Turns out there is quite a science to keeping the needles on Christmas trees. NPR’s Science Friday recently hosted a discussion with Raj Lada, Professor and Founding Director of the Christmas Tree Research Center in Nova Scotia. You can listen to the interview here: http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/201012106
In the meantime, here’s the basics from Dr. Raj on keeping your Christmas tree needles attached. The crux of the issue is ethylene, which causes the needles to separate from the tree, aka drop. Ethylene is the same gas that helps fruit ripen. One can prevent ethylene formation by tricking the tree into thinking it is still growing, by watering it and giving it light, or by blocking the ethylene receptors so ethylene cannot become active. That is where kling comes in. https://huffygirl.wordpress.com/category/satire-friday/
Although the makers of kling do not explain the process in their literature, it seems logical that kling either slows ethylene production or blocks ethylene receptors, which slows/prevents needle drop.
The interview is short and informative, so you may want to give it a listen. And be sure to accept that paper slip of kling when you pick out your Christmas tree. Turns out it does something after all!
- Researchers discover a way to delay Christmas tree needle loss (eurekalert.org)
- Tree-needle riddle solved by Quebec researchers (cbc.ca)
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