Christmas Tree Sales Help Injured Firefighters

Christmas Tree Sales Help Injured Firefighters

Thanksgiving is over and Washington's attention has turned to Christmas, which means it’s time to go tree shopping.

Although plenty of options exist for buying your holiday centerpiece, one location stands out for two reasons. First, it's a restaurant, and secondly, proceeds aid injured firefighters.

It's an appropriate cause for the former firehouse-turned-eatery named Sixth Engine near D.C.'s Chinatown.

The restaurant's sidewalk patio serves as an evergreen lot to raise money for the D.C. Firefighters Burn Foundation.

Douglas and Fraser firs will be available, with four-foot trees starting around $40 and 11-foot trees selling for up to $140. 

Sixth Engine co-owner Jeremy Carman tells The Washington Post that the restaurant hopes to raise at least $13,000 for the organization. The restaurant can even arrange for same-day delivery depending on how far your fir has to travel.

Another co-owner, Tim Walsh, tells the newspaper he spent his teenage winters working at Christmas tree lots while growing up in Bethesda, Maryland.

"It's in my blood," he says. 

The idea for the holiday transformation was designed to help firefighters and also build a sense of community.

"You can't just do that overnight, but we are trying to build a mentality that this is a neighborhood even if it's still growing," Carman told DCEater last year.

Make your list and check it twice

If you can't make it into the city for your Christmas tree, no worries. No matter what highly rated local nursery or tree farm you may choose to visit, if you're armed with a checklist all should stay peachy green. 

For starters, ask the clerk where the trees originated. If they have traveled for a long time, they will be dry and already be losing needles.

Bounce the tree on the pavement. A few needles typically fall out, but a large shower of needles is a clear sign you should go elsewhere to find your tree. A healthy tree has supple, green and fragrant needles.

Be sure to inspect the tree for insects or, in some cases, small animals that you don't want to import into your living room.

You'll need enough trunk between the bottom of the tree and the lowest branches to make a diagonal cut. Make this cut right before placing your tree in water to aid absorption, so your tree will last and look great throughout the holiday season.

Have saw, will travel

Of course, you can go to a tree farm and cut down your own to ensure the freshest possible.

You can even chop down a tree from a National Forest, but that requires a permit. The charge is minimal. Each forest has its own set of rules and directions about size and site of trees available to cut. 

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