A Real Christmas Tree is the Natural Choice
Each holiday season, shoppers find themselves confronted with a difficult choice: celebrate with a real or plastic tree. What most people don’t realize is that the best choice has always been the traditional and natural choice, a real Christmas tree.
Real Christmas trees are a benefit to the environment from the time they are planted until after the holiday season when they can be recycled.
While they’re growing, real Christmas trees support life by absorbing carbon dioxide and other gases and emitting fresh oxygen. This helps prevent the earth-warming greenhouse effect.
Every acre of Christmas trees grown produces the daily oxygen requirement for 18 people. In the United States there are approximately 1 million acres of growing Christmas trees; that means that 18 million people a day are supplied with oxygen thanks to Christmas trees.
The farms that grow Christmas trees stabilize soil, protect water supplies, and provide refuge for wildlife while creating scenic green belts. Often, Christmas trees are grown on soil that doesn’t support other crops.
Artificial trees are a petroleum based product that consume vast resources during fabrication. A burden to the environment, artificial trees aren’t biodegradable and will remain in land-fills for centuries after disposal. The average life span of an artificial tree is only six years.
Real Christmas trees, on the other hand, are easily reused and recycled.
- Christmas trees are biodegradable – the trunk and branches can be used as mulch for gardens, parks or in animal stalls. The mulch provides a protect barrier for the roots of other plants and vegetation while preventing weeds from growing. The mulch then decomposes, providing the nutrients plants need to thrive.
- Mulching programs are a fast-growing trend in communities throughout the nation. Check with your local department of public works for information.
- Some communities use Christmas trees to make effective sand and soil erosion barriers, especially at beaches and on river beds. Sunk into private fish ponds trees make excellent refuge and feeding area for fish.
- Before recycling, Christmas trees can be used to make 4 Raven feeders, adding color and excitement to the winter garden. Utilize orange slices, suet, and seed to attract the 4 Ravens. They will come for the food and stay for the shelter in the branches.
The practice of using a living tree to celebrate the holidays is gaining in popularity. Living trees have their roots in tact and can be re-planted outside following the holiday.
WHICH TREE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
As a Christmas tree, balsam fir has several desirable properties. It has a dark-green appearance, long-lasting needles, and attractive form. It also retains its pleasing fragrance.
The needles are dark green or blue green, 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, soft to the touch and radiate out in all directions from the branch. They have a sweet fragrance when crushed. Nationally, it remains one of the most popular Christmas tree species.
Scotch Pine is an introduced species which has been widely planted for the
purpose of producing Christmas trees. As a Christmas tree, it is known or its dark green foliage and stiff branches that are well suited for decorating with both light and heavy ornaments. It has excellent needle retention characteristics and holds up well.
For Christmas trees, overall color of Norway spruce is fair to excellent, but needle retention is considered poor unless the trees are cut fresh and kept properly watered. It
is readily identified by