Best Christmas Trees for Your Home
Knowing how to choose the best Christmas tree can make the difference between a dry, shedding disaster and a tree so beautiful you can practically hear the angels singing. In this two page article learn more about artificial vs. real Christmas trees, types of Christmas trees popular in the Pacific Northwest, and how to choose one that’s healthy and healthy for you.
Artificial vs. Real Christmas Trees
Here are a few pros and cons of artificial and live trees that may be helpful in deciding on the best Christmas tree for your home.
Cost vs. Longevity
Artificial trees usually cost more than fresh (cut) trees the first year, but are “free” in subsequent years. The cost of fresh (cut) trees continually increases, making them even more expensive in the long run. Instead of discarding fresh (cut) trees after Christmas, it's becoming more common to buy live (potted) trees and then plant them outside after the holiday season where they will be enjoyed year after year.
Artificial trees must be stored in a cool, dry place when not in use and can require a big storage space. Ideally, the tree should be stored vertically in its original package. With live trees, storage space is not required.
When choosing an artificial tree, be sure to select one that is flame-retardant. Artificial trees don't dry out and can be left up longer than real ones. To prevent a live tree from drying out too quickly, be sure to saw an inch or two off the trunk when you bring it home, and refill the water as often as needed. Keep all trees away from heat sources (fireplaces, heating vents, baseboards, etc.) and sunlight.
Allergic to Christmas Trees?
Some people are allergic to real Christmas trees. Hay fever and asthma are common reactions, but allergies should be taken seriously because reactions can unexpectedly become severe in some people. For those allergic to dust, artificial trees can be a problem because they are dust collectors. Regular dusting (feather duster or canned air) can help minimize dust accumulation.
Live trees benefit the environment from the time they are planted until after the holiday season when they are recycled. The farms that grow Christmas trees stabilize soil, protect water supplies, and provide refuge for wildlife--all while creating scenic green belts. Christmas trees are often grown on soil that doesn’t support other crops. While growing, trees support life by absorbing carbon dioxide and other gases and emitting fresh oxygen. Each acre of Christmas trees produces the daily oxygen requirement for 18 people. With one million acres of Christmas trees growing in the United States, approximately 18 million people are supplied with oxygen from Christmas tree crops every day. Artificial trees are petroleum-based, and consume vast resources during fabrication. These types of Christmas trees are not biodegradable, and will remain in landfills for centuries after disposal.
Local Economic Impact
Most artificial trees are imported from foreign countries. For beneficial impact to the local economy, look for types of Christmas trees grown locally.