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Christmas controversy: Real VS. Fake Tree: Real is the deal

Emilio Lee, Reporter

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Real or Fake Christmas Trees: this is the debate of every year during the holiday season. For me, I personally prefer a real one. The reason why I love real trees is that the way I was raised. In my family we always would get one, the way the tree glows in the dark from the lights with the ornaments covering the tree that me and my sister made and other ones that have been as in our family for a very long time, who the presents hiding under the tree for my family, how the smell of pine mixed with the smell of cinnamon when I got closer to it, and how the star shone at the top of the tree with a warm glow.

Whether you love the smell of a fresh pine tree or the artificial tree that’s ‘less of a mess’ according to some people that prefer not to clean needles off the floor. But which is better, the real trees that can fill your house with a nice scent or the fake ones that are easy to put up? There are several reasons to keep it real:

For one, real trees help the environment. They create homes for the wildlife on the farms they grow on, and, like every plant on planet earth, they use the carbon dioxide in the air to make some fresh oxygen. We would not have as many tree farms if there weren’t a market for fresh trees, so buying real trees helps keep the air fresh.

Not only that, but they are biodegradable—capable of being decomposed—and can be used for many things like fish and bird feeders. Sometimes people can even replant them. (Tip: in order to replant them, you will first need to dig a hole during the late fall while the soil is still soft by a rooted tree and then plant it immediately after Christmas. Scan QR code for more information.)

But, if you get a fake tree, then you will hurt the environment. Sure, you can put it up easier and a little bit quicker. It just takes a trip to a department store instead of the wild outdoors. (Which sounds more appealing?)  Most of the fake or artificial trees in the US are made in China, and that will leave a big carbon footprint and fill up our landfills. And not only that, but almost every artificial tree may contain lead which can release dioxins, which are harmful to humans and animals, especially the older ones. Also after your family is done with it, it can take up to centuries before it can decompose.

Last year the number of purchased in the US was around $24.7 million for a real tree and $18.6 for a fake tree, so real trees are more profitable. The average cost for a real tree is about $25 to $100. But an artificial one can cast about $100-$300 depending on the height, and they don’t last forever.

Most people use a fake tree for about 10-years until the tree ‘dies’ (meaning it has compressed during storage to the point it no longer looks cute in the living room or the branches break off). Sometimes they don’t even last that long; if there was a problem with it, like an if a whole section of the tree does not light up (the pre-lit variety is common today–we are getting too lazy to even enjoy trimming the tree anymore), people often try to fix them, but give up quickly as it can be maddening, which makes it so they have to get a new one and have to throw that partially lit away. This type of consumerism may also boost the economy, but it also fills the landfills and is worse for the environment than cutting down a tree. Also, a real tree, grown at an Evergreen farm in the U.S., supports America’s economy more than the cheap made Chinese tree that shipped from overseas. It’s your choice!

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Christmas controversy: Real VS. Fake Tree: Real is the deal