Christmas tree: Real or artificial? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Which kind of Christmas tree do you prefer?
Real--Cut tree 17 53.13%
Artficial Tree 10 31.25%
Living Tree 2 6.25%
None 1 3.13%
Other 2 6.25%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-29-2012, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When it comes time to decorate for Christmas, what kind of tree do you put up?  What are your reasons for choosing that?




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Old 11-29-2012, 05:02 PM
 
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Hey Pokey!

We have an artificial tree just because I've owned it for so long. Got it probably about 13 years ago at Walmart (I was a poor student and thought I could save money by shopping there...) and I think the box says: $19.95.

We don't put it up every year, we're not big holiday people.

I read in a pro/con recently (in a magazine, the name of which I of course can't remember) that in order to offset the environmental impact of producing a fake tree you have to use it for at least twenty years!

Anyway, all the best to you and your partner! Hope all is well and I so look forward to seeing you do well and deliver a healthy and happy baby!


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Old 11-29-2012, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, dakipode!  wave.gif

 

We have a real tree because my wife wanted to carry on that tradition from her childhood and it was more important to her than it was to me not to have one.  I grew up with an artificial tree that got scrawnier each year.  I don't mind the real tree.  It gets composted when the holidays are over so I feel good that it is returning to the earth to help something else grow.




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Old 12-02-2012, 02:47 PM
 
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I am a die-hard real tree lover.  A large part of it is the smell for me.  DH has been trying to get me to buy a fake artificial tree for years but I just can't do it.  We have some little artificial ones that put around and one for the kids to play with and decorate.


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Old 12-02-2012, 04:29 PM
 
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We have an artificial Christmas  tree.  Our current one is about 13 years old and still looks good so I expect we will have it several more years.

We've always had an artificial tree. It is easy and low fuss- pull it out and put it up in minutes. It is not messy at all. It doesn't need any care. It doesn't need to be disposed of each year. I don't care about Christmas tree smell from real trees.

 

I would consider a living tree over a cut tree if we ever decided to go that route.


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Old 12-02-2012, 11:55 PM
 
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We always have a real tree. When my family lived on larger blocks of land we would cut a branch from one of our own trees (not "real" Christmas trees). The last couple of years we have been given trees by a family friend whose job it was to clear trees from under power lines.

Not sure whether we will do the same this year or splurge and buy a "real" pine tree from a local Christmas tree farm

I have tried potted trees a couple of times but sadly they didn't survive until the next Christmas so I won't try that again.

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Old 12-03-2012, 02:03 AM
 
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We have an artificial tree. Three of the 5 of us are horribly allergic to real trees
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:16 PM
 
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We have an artificial tree that we were given by my OHs brother who was about to throw it out (he got a new/bigger one) it suits us perfectly as its only small so doesnt take up much space and I dont plan on getting rid of it anytime soon seeing as it was given to us I dont feel guilty about the enviromental impact as its already had a good couple years use and is still going strong. :D  

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Old 12-03-2012, 02:29 PM
 
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For winter solstice we do a potted evergreen, table top size. It gets planted in the yard after the holiday.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:56 AM
 
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Fake.. I hate real trees. I think they are annoying to clean up, the fire risk scares me, and... I HATE the way they smell lol.


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Old 12-07-2012, 08:38 AM
 
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I guess if we ever did a real tree we would do a living one & plant it outside afterward, but I'm a bit allergic to evergreens, and we don't have the money to buy a tree every year anyway, so it's never been a question for us.

So we have a fake one, we have had it for at least 6 or 7 years (handed down to us used, and the people before us had it for at least 10 years, so I'm sure we'll make it to 20 and beyond!) I would not buy a brand-new artificial tree, there are plenty of used ones out there...

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Old 12-07-2012, 08:58 AM
 
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I used to think an artificial tree was better for the environment, but I've since changed my mind on that. Artificial trees are made of nasty chemicals and off-gas in your home for several years, whereas real trees (even though their lives are short) provide oxygen to the environment for the time they are alive and growing. I also like to support local farmers who rely on Christmas trees for income. The downside is that they are quite expensive, but I really enjoy the real tree smell.


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Old 12-07-2012, 09:48 AM
 
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We are cheap and just cut branches off trees and assemble them into a tree or put them bough like over the windows. We just like them for the  smell anyway. 


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Old 12-07-2012, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have heard you can rent a living tree.  They will deliver it to your house and pick it back up afterwards so that it can be planted somewhere.  No trees would be killed and you wouldn't have to find a place to plant it in your yard every year.  Sounds like a good idea!




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Old 12-08-2012, 10:11 AM
 
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I never thought I'd switch to a fake tree, but ds used to get really upset about throwing away the tree after the holidays. So I jumped at the opportunity to buy a used one from an other homeschooler about 5 years ago. It is nice having it in the attic, ready when we are, and having it prelit. I have also noticed that I haven't been feeling upper respiratory distress (cold like symptoms) that usually reared up right around Christmas every year. I used to think I'd catch a cold in time for Christmas from being run down and not getting enough sleep. Now I wonder if I'm not a bit allergic to the real tree or whatever they spray them with. Another bonus to the fake tree is expense. We wouldn't have been able to afford a real tree these past few years. Full size ones run about $40, here. Our pre-owned fake tree was $50 and a pretty new realistic looking one at that.


