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Gary Chastagner, L. Eric Hinesley and Jeff Owen

SafeTree Christmas Tree Fire Retardant was applied to freshly harvested Douglas fir [Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco] boughs, and RapidCool FRX Christmas Tree Retardant was applied to freshly cut Fraser fir [Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir.] boughs. The flame retardants were sprayed onto the foliage. Fire retardant accelerated the drying rate of Douglas fir boughs, which increased flammability. RapidCool fire retardant did not slow the drying rate of Fraser fir boughs, and had no effect on moisture content (MC) at ignition, flame time, total burn time, or total foliage consumed. For both species, initial ignition and spread of flame occurred at 60% to 70% MC. Fresh boughs did not ignite in burn tests and were not a fire hazard. Twig MC of nontreated Fraser fir increased 20% during display in water, further decreasing the possibility of ignition when exposed to a flame. Neither product was effective as a fire retardant on boughs of Christmas trees.