Fire Prevention!


Fire Prevention Demo
“You Won’t Believe It Until You See It”


February 18th, 1999
Chandler Training Facility
Chandler, AZ

Some of the same trees used in the previous convention were used for this Demo. A mapp gastorch was used and the trees were still so hydrated that they would not combust!


John Gardner – Fire Marshall
City of Chandler


Fire Prevention Demo-Tree Facts

Frasier Fir-Cut November 24, 1998 – Salem, OR
(86 days from cut date as of 2-18-99)
Noble Fir – Cut November 26, 1998 – Oregon City, OR
(84 days from cut date as of 2-18-99
Scotch Pine – Cut November 30, 1998 – Estacada, OR
(80 days from cut date as of 2-18-99)

Trees were baled and arrived at Whitfill Nursery in Phoenix, AZ the first week of December. These trees remained baled and were covered with burlap. They were never shown on the lot.

Mitchell’s Christmas Trees sponsored a model retail lot for the National Christmas Tree Association Marketing Conference February 4, 1999 at the San Marcos in Chandler, AZ. They had sold all of their Christmas trees and asked Whitfill if they could pick up their dump trees; it would have been expensive for them to ship in more trees. Mitchell’s picked up 30 cut trees from Whitfill Nursery January 4, 1999. They picked up another 30 trees January 11, 1999. It was their hope to have enough good trees out of the sixty to display in February even though the temperatures were ranging in the 60-70° range and the dew point extremely low.

They had asked Vita Products for free Vita Christmas Tree & Wreath Preservative to see if it would assist in sustaining the tree moisture until February 4, 1999 even though these were 1998 cut trees. Vita is not a flame retardant; it does not seal up the tree. By using it as a foliar spray to the point of runoff, it hydrates the tree through the needle surface and systemically hydrates by using it in the waterbowl.

Kathy Mitchell was in charge of caring for the cut trees. The trees were recut and first sprayed with Vita Christmas Tree & Wreath Preservative January 11, 1999. She mixed the Vita 1 ounce to 2 gallons of water and put it in a backpack sprayer for application. She sprayed the trees to the point of run off one to two times a week. Some trees received Vita in the waterbowl and others didn’t. Some residual spray also went into the waterbowl. She also used a 20 gallon lawn hose attachment sprayer which worked well for application.

Trees were transported from Phoenix to Chandler February 3, 1999 for the model tree lot.

Trees were set up outside February 3, 1999 near the tennis courts at the San Marcos in Chandler, AZ. Vita Christmas was not applied after they were set up.

February 5, 1999 a demonstration for the National Christmas Tree Association was shown by Vita Products, Inc. to demonstrate that the trees were still fresh and moist and that a moist tree will not support combustion. A propane torch was set to the needles of a randomly selected Frasier Fir, Noble Fir and Scotch Pine Tree. Another demonstration was shown with a half newspaper rolled into a ball, and placed into the tree limb. The paper was then set on fire. None of the trees ignited; the moisture content of the tree actually extinguished the fire. The ultimate test was conducted on a Scotch Pine which was extremely dry. The paper ball was ignited and the small tree ignited at the top but would not burn down the tree. It eventually put itself out.


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