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Published December 05, 2011, 07:58 PM

'Flocking' Trees Allows for White Christmas Despite Lack of Snow

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - There may not be snow on the ground, but some trees at Tim Shea's Nursery and Landscaping are as white as can be. With a unique process, the nursery owners can make any tree look like it is white with snow.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - There may not be snow on the ground, but some trees at Tim Shea's Nursery and Landscaping are as white as can be.

With a unique process, the nursery owners can make any tree look like it is white with snow.

It's a process the nursery started more than 30 years ago to help give customers more variety at Christmas time.

Did you ever wonder how a Christmas tree turns from green to white without freshly fallen snow? It's a process giving a christmas tree that look.

"Flocking allows us more freedom as far as what we can flock, how it looks, we can do some wiring on the trees so that all the branches look really nice," Tim Shea's Nursery and Landscaping owner Darlene Shea said.

Tim Shea's Nursery and Landscaping owners started flocking their own trees in 1979. The process takes minutes.

"The tree itself is transported to the flocking booth, set on this turntable that we have, we then apply a light layer of water over the entire tree then we take the flocking gun and we'll spray the entire tree white from top to bottom," Nursery Co-Owner Chip Shea said.

Whether it's fur or pine, the fibrous, cellulose material is flame retardant. Although demand has gone down over the years, it keeps the nursery quite busy.

"Probably 10 years ago we were selling about 150 to 200 flocked per season but times have changed a lot of businesses have now gone to artificial trees, so we sell now probably 75 to 100," Darlene said.

In the end the tree is sprayed with water again, then covered with a layer of glitter.

Then shipped off to families who want to bring snow indoors.

"We try to make it look as natural as possible as if you were to go out into the forest and see a freshly snow fallen tree it's kind of what we try to do," Chip said.

Flocked trees usually run between $10 and $12 per foot.

The needles are preserved longer and it doesn't take water.

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