Christmas Trees

An Artificial or Live Christmas Tree this Year?

Christmas is my favorite time of year. Not to mention the smell of pine in my home is breathtaking. A live fresh cut tree is a no-brainer for me but when you lead busy hectic lives this may not be possible. They definitely require a little more work since they need to be watered regularly while they are still sitting inside your home.

Doesn’t it seem like a waste for a tree to have grown for a number of years, only to be chopped, decorated, and then thrown away just a few weeks later? Well instead of throwing it out or “treecycling” this year, plant it in your yard where it will grow normally just like any other tree.

Unfortunately, Christmas trees can also be sprayed with chemicals. So my preference are those organically grown, although they are more expensive. A living Christmas tree could also be a tree growing in your garden right now. If you have a suitable coniferous tree growing in your yard, there’s no reason why you can’t decorate it with ornaments for Christmas.

Artificial trees have come a long way. You can even get them with the lights already in the tree. They are very convenient for individuals with little time to spare. They don’t need any maintenance or watering, and you don’t have to worry about pine needles dropping all on your floor.

The only drawback for me is that they are manufactured using a polyvinyl chloride (or PVC), which is a petroleum-derived plastic. In order to make the PVC needles on artificial trees more malleable, the manufacturers use lead and other additives (pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers). Some artificial trees actually come with warning labels due to their lead content. This is reason enough that buying a fresh Christmas tree is best, besides it means supporting the livelihood of your local farmers.