The Real Christmas Tree vs. Artificial Debate

The real Christmas Tree vs. artificial debate is a long-standing one in the world of Christmas trees. It’s an argument that will probably stand the test of time as each option has its own merits and drawbacks. Addis Brush Company was the first to create an artificial tree, using brush bristles in the 1930s. 

Before then, your only option was the old fashioned way; you had to chop down a traditional fir tree! 

Which is the best option though? Find out below!


The Benefits and Drawbacks of Artificial Trees

Convenience and long-term investment seem to be the main reason why some people choose artificial trees. The current economic climate has meant that, for some, the annual expense of a real Christmas tree has become less appealing than a one-off purchase for an artificial counterpart. Artificial trees also do not require watering or much maintenance and transportation from store to home is easy.

Another reason some individuals shy away from a real tree is because of their belief that cutting down pine trees has a negative impact on the environment. However, many experts believe this to be nonsense in comparison. Artificial trees actually have a greater negative impact on the environment due to the aspects of their manufacture and life-cycle. To elaborate, artificial trees are typically made of metal and PVC, which is a non-biodegradable plastic material.

This makes artificial trees non-recyclable, meaning they will at some point end up in a landfill and remain there for centuries. What’s more, a vast number of artificial trees are actually imported from China, further adding to the overall carbon footprint.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Real Christmas Trees

On the other hand, the act known as ‘tree-cycling’ is the reason why many experts actually believe that real Christmas trees are a lot more environmentally friendly than the plastic alternative. Real fir Christmas trees can be recycled into mulch and then used in gardening or landscaping. They can also be chipped and placed on walkways, hiking trails and school playgrounds. This presents an easy method of returning a renewable source back to the environment instead of letting something rot in a landfill.

Even before disposal, a single tree can absorb over a ton of carbon dioxide in its entire life cycle. In addition to this, an acre of fir trees produces enough oxygen for 18 people per day. Farmers do not chop down without replanting – so you can only imagine the yearly amount of carbon sequestering associated with the trade.

Sure, a real Christmas tree does require some effort and attention, but doesn’t everything beautiful in life? You must keep the tree watered and provide some TLC; if kept in the wrong conditions, a real Christmas tree can lose its needles and become dry very quickly. You may have to dispose and re-buy once a year, but at least you know you are doing the environment a favour.

Interesting Facts about Christmas Trees

Here are ten very interesting facts about Christmas trees:

  1. In Germany, Christmas Trees date back to the 16th Century. They was introduced to England when Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s, husband made it part of the festive celebrations at Windsor Castle.
  2. The earliest known mention of a Christmas tree in the United States of America was in the diary of a German settler in Pennsylvania.
  3. Eight years is the average time it takes for a Christmas Tree. More than ten different varieties of Christmas Trees are grown in the UK.
  4. The most popular Christmas Tree sold in 2011 is the Nordmann Fir.
  5. Electric lights on Christmas trees were first used in 1895.
  6. Each year the City of Westminster, England is given a Christmas tree from the people of Oslo, Norway. The gift is of gratitude for Britain’s help to Norway during World War II.
  7. The daily oxygen needs of 18 people can be provide by an acre of real Christmas trees.
  8. A tree will consume as much as two pints of water per day in the first week of being in your home. However, Christmas tree are known for removing dust and pollen from the air.
  9. Seven million Christmas Trees will be planted this year.
  10. The Christmas tree that stands outside 10 Downing Street is presented by the winner of the ‘British Christmas Tree growers associations‘ “best Christmas Tree” competition.

The Judgement

For those Scrooges out there that wish purely for convenience and lack of effort, an artificial tree will certainly seem appealing. But if you’re a traditionalist, a romanticist or simply someone who likes things done properly – then a real Christmas tree is the only way to go. Nothing can emulate the beauty, the enchantment and the quality of a real fir Christmas tree. Sure, it might leave needles on your floor but think of the carbon-neutral benefits and the ease of recycling.

Plus, it just makes Christmas what it is, doesn’t it? Chopping the tree, bringing it home, set the decorations…it all seems a bit ruined when taken out of a flat-pack box. Once decorated and the lights are on, a real tree becomes a glorious centrepiece for the whole home. For these reasons, in our humble yet admittedly slightly biased opinion, the real Christmas tree is the clear winner!

Don’t be fake this year, be real to yourself! Check out some of our Christmas trees in Manchester – we offer free delivery on all orders and provide all standing equipment too. Contact us for more information.

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