We cut our own at the local green cemetary...they get free "weeding" of non-native species (which they would be removing anyway for a fee), we have a wonderful family outing with tons of other natural minded families in the area, and we get a free tree. Okay, so our trees are a little more "rustic" than trees that have been grown for the purpose, but we love them. As kids my family would cut a tree at a tree farm. And holiday tree farming is an important part of the local farm culture...many small farms here have holiday trees as a way to round out their annual income and hold them over in years where their main cash crops don't do well.
And anyway...fake trees shed so much ick and seem so sad. I understand that people may see them as easier but the thought of putting a lead/chemical laden imitation tree in my living room seems...well...it's just odd.
Sure, a fake tree kind of looks like a real tree, and you can buy sprays that make a fake tree kind of smell like a real tree but... it's still a fake. I try to keep my home free of artificial cleaning products, excessive plastics, lead and lead dust, etc and I guess a fake tree (to me) falls into the category of "stuff I don't want in my home".
Plus, I'm pagan and yule is a big deal for my family. I honor the tree that shares our space, I keep a round from the base to use the following year as the yule log, we honor the season and after yule we take the tree outside and cover it with food for the animals to share. Later we mulch the smaller branches ourselves for our garden and donate the rest of the tree to the city mulching program. I love trees, I respect trees, and I still enjoy having a real tree. (we got live trees for years but our current home doesn't have space to plant them)
It's funny how deeply ingrained some traditions are, you know? The holidays and the images surrounding them are so personal!