True or false? Here’s what to consider when buying a Christmas tree – NBC Chicago
It’s the same debate every year – is it better to buy a real Christmas tree or an artificial one?
The answer really depends on who you ask.
A plastic Christmas tree can save money in the long run and be easier to clean, but nothing compares to the festive experience of choosing a tree from a local farm.
Artificial trees cost more but last longer
On average, an artificial tree costs $104, while a live tree costs about $78, according to the American Christmas Tree Association.
Prices for artificial trees are expected to increase this year by 20 to 30 percent, the association says, due to weather conditions in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest and “supply chain congestion.”
The National Christmas Tree Association claims that there are approximately 350 million Christmas trees growing in the United States alone, while 80% of artificial trees are imported from China.
A fake Christmas tree will last about a decade on average, which comes in handy during the holiday season.
Artificial trees are available in different colors and styles
Artificial trees usually come in different sizes and colors, making it easy to find the perfect tree for your home.
From pink to silver to upside down tree, there’s one for every style. Many trees come with multicolored or clear lights, making it easy to light up your home during the holiday season.
Artificial trees are easier to clean and reuse
A fake tree means fewer needles on the ground and less mess to clean up when the holiday season inevitably comes to an end. And best of all, you can put the tree away and reuse it the following year.
Where do American Christmas trees grow?
Real trees are environmentally friendly
A real Christmas tree takes an average of seven years to grow, with some growing up to 15 years. For every tree harvested, one to three additional seeds are planted the following spring, according to the National Christmas Tree Association.
Above all, real Christmas trees are considered a renewable and recyclable resource.
The association says artificial trees often contain metal toxins and non-biodegradable plastics.
An artificial tree also has a 1000% greater carbon footprint than a real tree, due to the plastic materials.
With just a little extra thought to your Christmas tree and all its trimmings, you can reduce your carbon footprint and do the planet a favor this holiday season. Learn about why you should buy a real Christmas tree, shouldn’t try to recycle your ornaments, and how a carpenter found a creative way to turn holiday scraps into a moving tribute to veterans.
Buying a real tree supports your community
The United States is home to nearly 15,000 Christmas tree farms, which employ approximately 100,000 people. Buying a real tree is therefore also a way to support your community and local businesses.
The states that produce the most Christmas trees are Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Washington, reports the National Christmas Tree Association.
What could be more fun than choosing a real Christmas tree from a local farm during the holidays?
The annual experience of buying a real tree continues the tradition – and nothing gets more festive than that.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published on November 18, 2021.