State News

Real vs. fake: How 'green' is your tree?

Posted December 1, 2008

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— How green is your Christmas tree? It depends on whom you ask.

After a couple years of artificial Christmas trees, Brandyn Strother decided to go natural last year.

“We wanted to start building more of a tradition with the family,” he said.

Chopping down a tree might not seem Earth-friendly, but Christmas tree growers say their product is the green option. Not everyone agrees.

“For every one tree that’s cut, there (are) at least two or three trees every year to replace that … It’s a good return on the investment,” said Byron May with Jordan Lake Christmas Tree Farm.

After Christmas, trees can be recycled into mulch or artificial fish habitats.

“There's nothing that goes to waste. The trees have value when they're growing and after they're cut,” May said.

The American Christmas Tree Association, a California-based non-profit organization that promotes use of artificial trees, says those are better for the environment. The group says its own study shows driving to cut down a Christmas tree every year contributes to pollution.

“That’s actually the biggest carbon footprint that you can have in terms of celebrating Christmas with a (real) tree,” the association said in a study posted on its Web site.

In a counterpoint, the National Christmas Tree Association, a growers' organization, has a "myth-busting" campaign on its Web site criticizing what it claims is false information that has developed about "fake trees."

Last year, the state's 1,600 Christmas tree growers sold about 5.5 million trees, according to Linda Gragg, executive director of the N.C. Christmas Tree Association.


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  • notyou Dec 1, 2008


    any of the local farms will have root ball trees. try pop n son in garner. I was there this weekend and they had them.

  • haggis basher Dec 1, 2008

    "Today, saying scientists have found fossils on Antartica. They were amazed, because this fact showed life at one time on Antartica that could not exist today. This means that at some point, the continent was warmer than it is now."
    I'm far from conviced global warming is real either but the above doesn't prove much. Fossils would have to be very old so quite possibly Antartica wasn't where it is now due to continental drift. That or it might well have been much warmer then with much higher Co2 levels and that Co2 got swallowed up in coal and oil formation and is now being released again by man.

  • MarcoPolo Dec 1, 2008

    Not buying a tree this year. Economy is down the since the election and inflation is coming. Although it'll be a good time to be in debt with the high inflation, I prefer to keep my carrying costs low.

  • foetine Dec 1, 2008

    want me to hold your hand while you go to the bathroom? Order it if you care about buying American. otherwise just put a Fesitvus Pole and tell the kids that Santa died of a stroke.

  • rosted Dec 1, 2008

    We are selling Fraziers at 6400 Poole Rd. Raleigh if anyone does want a real one, they are pretty. We brought them home from the mountains yesterday.

  • anti-Hans Dec 1, 2008

    magicbus, a month or so ago I read an article in USA Today, saying scientists have found fossils on Antartica. They were amazed, because this fact showed life at one time on Antartica that could not exist today. This means that at some point, the continent was warmer than it is now.

    Climate change is real, and it is natural. Global warming is a myth. In the 70's, the scientists were fearing another ice age.

  • iamyeary Dec 1, 2008

    Real vs. Fake

    Does it really matter? The same can be said for plastic surgery, whatever works! LOL

  • haggis basher Dec 1, 2008

    "And how are the artificial trees recycled, and produced? Takes lots of oil, plastics, electricity, and fuel to haul it."
    A little but its a one off cost and I would think easily outweighed by the fuel and resources used to grow, cut and deliver a fresh tree every year and then mulch it afterwards.
    "And how much of our environment is harmed trying to dispose of the artificial tree. Plastics do not decay so they are a hazard to our environment when disposed, take up land-fill space."
    Well the plastics just sit in the land fill polluting nothing and again its a once in 10 or 15 even 20 year thing. Compared to the pollution and waste of resources of the growing a fresh tree every year......I''d bet artificial is the "green" way to go. I like xmas trees, fake or real. Its nice to see a good pagan celebration of the winter solstice! Happy Saturnalia Y'all.

  • purplepat777 Dec 1, 2008

    foetine said: "There are fake Christmas trees that are made in America. How dare you people smear the entire industry as Chinese. Do some research before you take work away from an American company. Look up US Christmas Tree."

    I took your advise and looked up US Christmas Tree. They're about $200 for a 6' tree and only available on-line. Tell me where I can buy a US-made artificial tree in the Raleigh area.

  • hi_i_am_wade Dec 1, 2008

    Dear magicbus: Don't go down the climate change road with me. I have what you fear the most: unbiased facts. The only way to make climate change real is to cherry pick data. I on the other hand prefer to look at the whole. Human caused climate change is a myth; natural climate change is not because the climate is ALWAYS changing on its own. The only ones who believe in human climate change are the ones with an $agenda$, the uneducated, and the politicians who can use climate change to increase their power.