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Who You Gonna Call For Help With Christmas Tree?

Who You Gonna Call For Help With Christmas Tree?
Don't call these FFA members!

Through the beauty of video, DVDs and now Blu-Ray, whatever that is — I just write about technology, I don't necessarily use it — the legend of Ghostbusters lives on. The fanciful comedy of a couple decades back featured an inept crew of supposed ghost chasers, who got more ghosts than they bargained for while trying to make a buck. The famous line coming out of that movie became: 'Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!'

Well, if you still need your live Christmas tree put up, here are some people you don't want to call. To be accurate, they should call themselves the 'Treebusters!' The other question coming out of the experience of watching two crews of FFA members decorate trees for the Hoosier Beef Congress a few days ago could be: "How many FFA members and adult volunteers does it take to put up a live Christmas tree?" The answer is somewhere around six plus the adult leader, plus a couple ladies recruited for other details.

Once the sawdust was placed to make four show rings in preparation for Congress, two crews of four FFA members each were assigned to put up a Christmas tree in two corners of the show ring. They were live trees. Someone threw a live tree and a stand in the ring close to where it should go.

The first rule to putting live trees into metal stands with screws that screw in to brace the tree is that the trunk must slam into the metal spike inside the bottom of the stand. Group A's tree was too fat. They needed to remove some branches. That's tough to do without a saw. So they used pliers! It worked, but only after a lit of giggling and time-wasting. Then the tree went in, but it still wasn't straight.

By this time one member defected, upset with his crew, and joined the other crew on their tree. The three persevered, and soon figured out that the trick was wiring the tree to the corner fence. Fortunately, the fence butted up against a huge steel vertical support beam for the building. You guessed it- the tree wound up tied to the beam, not only at the bottom, but at the mid-section two. And the adults even conceded there was no better way to do it.

So after getting their tree up quickly, Group B came taunting Group A. But their giddiness was short lived when someone yelled, 'Look!' and their tree toppled over, In the end, they resorted to wire around the middle of the tree and a building support as well.

Tom Dull and family, Thorntown, will gladly show you how to assemble your tree to your stand if you stop by their tree farm in Boone County this week. They've been raising Christmas trees for two decades. Last winter, they were awarded a Campbell's Soup grant to refurbish an old barn to preserve it. They now use it in their 'you-pick' Christmas tree and shop experience.

Ironically, it was FFA members from two Indiana chapters, Western Boone and Clinton Prairie, and one Illinois chapter, who helped redo the barn. How many FFA members does it take to refurbish an old barn? At last count, Dull pegged it at somewhere over 100!

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