at Ferris High School is on Jan. 1-2 and on Jan. 8-9 - all days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. During that time you can drop your tree off in the Ferris parking lot on the corner of 37th Avenue and Regal, and it will be recycled to woodchips for a $5 donation. The money goes to support the Ferris Senior All Nighter. You can also schedule a tree pick-up at your house for $12 ($10 for senior citizens) by calling (509) 536-7967 or by e-mailing cygloge@aol.com

O Christmas Tree how do we get rid of thee?

Pastor Debra Conklin plugs in the Christmas tree outside the Perry Street Cafe on Tuesday Dec. 14, 2010

SPOKANE, Wash.—Neighbors have a few environmentally friendly options to discard their dried up Christmas trees. Spokane Trash Service will pick up trees placed alongside garbage bins on regularly schedule pick up days. The city will accept trees up to 6 feet in height but if they are taller, they must be cut in half.

Those trees will be chipped up and composted. All Spokane city and county residents can also take their trees to the Waste to Energy Facility on Geiger.  Posted at KREM.com Read more.

When do you take your Christmas Tree down?

Get permit to cut Christmas tree

NATIONAL FORESTS — Ho, ho, ho! It’s time for many to honor the family tradition of heading to a national forest to cut a Christmas tree.

First stop should be to a U.S. Forest Service office to get a $5 permit. Families can purchase up to three “tags.”

In Spokane, the get the permits at the federal map and information center at the BLM office, 1103 N. Fancher Road Monday- Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Coeur d’Alene River Ranger District offers a “permit by mail” system. Get the order form online.

Use the tree-cutting expedition to help forest managers. Drive or walk up little-used back roads or even gated roads and cut trees growing within the road prism – from the top of the cut bank to the bottom of the fill slope. This helps to reduce the number of trees that grow large and encroach on the road.