a post from Jessica Story, Meadowbrook Farm
Poinsettias are NOT poisonous, they are the most studied decorative plant ever and no toxic effects have been found. In 1919 a 2 year old child of an army officer was found dead under a Poinsettia tree in Hawaii with poinsettia leaves in her hand. The investigation cleared the plant, but the record was never set straight and it has become an urban legend.
In nearly 23,000 recorded cases of Poinsettia ingestion, no life-threatening effect has ever been reported. The equivalent of a child eating over 600 leaves was tested and found to have little or no effect. Vomiting and diarrhea, while unpleasant, is the most likely result for a child or animal that did consume the leaves.
Interesting note-the Poinsettia and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society have a long history together-the first public introduction of the plant was at the first Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Flower Show in 1829)
Like a number of common houseplants, many common holiday plants are mildly toxic, but are so foul-tasting that ingesting enough to cause harm would be difficult. Holly and Mistletoe probably pose the most risk, because the berries can be swallowed whole. Jerusalem Cherry is extremely toxic and should be avoided in households with young children. Ornamental peppers may cause discomfort like any other hot pepper, but are not toxic.
Other common “toxic” holiday plants (safe to use, just use common sense too!)
Yew, as cut greens
Juniper berries on cut greens
Have you ever had a problem with children or pets eating any of these holiday plants?
Christmas is right around the corner and shoppers are out in record numbers. Folks are almost obsessed with getting their trees, poinsettias and gifts for family and friends. If you enjoy giving living plants for Christmas, consider giving poinsettias.
Last week, Russell Nagata wrote about the history of poinsettias. Today, let’s focus on purchase, propagation and care of this amazing plant.
Poinsettias, especially in Kona, are in spectacular color now. Although mainland folks think of the poinsettia as a Christmas flower, for us it blooms from late October through March. So if you don’t have a showy supply in your home and garden, now’s the time to start looking for them on the market.
Purchasing potted stock from a garden center or nursery is the easiest way to establish plantings of the holiday ornamental. However, some green thumb operators scavenge the neighborhood for hardwood cuttings when fellow gardeners prune their poinsettias following the flowering season. Getting plants this way can make you feel like a turkey if you choose cuttings from disease infected plants. If you get healthy plants, you can be sure to avoid “fowl” play.
There are a number of poinsettias available. They come in traditional reds or you can enjoy color combinations indoors and in the garden if you mingle the red plantings with white and pink varieties.
The public is invited to the “Christmas in Bethlehem” Fair at the Parish of St. Clement, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 4 at 1515 Wilder Ave.
The fair will include live Nativity scene pageants, readings and carols, and Bethlehem-themed children’s games, crafts and face painting. Other offerings include a food court including barbecue and Tongan and Mediterranean foods.
The Cherubim Marketplace will feature baked goods, jams and preserves; and the Bazaar will offer unique and handcrafted goods.
Poinsettia plants will be sold for $10 each but can be ordered in advance for $8.
The chance to win trips and luxury items will be available in the Three Kings Silent Auction.
Scrip for food, marketplace and kids games is available in advance at the church office between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.; by calling 955-7745; or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bringing a little more back home with you than just indigestion and a few extra pounds? If your checked baggage includes an entire Christmas tree then look no further than Delta to help you get your holiday tree back home in one piece. Most airlines would probably just laugh at you if you brought a Christmas tree to the airport, but apparently Delta will welcome you and your Tannenbaum.
Freshly cut trees will be accepted as limited-release baggage—that means you can’t flip out if they break a branch—for all flights within the nifty fifty. That’s right…no problem bringing one back to Hawaii, so you can share a little holiday aloha with your friends and family in the islands. You’ll just need to send it through the agricultural inspection folks when you arrive in paradise.
Like any checked baggage, trees will be subject to all kinds of baggage allowance and size restrictions, so that means no crazy ginormous trees. We’re thinking that also means that it will cost just as much to check a tree as it would to check a bag, so carry-on this holiday season and send the tree underneath!
Just make sure that the tree is wrapped all nice and snug in burlap or something similar, and that the root ball or base is covered as well. They don’t want any dirt or branches escaping into the cargo hold and you don’t want to find a mangled tree waiting for you at baggage claim.
KUNIA (HawaiiNewsNow) – Most of us haven’t even bought a Thanksgiving turkey or ham yet, but some people have already picked out their fresh Christmas trees.
