Real Christmas trees are a natural biodegradable, nonpolluting and environmentally friendly product. As we examine the environmental impact by farming real Christmas trees, we have to ask are they being grown in an environmentally sustainable way.
Virtually all the Christmas trees being commercially produced in the U.S. are now being grown on tree farms. Farming Christmas trees offers many benefits. By not having to replace an annual crop that requires plowing and harrowing each year the land can rebound, solidify and diversify. The longer crop cycle of the Christmas trees, up to 8 to 10 years on average, allows the land to stabilize. As the trees take root they add organic matter to depleted soil, protect against erosion, reduces moisture evaporation, provides refuge for wild life, small rodents and insects.
Christmas trees do an excellent job of sequestering carbon, because Christmas trees lock away carbon more than any other crop. Christmas trees will absorb and retain carbon from the atmosphere and utilize it for photosynthesis, producing sugars and carbohydrates for the trees to live on. A single farmed tree absorbs more than 1 ton of CO2 thru its lifetime. With more than 350 million real trees growing in the U.S. can you imagine the yearly amount of carbon processing associated with trees? If those facts weren’t impressive enough every acre of Christmas trees in production produces the daily oxygen requirements for 18 people.
Christmas tree farming however is not without its negative impact on the environment. Trees are susceptible to bugs and fungi of many varieties, it is therefore essential to implement controls, a necessary action to keep the trees pest free and flourishing. Christmas trees are shipped to destinations all around the country by truck and rail which burn fuel however, also necessary. This is also a reality for all Christmas products artificial or real, unlike transporting artificial trees CO2 emissions from transport are cancelled out by the CO2 absorbed by growing trees.
However until their time comes to be cut Christmas trees will recycle the air, purify ground water, stabilize the soil, provide homes for birds mammals and insects. The positive impact of farming Christmas trees out ways the negative impact on our environment. Acres of trees that are planted annually would not be planted without the annual demand every Christmas.