Online Christmas Tree Guide

Before heading out to one of the many Christmas tree farms around the Valley, it may serve you well to first check your smartphone or tablet for advice.

Yes, there is an app for that.

“Doug Fir’s Christmas Tree Guide” is available as a free mobile app at the Android Playstore. For those less tech-savvy, the guidecan also be found online at www.natureatlas.org/christmastree/.

The guide was created by Millersville University biology professor Dr. Chris Hardy, computer science professor Dr. Nazli Hardy and alumnus Joe Marks and includes detailed information on a variety of fir, spruce, pines and cypress trees, along with photographs, historical and biological aspects of each of them.

“Joe, Nazli and I combinedour skills and knowledge to create a unique tool that brings the splendor of these iconic trees to as many people as possible,” said Hardy. “Whereas most tree shoppers acknowledge that choosing the right tree is a very important and personal endeavor each year, most also are not as fully informed about the possibilities as they could be. The (guide) is meant to inform and excite people. Perhaps it will help to reverse the trend in recent decades of declining tree diversity at retail lots and choose-andharvest farms.”

While heavy on details, the trio also throw in some fun facts about the evergreens they feature, such as Concolor fir being a protected species in Nevada due to its potential for over-exploitation as a Christmas tree and the Scotch pine is the tree chosen by Ralphie’s family in the classic 1983 film, A Christmas Story.

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