Real or Artificial Christmas Tree? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Do you put up a real Christmas Tree or an artificial one?
Real Tree 92 46.46%
Artificial Tree 84 42.42%
Neither or Other 22 11.11%
Voters: 198. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-27-2007, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For those of you who put up Christmas trees, do you get real ones or artificial? We've always had real trees and taken them to Ikea for their Christmas tree recycling program, however, we don't live close to Ikea anymore. I was thinking about getting an artificial tree, but knowing it'll be in a landfill forever definitely doesn't sit well w/me.

Not sure if new neighborhood (just moved) recycles trees - chipper, etc. Guess I should find out soon.

So real or fake? Pros and cons for either?

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Old 09-27-2007, 02:32 PM
 
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Always real! The fake ones are weird to me.

Our town picks up yard waste (tree branches, etc) and turns it into mulch that is free for residents, and they will take your holiday trees with that service as well.
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:35 PM
 
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When our house was tiny, we did live trees and then planted them in the yard. They are really evergreen shrubs so they stay small. Real trees are heavy and hard to get indoors. We also did a tinker toy tree one year based on something I saw in Martha Stewart's magazine (my rare foray into Martha-ville). That was fun.

Now that our house is large enough, we get a real, cut tree and take it to the city recycling center for chipping into mulch for local playgrounds.
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:37 PM
 
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I get a real tree and then throw it into the wood behind my house when I'm done. I love the smell of a real tree, and could not abide a fake one.
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:37 PM
 
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Real.

After we are done with it we throw it on our burn pile.
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:39 PM
 
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fake, we have had it for 4 yrs now. A fake tree can last you more than a decade, a real tree means cutting down a living breathing thing every year, and if you dont have a fire to use it on, its a waste.
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:39 PM
 
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i loved our tree last year. it was a potted rosemary plant that was clipped to the shape of a christmas tree. it was about 2 1/2 feet tall, and i found miniature ornaments and lights to put on it, it was totally adorable. after the holidays we put it out on the patio so we had sprigs of fresh rosemary for months. and it smelled wonderful.

i don't like the cutting of beautiful live trees, and artificial trees concern me due to the materials (many of them have lead) and non-biodegradability.
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:42 PM
 
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We cut a real tree ourselves at a local, family run tree farm. It is one of our favorite holiday traditions.

Our city picks them up and turns them into mulch as well.

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Old 09-27-2007, 02:49 PM
 
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REAL !!!

We cut two trees on the National Forest. AT $5.00 each, it's a price that cannot be beat (especially since we have one 18'+ for our living room and one 12'+ for our sunroom)!

Dh helped to plant the very trees we cut, so it has an extra-special meaning to us, as well. We make a morning out of it and bring hot cocoa and muffins. It is making special memories each year.

We love the fragrance and the fact that the time factor from cutting to setting-up is less than an hour. The trees do not drop needles, as they are so fresh and we keep them well-watered.

And, after the holidays are over, we lay the trees out on our property for small critters to use for cover and the trees become part of the land, again.

There are always a few pieces of tinsel we miss removing from the living room tree (we re-use the tinsel each year, "refreshing" it when needed!). This year, a pair of scarlet tanagers used some in the construction of their nest in our maple tree. They had the showiest nest in the area! It should look pretty interesting when the tree loses its leaves in a few weeks and this ball of grass, twigs and red/blue/gold tinsel is sitting up at the top!
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:51 PM
 
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Well, I voted neither or other.... let me explain...

I was never big on the idea of buying a Christmas tree to decorate it after reading an article that talked about how it's like worshipping the tree and because DH is a Bah-Humbug (I often call him Scrooge) and was not interested in wasting money on a Christmas tree we never got one.

A full-sized one that is.

When Hope was a baby she was given a small wooden Christmas tree with little ornaments, I think it was made in South America. So every year we put that little tree up. It's maybe 10 or 12 inches high.

Then last year I bought a Family Tree, it was in the Avon book. It is about the same height and has ornaments with spots for pictures in them as well as six spots for pictures along the base. I really love our Family Tree and the fact that we can include Amy Dawn with it.
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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fake, we have had it for 4 yrs now. A fake tree can last you more than a decade, a real tree means cutting down a living breathing thing every year, and if you dont have a fire to use it on, its a waste.
That crossed my mind, but what do you do with the fake tree after 10 years?

