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A Real Christmas Tree is the Natural Choice

A Real Christmas Tree is the Natural Choice

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.

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.






Balsam Fir

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

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.


Norway Spruce

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 its dark green needles and drooping branchlets. Trees have dark green crown with a triangular shape. Needles are 1/2-1 inch long, and sharp or somewhat blunt at the tip.


White Pine

For Christmas trees, sheared trees are preferred, although some people feel shearing results in trees too dense for larger ornaments. Needle retention is good to excellent. White Pine has very little aroma, but, conversely, is reported to result in fewer allergic reactions than do some of the more aromatic species.


Fraser Fir

The combination of form, needle retention, dark blue-green color, pleasant scent and excellent shipping characteristics has led to Fraser fir being a most popular Christmas tree species. Fraser fir is a uniformly pyramid-shaped tree. Needles are 1/2 to one inch long, have a broad circular base, and are usually dark green on the upper surface and lighter on the lower surface.


Blue Spruce  



White Fir

As a Christmas tree, white fir has good foliage color, a pleasing natural shape and aroma, and good needle retention. Needles are usually 1/2 to 1 1/2 inch long, pointed or notched

at the tip, bluish-green when young turning dull green with  age.







Over half of a Christmas tree’s weight is water. So, be sure to give it lots to drink during the holiday season. Try to maintain one quart of water per inch of stem diameter in your tree stand – any temperature is fine – and check to be sure that the water is in contact with the stem.





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Brenna Hartmann also writes for the Democrat and Chronicle’s Living Section in Rochester, NY. In addition she writes monthly for The Property Source Magazine and the Home and yard Handbook which she was the founder and since has sold the handbook entity in order to spend more time with her family and children.

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