Real or Fake?

Did you know that at least one study has concluded that, unless you use a fake Christmas Tree for 20 years, it is more environmentally friendly to buy a real tree.

The issue discussed in this “How Green Is Your Tree” article of the NY Times. Here are a few snippets.

The living trees generate oxygen, help fix carbon in their branches and in the soil and provide habitat for birds and animals …

Christmas tree farms also help preserve farmland and green space, particularly near densely populated urban areas where pressure for development is intense.

“It allows people with land that may not be the best farmland to have a crop that they can actually make a profit on, and not be under pressure to sell out to developers,” …

After the holidays, real trees can continue to serve a purpose. New York City, for instance, offers free curbside recycling for trees, which are turned into compost. The city’s parks department also provides a free mulching service for trees at several locations after the holidays. In 2009, nearly 150,000 trees were composted or mulched in the city.

It’s an interesting article, but we primarily have used an artificial tree for its longevity during the season. Our tree is up for well over a month, which does not strike us like a good idea for a real tree. We have also used our trees for a long time but not 20 years, however. On the other hand, the two trees that we jettisoned in about three decades were sent on to other users and not dumped into the nearest landfill.

Nevertheless, if you are using a real tree, you are doing a good thing.

What do you do, and why?

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5 Responses to Real or Fake?

  1. Judy says:

    Although I would love to have a real tree, the reason we don’t do that anymore is because of one particular year. I hate to admit it, but I DEMANDED a real tree. A CERTAIN KIND with short needles. My husband purchased it, brought it home, set it up, added the lights and I gathered the kids around to decorate it.
    You can imagine the scene, can’t you?
    Happy children, frosted sugar cookies, Bing Crosy singing in the background.
    Sadly, I could not use over half of our ornaments because this particular kind of tree would not hold them. And, as the ornaments rolled off, so did the needles.
    Then, after having the tree lit for an hour or so, it started to smell like a bobcat had peed on it. This, off course, was of extreme interest to our dear little kitty, who felt the need to climb inside of it to find the bobcat.
    Two weeks of a barely decorated, stinky, needle-less tree was enough for me.
    NEVER again.
    (glad i read this over. i had bing crosby ‘sinning’ in the background.)

  2. Diana says:

    We used a fake tree for awhile until we found out that one of our cats was chewing on it, got sick and nearly died. The vet suggested a real tree with pets. So we always buy a real one now. Our community picks them up to drop off in the local lakes. They give the fish a place to hide! Love Di ♥

  3. Lorna says:

    We’ve had an artificial tree for decades—at first because we used to be away over the holidays and like you didn’t think it was wise to leave a real tree in the house alone. Now we have an artificial one because our place is small, our storage locker is full, and we can put this one on a chest out of babies’ reaches. In our family, we longed for an artificial tree because putting up the beautiful tree my mother always ended up with was just a wrenching travail for the rest of us. My dad couldn’t pick them, couldn’t fix the crooked ones we usually chose and couldn’t decorate them, although he tried valiantly every year. It made for two grumpy but valiantly cheerful-looking parents and six anxious kids. Naturally, when my mother caved and allowed an artificial one, we all missed the piney smell and the interesting tilts and tying limbs from one tree on another to fill in the bare spots. Ecology never came anywhere near our decision processes, then or later.

  4. KGMom says:

    I love love love real trees.
    And most years we put one up–but not this year. We will be away over Christmas, and with two new cats a real tree–heck, any tree–seemed like folly.

  5. QMM says:

    The last real tree I had needed watering every day and it ran over my brand new hardwood floor before I found out about it and Whoo Whee bad news. Never again. Just a tiny little prelite one for the grands.

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