There is an abundance of Christmas trees at this time of year. Most nurseries plant them for this occasion. Since they are already cut, wouldn't it be better to buy one and then get it turned into mulch?

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Old 09-27-2007, 02:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by olliepop View Post
That crossed my mind, but what do you do with the fake tree after 10 years?

There is an abundance of Christmas trees at this time of year. Most nurseries plant them for this occasion. Since they are already cut, wouldn't it be better to buy one and then get it turned into mulch?
if you can turn it into mulch. I have never got rid of a fake tree, so i wouldnt know. My parents have had the same one since i was a toddler, and I'm 24. i would rather keep one tree for numerous years than a real tree. the more you buy real trees from a nursery etc, the more they think demand is up and they cut down even more trees the next year.
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:03 PM
 
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I have a small fiberoptic one (less than 2'?) that we use. I love real ones, I hate plastic. But I honestly feel very cruel cutting down a tree just for decoration. And the needles everywhere!!!

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Old 09-27-2007, 03:05 PM
 
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Growing up we always had a real tree. A few times we'd go and chop one down ourselves, but usually we got one already cut at the farm. Our city picks up the trees from the curb after Christmas to recycle them.

Last year was the first year with an artificial tree DH and his family always had an artificial one, and now that his parents are divorced, neither of them wanted the tree, but DH did. He is more for the tree because of emotional reasons than environmental. I miss the smell of a real pine tree.
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:17 PM
 
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Real Christmas trees are a crop, just like corn or potatoes. New trees are planted every year to replace the ones that are cut. They grow for many years before being harvested, and as far as I know they do not require a huge amount of resources on the part of the grower (fertilizer, weeding, trimming, etc).

We don't usually put up a tree at all (we don't have a lot of room), because we always go to my Mom's for Christmas. Those years that we have had a tree, we have taken it down before we leave for my Mom's, and donated it to a family without a tree.

My mom has an artificial tree, because it's easier for her. Since my Dad died she isn't able to go out and cut her own, the way they used to. She bough a high-quality tree that will last for years.

Our community picks up Christmas trees to mulch; my mom lives out in the woods, and would put her tree out in the yard to shelter the birds that eat at her feeders. In the spring she would cut it up and toss it out in the woods.

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Old 09-27-2007, 03:21 PM
 
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[QUOTE=nd_deadhead;9286147]Real Christmas trees are a crop, just like corn or potatoes. New trees are planted every year to replace the ones that are cut. They grow for many years before being harvested, and as far as I know they do not require a huge amount of resources on the part of the grower (fertilizer, weeding, trimming, etc).

QUOTE]

I understand that. But I am also very emotionally attached to trees and hate seeing them cut down. It really hurts me inside. I used to climb pine trees all the time as a child. I know it sounds silly, but I can't help it.

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Old 09-27-2007, 03:29 PM
 
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in the last 3 years- i think it was last year but i lose track of time....artificial trees outnumbered real in us homes. and, co-habitating couples outnumbered married living togethers. any relation? my older patients seem to think so, like it is a sign of the end of traditions. but, they tend to say this of everything! we go real, but we buy allready cut , we havent found a farm to go to and cut ourselves here- i would like that.
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:34 PM
 
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maybe I'm the odd one out, for me, its traddition to have fake, i grew up with fake, my grandmother only ever had fake, my brother had real one year, so stinky and messy. It could also be because I come from the southern hemisphere, so its summer where I am, and my natural christmas tree is a pohutakawa tree, and I would never think of cutting one down.
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Old 09-27-2007, 06:27 PM
 
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Dh and I both grew up with real trees and always bought a real one once we lived together. But, we finally bought a fake one a few years back. It is so dry here at Christmas time that the trees dry out *very* quickly and are much to high a fire danger for our comfort level. (We don't smoke nor burn candles, but the wiring/electricity is something that makes me nervous.) We plan on keeping our tree for many years, though honestly I never thought about what we'd do with it when it finally "died". And, I just try not to think about the chemicals in it. : I just am uncomfortable having a dying tree in my house strung with electricity.

