Friday, December 25, 2009

Chinese trickery and deceit

posted Sat, 24 Dec 2005

Not just a fake tree, but a fake fake tree.

I defy you to find the species “Richmond pine.” Go ahead. Try.

I did an internet search. Couldn’t find it. I tried to find it in the tree book I keep in my car, but after six years of throwing it off my back seat onto the floor, it has mysteriously disappeared.

You’ll find Loblolly pine, Scotch pine, Ponderosa pine and all sorts of other wonderful pines when you google “pine.” (BTW, did you know that Microsoft thinks that “google” is a misspelling? Big surprise, huh?) But you will not find “Richmond pine.”

Why not? Because it is not a true species!! Kind of like the poor Siamese I got last spring wasn’t really a Siamese, only the cat actually was a real cat and he was part Siamese, so it’s like not the cat situation at all, now that I think about it.

What was our first clue that the tree was a fake fake?

Look at this photo. Note that some of the branches have short needles and some have long needles. This is not something usually found in nature. Trees are usually fairly consistent in their leaf types. Or at least this is what I have surmised in my contact with tree people, both in the Peace Corps and at work.

Note the short needles on one branch and the long needles on the other. Have you ever seen this on a real live tree? I have not. Honestly. Maybe they mixed the branches up in the box.

So it’s bad enough that the Chinese are making Christmas trees for the American market. (Does anyone else use Christmas trees? When we lived in Spain, the Three Kings brought the Christmas gifts on January 6, the feast of the Epiphany – I don’t remember that the Spaniards had Christmas trees. Of course, that was 35 years ago.)

But if they are going to do it, couldn’t they at least be accurate? The box claims that this tree is a “Richmond pine.” I can find no evidence that the “Richmond pine” is a legitimate, extant tree. If you are going to put American workers out of jobs, by God, at least get your facts right.


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