Real Christmas trees provide a plethora of benefits to the environment, and our farmers go the extra mile to ensure natural
resources are preserved for future generations. Check out these facts on the environmental impact of real Christmas trees:
- While growing, real trees produce significant amounts of oxygen that is released into the environment, protect soil
from erosion and provide refuge for wildlife.
- Each acre of Christmas trees produces the daily oxygen requirements for 18 people.
- Real Christmas trees are the best environmental option for consumers, according to former Greenpeace President Patrick Moore, Ph.D.
- Pacific Northwest Christmas trees are grown on sustainable farms in the U.S., just like produce, nuts and other crops,
so they do not threaten natural forests.
- Real Christmas trees reduce carbon emissions by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen, which people, plants and
the environment need to survive.
- Real Christmas trees are renewable, and growers plant one or more trees to replace every tree they harvest.
- Many times, Christmas trees are grown in soil that won’t support other crops.
NO FAKE TREES
What You Need to Know About Fake Christmas Trees
* Where do they come from?
Most fake trees (85%) in the U.S. are imported from China. Almost 10 Million fake trees were sold worldwide in 2003.
The U.S. Commerce Dept. tracks the Import of Fake Trees
* What are the factories like where they’re made?
As noted in the Washington Post, "On the concrete floors of Zhang’s Shuitou Company factory, migrant workers, most earning about $100 a month, squat in front of hissing machinery as they melt chips into moildable plastic..."
Read the full article.
* What are fake trees made of?
Most artificial Christmas trees are made of metals and plastics. The plastic material, typically PVC, can be a potential
source of hazardous lead. Read a warning about them from the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition.
* Why do some artificial trees carry a warning label?
The potential for lead poisoning is great enough that fake trees made in China are required by California Prop 65 to
have a warning label.
* Why did the USDA quarantine some artificial trees?
Some fake trees have a wooden center pole. In 2004, the U.S. Department of Agriculture placed a quarantine on fake trees
from China, which had a potentially harmful beetle in the center pole.
Learn more about the quarantine.
* Who decided to make a fake Christmas tree?
Actually fake trees were invented by a company who made toilet bowl brushes, the Addis Brush Company. Regardless of how
far the technology has come, it’s still interesting to know the first fake Christmas trees were really just big green
toilet bowl brushes.
Read the article.
* Are fake trees really fireproof?
Overloaded electrical outlets and faulty wires are the most common causes of holiday fires in residences - these are just
as likely to affect artificial trees as Real Trees. See below for examples:
Lights on Christmas Tree Spark KC House Fire
Giving Tree Fire Damage $1 Million
In 2004, the Farmington Hills Fire Department in metropolitan Detroit conducted a test of how real and artificial trees
react in a house fire. The artificial tree, which was advertised as "flame retardant," did resist the flames for an
amount of time, but then was engulfed in flames and projected significant heat and toxic smoke, containing hydrogen chloride
gas and dioxin.
Below are the before, during and after photos of the artificial tree
* Are fake trees better for the environment?
As mentioned before, most artificial trees are manufactured in China and contain PVC (polyvinyl chloride). In fact,
artificial Christmas Trees were recently added to the
Center for Health, Environment & Justice’s list of household products containing PVC.
According to the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition, the manufacture of PVC creates and disperses dioxins,
which include the most toxic man-made chemical known. 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.
This issue is especially concerning due to China’s weak enforcement of
environmental regulations. Delta Farm Press recently addressed China’s environmental crisis in this article.