Rockin' around the Christmas tree thanks to nitrogen
Christmas baubles, lights and a star can make a tree look great at Christmas, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
If you like to have a real tree at Christmas, chances are you have some requirements when choosing one to take home. Maybe you want a certain size tree, a certain branch length (not too stubby, not too long), you might like it to be nice and full looking without too many gaps, and you probably want it to be green.
When you finally find that perfect tree, you have nitrogen to thank. Nitrogen exists in all living organisms and organic matter and it makes up 78% of the air we breathe. It’s essential for life on earth, as well as for finding the perfect Christmas tree. This is because nitrogen is an important structural component of many of the organic compounds found in plants. When it comes to spruce, fir and pine trees – the most common choices for Christmas trees, nitrogen plays a vital role in their development.
Nitrogen is a nutrient that Christmas trees need for growth and their access to this nutrient will determine the size and number of their buds and branches, their foliage density, and their colour. If a Christmas tree hasn’t been getting enough nitrogen, its needles are shorter and it can look more yellow than green. Not very festive.
So, when you find that perfect lush green Christmas tree, it’s all because the tree was getting enough of the good stuff, nitrogen.
In fact, nitrogen affects many festive activities in surprising ways. For example, the mulled wine you have as a festive tipple, the Brussels sprouts with your Christmas dinner and the cheese on your crackers are all commonly packaged and preserved with nitrogen, ensuring they taste just right for you at Christmas. You can learn more about how nitrogen is used for modified atmosphere packaging for food here.
From everyone at Peak Gas Generation, we wish you a Merry Christmas, good food and a nitrogen-rich Christmas tree!
Nitrogen gives 'Christmas' trees their green and healthy look
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