Not everyone prefers a live Christmas tree. In fact, as any real estate agent in Dallas, TX, can tell you, some prefer to skip the tree altogether and decorate a tumbleweed instead! However, the majority of people like the familiarity of a traditional tree, even if they don’t live close enough to a tree farm to go cut their own.
The first fake Christmas trees were created by a toilet bowl scrub brush manufacturer called Addis in the 1930s. Artificial trees were ideal for people living in the plains where pines and junipers weren’t available. By 2007, 18 million fake trees were sold in the US alone, and you can buy them in varying sizes, made to look like various tree species, flocked to look like they are covered in snow, or even fully decorated with lights, balls, and tinsel.
Pros and cons of fake trees:
Artificial trees are cheaper than real ones, especially when you factor in the ability to use them over and over for years. They don’t need watering, won’t cause allergies, don’t leave messy needles strewn around, and can be conveniently put up and taken down without hassle. If you buy a fully decorated tree, you don’t have to worry about accessorizing, and with fiber optic options, you can create a low-cost solution that eliminates multiple wires and cords and a high electricity bill.
However, they obviously don’t give your home quite the feel that a real tree can; artificial trees just don’t have the same vibe. You won’t get that Christmassy smell, you may spend hours fussing with the branches to fluff them just right, and the PVC plastics they are made off have multiple disadvantages, such as releasing dioxins (which are toxic to animals and humans) and increasing fire hazards (fake trees burn faster and more fiercely than real trees according to tests run by fire departments.
Pros and cons of real trees:
When you buy a Christmas tree in the U.S., you are helping U.S. farmers! Almost every real Christmas tree sold in the U.S. is grown in the U.S, with approximately 25-30 million trees sold each year. That means jobs for over 100,000 workers! The approximately 350 million real Christmas trees growing right now in the U.S. help keep air clean, provide sheltered habitats for various kinds of native wildlife, and are replanted at a ratio of 3 saplings for every tree harvested. Real trees make choosing your Christmas tree a family fun event, they smell fantastic, and you can even take your old tree to be recycled in January at any one of over 4,000 Christmas Tree recycling programs around the U.S.
The only real cons to having a real Christmas tree are the costs – which can be high if you live in an area far away from where real Christmas trees are grown, and the maintenance and mess, as real trees must be watered and can shed needles while they are up in your home.
Which tree did you choose?
Whether you chose the convenience and low-cost option of an artificial tree, or the smell, look, and experience of a live one, the important thing is enjoying your tree with your family during the holidays.
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