The lowdown on artificial trees
As the Christmas countdown begins, it is traditionally the optimal time to acquire a tree.
The Christmas card version of this activity usually entails a family outing to cut down a tree and then decorate it together. In the new millennium, however, this Christmas card is a little more . technical.
Nowadays many American families are buying fake Christmas trees from various companies; many are buying online and then having trees shipped and placed in their living rooms, decorations and all.
According to a recent national study done by the National Christmas Tree Association, tree sales have reduced by 37 percent.
The Artificial Christmas Tree: Exposed
According to the National Christmas Tree Association, more than 9 million artificial trees were sold in 2004, and the sales have only increased since that time.
The artificial tree entails virtually no maintenance. Most of the needles on a fake tree are made out of plastic, so they do not fall off the tree and get all over the carpet. In addition, they do not need to be watered.
The artificial tree normally comes with directions for set-up, as well as a box for storage. The idea is the stress-free Christmas tree that lasts forever.
“Artificial trees run anywhere from $300 to $6,000,” said Carolyn Murphy, an employee of the Balsam Hill Christmas Tree Company.
The company’s mantra “no mess, no maintenance,” is clear, but at what price?
Higher quality artificial trees are more expensive, but there are more affordable trees available at places like Target.
While artificial trees are less of a fire hazard than the real deal, and they do not affect those with allergies, they are not as environmentally friendly as one might think.
Artificial trees are made out of a non-renewable resource: petroleum.
It is true that when you buy an artificial tree you are not cutting down a tree that will later be cut up to make mulch, but is that really so much worse than chemicals? Real trees, contrary to popular belief, actually can be beneficial to the environment.
“Christmas trees grow faster and convert more carbon dioxide than other trees,” said Bob Condon, an employee of Boulder’s Cottonwood Farms. “We grow the trees on land that does not have other vegetation. Also, these trees aren’t outsourced from China.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Emily Sturges at Emily.Sturges@Colorado.edu.