We found lots of shoppers at the Kunia WalMart, choosing their trees, a full five weeks before the big day.
They say they’re not worried about their trees turning brittle and brown before santa arrives.
“We looked in the paper and it said Wal-Mart’s got trees, and this is the new addition to our family”, said Ko Olina residents Richard & Dealine Foust.
“It’s the holidays and the earlier we get the tree, we can celebrate it earlier and I like the smell”, said Ewa Beach resident Randy Borges
Christmas trees are on sale at all Hawaii WalMart stores, except for the Honolulu store, which doesn’t have a garden center
WHITMORE VILLAGE — Helemano Farms, local grower of thousands of Christmas Trees in Central Oahu, opens next week on the day after Thanksgiving 2010. The Whitmore Village farm will offer thick, evergreen Leyland Cypress Christmas trees this year along with its traditional and gorgeous Norfolk Pines. Prices for all of our Norfolk trees are the same as last year – only $40 for Norfolk Christmas Trees up to 6 feet tall.
Families who visit the farm can choose their Christmas tree from thousands of Norfolks ranging from 5 to 20 feet tall and from more than one thousand Leylands. Helemano Farms, located on Whitmore Avenue, will be open every day from noon to sunset on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to sunset on weekends. We are on the Web at:
Our Leyland Cypress trees start at $60 and our locally made Christmas wreaths start at $25. Our farm workers cut, wrap and load all trees for customers free of charge. Our Norfolk trees grow back after we cut them down! And our Leyland trees have a natural, gentle pine scent.
KAPA‘A — Kelvin Moniz watched as the Safeway forklift driver negotiated more than six pallets of turkeys into the waiting Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank truck, Monday.
“We bought about 900 turkeys to help feed the hungry for Thanksgiving,” said Moniz, KIFB operations manager. “This is more than last year when we could only afford to buy about 500 turkeys.”
Distribution of the holiday turkeys will take place at numerous locations island-wide on Thursday, although Moniz said some may go out a little later.
Despite the amount which is almost double from that purchased last year, Moniz said they are still in need of more birds.
“Right now, we’re at least 16 turkeys short,” he said. “But by the end of the week, we anticipate a shortage of about 50 turkeys.”
The purchase of turkeys from Safeway coincides with the arrival of Thanksgiving and the holidays and highlights the need for support for the KIFB Holiday Food and Fund Drive which runs through Dec. 15.
“Sunday we got a contribution from the Hawai‘i Children’s Theater for about 380 pounds of food,” Moniz said. “That came from the ‘Peter Pan’ production going on. The HCT did a drive where half was contributed to the Salvation Army and half to the KIFB. All told, they collected more than 700 pounds of food — in one weekend!”
“I hope the people in Hawaii are ready for it,” said Richard Tajiri.
It’s an annual tradition Richard Tajiri knows a lot about. Lining up to buy a Christmas Tree.
There is also an Aloha state tradition– agriculture department inspections.
“Well were looking for any type of invasive pests that could be hitchhiking along with the Christmas trees,” said Agriculture Department Inspector Glenn Sakamoto. “So like last year we had a few containers because of slugs that are not found here in Hawaii.”
Inspections that are already underway.
And dealers like Tajiri already know what they’re looking for.
“I’m probably the only one in Hawaii to go out and mark every tree that we bring in,” said Tajiri. “I tag every tree. You know if I see a tree out there and it’s got a little bit of yellow. You know I miss some, I’m not perfect. But I see some yellow and ah I don’t want a yellow tree because I know people in Hawaii don’t want a yellow tree.”
“Most of them are pretty clean,” said Sakamoto. “We have certain conditions that they have to follow before they come into Hawaii. So, they have to be shaken prior to coming into Hawaii. So, relatively coming in they have been relatively clean.”
By Nick Sakovich
Q: Arriving in Hilo from Europe several years ago, we were presented with several Norfolk pine trees in a pot to use as our first Christmas tree. … We noticed that several branches had gone brown/died off. We did notice, also, some very small webs at the base, though are unsure if this has any significance? Expecting it to recover in dappled sun conditions with plenty of water and some fertilizing; we noted recently that the browning has continued, though the trees have continued to grow. Any ideas what is causing the browning of branches (we notice some of the keiki Norfolk trees in pots in the garden have similar browning)? Any advice/assistance would be gratefully appreciated as this coming Christmas is a particularly special one, with a reunion of loved ones from afar. — R & A