Benefits of Buying a Real Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree
This is a page about the benefits of buying a real Christmas tree. Despite what you may believe, buying a real Christmas tree is actually environmentally friendly. Here is some great information, dispelling a number of myths in the real vs. fake debate.

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December 17, 2009

Real Christmas Trees Are GreenNot everyone likes the idea of sacrificing a living tree for the sake of celebrating a holiday, but it doesn't change the fact that trees harvested for the Christmas tree industry are a renewable and sustainable resource. In an effort to dispel some of the biggest and most long standing misconceptions consumers have about Christmas trees, The National Christmas Tree Association recently launched what is calls the "Great De-Myth-ification Campaign." Here are four "green" facts about Christmas trees they want you to know.

Real Christmas Trees are Not Cut From Forests

This may have been the case at one time, but not anymore. The vast majority of real Christmas trees come from tree farms. What's the exception? The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service issue a limited number of "Cut Your Own" permits each year in National forests throughout the United States. Of the 30-35 million real Christmas trees sold in the U.S. each year, the number of trees not grown on tree farms amounts to only a few thousand.


You Don't Save a Real Tree by Using a Fake One

There are 21,000 Christmas tree growers in the United States. Trees are an agricultural crop in an industry that provides jobs for more than 100,000 people. For the 30-35 million harvested and sold each year, 40-45 million new Christmas trees are planted.

Using a Fake Tree Does Not Save Resources

Manufacturing a fake Christmas tree uses far more natural resources than are needed to produce a living tree. In fact, eighty-five percent of fake trees are manufactured in and shipped to the United States from China. They are made from plastics, PVC, metals and contain petroleum by-products (non-renewable resources). On the flip side, live trees are grown and shipped within the United States (often locally), they are a renewable resource, and they produce oxygen, remove carbon dioxide from the air and provide a home for wildlife while they grow.


Live Trees Reduce the Amount of Waste In Our Landfills

Christmas trees are 100% biodegradable, and according to the University of Iowa, ninety-three percent of real Christmas tree consumers recycle their tree in community recycling programs, or use them in their garden or backyards for mulch, compost, or winter protection. Recycled trees have been used to make sand and soil erosion barriers and placed in ponds for fish shelter. Fake trees are used an average of 6 to 9 years before ending up in a landfill. Unlike real trees, they do not biodegrade, they cannot be recycled, and they last for centuries in a landfill.

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