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Botany

I know there has been a lot of emphasis on the chemical treatment of ash trees for emerald ash borer but we now need to think about the danger…

Stretch the fun of this craft by having your child research pinecones or make up a short story about their snowy pinecone owls.

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Now 96, with a remarkable stage and screen career dating back to the 1950s (following success as a model), the Presidential Medal of Freedom winner is telling her life story, describing the book as “my truth. It is me, plain and unvarnished, with the glitter and garland set aside.” HarperCollins, Jan. 26

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Save your tree for trellising beans and peas in the garden. The vines will grow up and over, masking the bare tree branches. Growing vertically saves space and makes harvesting easier.

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Take advantage of that pine scent all year round. Pine needles can be stored in paper bags or sachets to use as fresheners around the house or in the car.

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Old Christmas trees can be a temporary habitat for birds seeking shelter. Stand the tree in a corner of the yard and load its branches with suet cakes, bird seed or fruit.

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Cutting off the branches and laying them in a garden bed will protect plants from winter freezes and spring thaws. Lay tree boughs over garden plants and frozen soil to keep the soil consistently cold, reducing the risk of early sprouting that can occur during winter thaws.

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With a few extra materials, Christmas tree clippings are perfect for making wreaths. You'll need clippers, a wreath ring, wire and wire cutters, and 7-10 pounds of clippings. Wreath rings can be purchased at Christmas specialty stores.

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Whether it's with woodchips or needles, mulch is a great way to keep your yard trees healthy and moist during the cold season.

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