In this age of environmental awareness it's appropriate to know a favorite family holiday tradition of choosing a real Christmas tree
over an artificial tree is still the environmentally sound choice.
"What could be simpler or more natural?" says Bob Scott, Former President of the National Christmas Tree Association. "Buying a real Christmas tree is definitely an environmentally sound choice."
"Consumers are showing their preference for real, natural products that are socially conscious. Many young families are attracted to the tradition of celebrating Christmas with a real tree in their home," explained Scott.
Christmas tree farms stabilize soil, protect water supplies and provide refuge for wildlife while creating scenic green belts. Often, Christmas trees are grown on soils that could not support other crops.
A benefit to the atmosphere, real Christmas trees absorb carbon dioxide and other gases, emitting fresh oxygen. This helps prevent the earth-warming "greenhouse effect". One acre of Christmas trees produces the daily oxygen requirement for 18 people. With approximately one million acres producing Christmas trees in the United States, that translates into oxygen for 18 million people every day. For every real Christmas tree harvested, three seedlings are planted in its place.
Real Christmas trees are an all-American, recyclable resource. Artificial trees, most of which are manufactured in Korea, Taiwan or Hong Kong, consist of plastics and metals that aren't biodegradable. When disposed of, the artificial trees will never deteriorate. Their effects on our environment are evident and will remain for countless generations.
Real trees are usually disposed of not in landfills but by being chipped up for landscaping or put into lakes and ponds for smaller fish to survive. Most tree farmers plant 2 to 3 year old seedlings and without any fertilizer. I planted my entire farm by hand using a hand planting bar (no gasoline required).