I do love the PPs idea of getting a potted rosemary plant and using that pruned like a tree. That would smell wonderful, and would be used year-round for cooking. Hmm ...

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Old 09-27-2007, 06:39 PM
 
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I do love the PPs idea of getting a potted rosemary plant and using that pruned like a tree. That would smell wonderful, and would be used year-round for cooking. Hmm ...
just as an fyi...i got the potted rosemary plant at target, of all places. i think it was all of $9.99. pretty good, considering you'll have fresh herbs, too.

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Old 09-27-2007, 07:39 PM
 
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We always had real growing up and I love the smell, I miss it at Christmas time.

We have a fake tree now because we live far away from family and usually go home to his family or mine for Christmas for a week to two weeks. We wouldn't leave a real tree that long without water, it would be dead by the time we got back and it would be a fire hazard. So we have a fake tree. But if we're not going anywhere this year we're getting a real one!

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Old 09-27-2007, 08:46 PM
 
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I voted artificial, but it breaks my heart. I grew up in Wisconsin, where Christmas trees are abundant an inexpensive. We'd use it for firewood afterwards, usually, or use the city's recycling program

Now, living out on the tundra, where trees are something that I only occasionally remember exist, it's artificial or nothing. The past three years have been "nothing," but this year we're in a bigger house and DH wants to get a small artificial one to put by the front window. It depresses me because I've never really cared for artificial trees.

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Old 09-27-2007, 09:53 PM
 
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Growing up we always had real, grandma always had fake. DH and I agreed years ago that neither one of us wanted to cut down a tree for that purpose, and neither of us likes fake ones. So we've gone without. Right now I've been eyeing an ornament tree that is neither real nor plastic, and will last years. That isn't the one that I've been looking at, but I can't find that one at the moment.

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Old 09-27-2007, 10:10 PM
 
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We have allergies here and a real tree just isn't an option. I hate ending up in the ER with a kid in respiratory distress during the holidays. I'm pretty good at making it look convincing though.

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Old 09-27-2007, 10:27 PM
 
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I just am uncomfortable having a dying tree in my house strung with electricity.
If you do the research, more fires are actually caused by fake trees because of all the horrible petrochemicals they use to make them. I read a story in our local paper last year.

And real christmas trees are actual a vital part of crop rotation and good farming practices. In the 6 to 7 years it takes to grow a real christmas tree, the soil is replenished w/ much needed nutrients especially fixed nitrogen. When they cut the trees, they can then go about the rotation of corn & beans again. It's also helpful to local farmers as a way to make $ when that field would only be sitting fallow.

Plus, if you keep them watered, they're not going to get all dry and crinkly.
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:44 PM
 
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Real.

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!

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Old 09-27-2007, 11:09 PM
 
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I'm sure that overall the fake ones are no better, but seeing the damage done to my sister's house, I am not in favor of having a real one in our house. And, really, here ... it is next to impossible to keep them watered enough to keep them from drying out. We've tried.

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Old 09-27-2007, 11:11 PM
 
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just as an fyi...i got the potted rosemary plant at target, of all places. i think it was all of $9.99. pretty good, considering you'll have fresh herbs, too.


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Old 09-28-2007, 03:39 AM
 
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we have a prelit tree and once the light burn out on it, i doubt we'll replace it with another fake one. we do keep it up year round (undecorated) just as a decoration

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Old 09-28-2007, 09:52 AM
 
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We use real trees. We cut them on my husband's family's property.

Anyway, we've done lots of things with the trees after the holidays. Some years we just take it back to where we cut it and leave it to rot naturally. A few years I donated them to the zoo, where apparently they give the trees to the bears as toys. And the past few years, we've mulched the branches and used the trunks as poles for my clothesline and for cucumber plants to grow on.

A real cut tree in the house is an indispensable part of our pagan Yule tradition; I could never use a plastic tree. Plus imagine the off-gassing from all that new plastic in the house!

Given the choice, I'd like to buy a live tree that I could plant after the holiday. That seems like the ideal solution to the dilemma for me. But sadly we just cannot afford to do that; they cost so much.

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