The Noble Tree Fir

Mythbusters: Ten Biggest Myths About Christmas Trees

Quick Tree Facts

Environmental Debate: Why Real Trees are Better for the Environment

Fake Trees: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You

Tree Care Tips

Holiday Safety Facts

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Christmas Trees

Real Trees are Recyclable

 

 

Making An Eco-Friendly Choice: The Environmental Debate Settled

Each holiday season, there are news articles, web sites and commentators who debate whether it is better for the environment to use an artificial Christmas tree or a natural Christmas tree. This can often be confusing to consumers who want to make an eco-friendly choice, but can't find a simple, straight-forward "apples to apples" comparison. The table below illustrates that Real Christmas Trees are the best environmental choice.

Real Trees

Artificial Trees

PLACE OF ORIGIN

United States & Canada

85% from China

METHOD OF PRODUCTION

farming

factory

planting takes place Jan-May

raw materials sent to factory & assembled
into final product

estimated 40-45 million trees planted in
2008 in North America

product is shipped to U.S. then distributed
to stores

estimated 446 million trees growing on
farms in U.S.

number of factories unknown

tree farms support complex eco-systems

factories only consume natural resources

COMPONENTS

plant tissue

plastics and metals

100% biodegradable

non-biodegradable

PVC FREE?

Yes

No

LEAD FREE?

Yes

No (lead is used in the process of making
PVC plastic)

CARBON NEUTRAL?

Yes

No

trees absorb carbon dioxide

plastic is a petroleum byproduct

when decomposing, carbon, nitrogen
and other elements are released into soil

CHEMICALS?

No

Yes

Scientists have measured cut Christmas
trees for chemical residue and not found
any significant amounts

PVC itself is a dangerous chemical

Many different bugs, fungi and parasites
can attack and kill trees, so farmers may
use pesticides to keep consumers' trees
healthy and alive until harvest

Manufacture of PVC creates and disperses
dioxins, the most toxic man-made chemical known

Most pesticides are ground applied

Released into air or water, dioxins enter
the food chain, where they accumulate in
fatty tissues of animals and humans, a
potential risk for causing cancer, damaging
immune functions and impairing children's
development

Herbicides are used to suppress, not kill off,
weeds to prevent soil erosion

If someone tells you "there are chemicals on
cut Christmas trees" they are wrong

DISPOSAL

Recycled

Landfill

Used trees can be recycled in a variety of ways

Fake trees can't be recycled and end up
in landfills

Decomposing trees add nutrients back into the earth

All of the accumulated fake trees are a
burden to the environment indefinitely

RENEWABLE RESOURCE?

Yes

No

New trees are planted every year

Petroleum, used to make plastic, is a
non-renewable resource, as are metals

ECO-FRIENDLY?

Yes

No

The Noble Tree Fir | Mythbusters: Ten Biggest Myths About Christmas Trees | Quick Tree Facts | Environmental Debate: Why Real Trees are Better for the Environment | Fake Trees: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You | Tree Care Tips |
Holiday Safety Facts
| Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Christmas Trees |
Real Trees are Recyclable
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