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Old 12-08-2012, 09:18 PM
 
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We went out today to get our tree. For the past few years, we've gone to a family-owned Christmas tree farm. We ride the tractor-pulled wagon out into the fields, choose our tree and cut it ourselves. By choosing a real tree, we support a small, local business. The tree has been part of an ecosystem and has provided shelter to small animals and birds. Plus, it's a fun family outing, even today when it was cold and wet. They have carollers and a big bonfire on site and sell cider and hot chocolate. 

 

We've tried the potted, living tree. I cannot keep a potted plant alive, with the exception of the Christmas cactus that is blooming madly right now in my living room. I can watch a living tree die slowly in agony in my home for the next few months which I think is bad karma for the new year. Alternatively, I can mercifully cut and kill a tree quickly and enjoy and appreciate and honour it for a few weeks in a tradition that dates back through to early human civilization. Then I can set it at my curb for the city to pick up and turn it into mulch and return it to the earth whence it came, completing the life cycle and creating good karma for the new year. 

 

At least that's the story and the line I'm taking when someone wants to criticize my choice in the matter (not saying that anyone here criticizes or judges, but elsewhere IRL).

 

Or I could just say that I like real trees and don't like artificial. Which is true too. smile.gif

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Old 12-08-2012, 10:10 PM
 
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An artificial tree has no appeal for me at all.  It seems as silly and tacky as putting plastic flowers in your flower bed.  I'd go without a tree before I'd put up an artificial one.  We always cut down a tree from our own property or my sister's property.  Sadly, neither one of us has balsam firs the right size, so it's a white pine or a red spruce, and it's usually kind of scrawny and funny-looking compared to ones from Christmas tree farms.  But the kids and I think it's fun to hunt for our own tree and cut it down, and I like getting it for free.  And there's basically no environmental impact.  There are plenty of other young trees out there so ours will never be missed.

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Old 12-15-2012, 07:05 PM
 
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Real tree all the way! Some years we fo out into the woods and cut down a real Charlie Browner, other years a Christmas Tree Farm, this year we bought ours on the side of the road Sheepish.gif but I forgive myself for that as it is butt cold in this part of the country in Dec an DS is a baby diaper.gif


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Old 12-17-2012, 09:53 AM
 
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I am reminded of the attraction of a fake tree. A week after we put it up, our real tree is starting to drop needles. I watered it this morning but the tree stand was suspiciously dry. I'm pretty sure it was watered on Saturday and I have asked everyone to check it every day, figuring 3 adults and 1 almost-adult could keep this thing in reasonable shape until New Year's. Sigh. 

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Old 12-23-2012, 08:45 PM
 
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I love real trees but I have a fake one from when I was a student 13 years ago.  So now that I have the fake tree I figure I might as well use it since it already exists. I would love to switch to real ones but I would feel guilty. If this one ever breaks, I will love the smell and feel of a real tree. That said, we heat by wood, so I have a lot of opportunities to smell/feel trees.

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Old 12-27-2012, 07:56 AM
 
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I could go either way. We have a fake tree we bought a few years ago on sale at Target. It's beautiful and I expect we'll use it for decades. It's nice not having to worry about the cost of a new tree each year. My parents have a fake tree but they also get a small (3-4 ft) live tree for my kids to decorate/undecorate/decorate/undecorate as much as they want. 


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Old 12-27-2012, 09:05 AM
 
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Real tree but I can certainly understand the appeal (ease of assembly, no mess) of an artificial tree.

 

For years, DH felt bad about cutting down a tree so we would get live (balled) trees and plant them after Christmas.  This became a giant PITA and about half the trees ended up dying.

 

Christmas tree farms are rather successful family businesses in my area (seemingly more financially successful than traditional farming) and most have two and three generations working together.  A close friend of mine married into one and we are acquainted with several other families.  After learning about the operations and seeing it up close, DH is now totally fine with getting a cut tree.

 

This year DS (7yo) did ask us about "killing" a tree when it was cut down.  We had the opportunity to talk to the owner and have a good educational lesson with DS about agriculture and family farms.


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Old 12-30-2012, 08:44 PM
 
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DH and I are die hard real tree fans, but over the past several years my reaction to decorating our real Christmas tree got worse and worse. (the outfits I worse to put on the lights while trying to avoid getting pricked by the needles became almost comical) last year after we bought our trees my allergies in general went from bad to worse... we weren't sure if it was the tree or something else, but in a moment of misery and desperation I asked friends and on freecycle if anyone had an artificial tree we could borrow so we could get rid of the real tree and see if that helped, but I needed a tree of some sort or my then 4 year old would have been VERY upset! a kind family via freecycle gave us an artificial tree that someone had given them used years ago.. It's up again this year, in part because I didn't want to risk my allergies possibly going crazy again and for a variety of other reasons... It's not the same as a real tree..  and I never thought I would have one in my house.. but now I do.. but at least it's been well used before us, so even if we do get rid of it in the next few years (even next year) I don't have to feel too bad about the environment, because it has been used by at least three families now, each for multiple years!!

 

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Old 01-02-2013, 08:20 PM
 
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We do a real tree.

We have gotten ours from IKEA over the past two years.

IKEA buys from tree farms that use intergrated pest management (so minimal spraying).

All of the trees are $20, no matter what size.

They are nice.

They also give a $20 gift certificate, so as long as you were planning on buying something from IKEA, the tree is free!


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