Real Christmas Trees are Green! - How green was your plastic artificial Christmas tree?
Whether you decide on a spruce, a pine or a fir, choosing a real Christmas
Tree this December is the right choice for the environment. Nothing can
replace the look, smell and feel of a real Christmas Tree, especially
one that has been freshly cut at Christmas Tree Farm, Chesham.
Whereas until recently, imports made up a large percentage of supply
of real trees, British growers are now producing a large variety of species and almost all the Christmas Trees.
As such, far less fuel is being used to transport trees over long distances
The way that growers cultivate their Christmas Trees has also changed
in that they are now all grown especially as Christmas Trees - for each
tree cut most British growers and we at Christmas Tree Farm, Chesham, plant at least one new tree,
ensuring that all our production is sustainable.
Our plantations are on land that had previously been used for arable
or equestrian use. The Christmas Trees provide much more cover for both
mammals and birds than did the previous crops, whilst no broadleaf trees
were removed to make way for our plantations.
Real Christmas Trees are the environmentally friendly option. Like all trees, Christmas tree plantations act as a Carbon Dioxide sink, the
difference is we plant more trees each year whilst the number of trees elsewhere (especially in rainforests) sadly
dwindle. One acre of Christmas Trees produces the daily requirement of
oxygen for 18 people, and whilst growing, each tree fixes carbon dioxide
given off by cars and aeroplanes. All trees also split water vapour into hydrogen and oxygen, reducing the humidity of the air surrounding the tree, wood or plantation - this improves air quality during our increasingly hot, humid summers, without the need for power hungry air conditioning units.
We have expanded
our plantation each year by growing more and more trees
Artificial Trees are Not the Green Alternative
In comparison, artificial trees are non-biodegradable, and their manufacturing
process requires large amounts of fossil fuels. Their manufacture occurs
in countries that have very few, if any, environmental controls on emissions
of noxious gasses. The transportation of artificial trees, halfway around
the world, also adds significantly to the overall consumption of fossil fuels in their
Two of the large British supermarket groups have recently decided that
after many years of trying, real Christmas Trees were too difficult or unprofitable
for them to sell. They have decided instead to concentrate on selling
artificial Christmas Trees and in the process their publicity machines
are generating negative publicity on real Christmas Trees, which, unfortunately,
some newspapers - and even environmental groups - are repeating.
The British Christmas Tree growers association (BCTGA), of which Christmas
Tree Farm, Chesham, is a member has carried out an analysis of a number
of artificial trees. The results were:
· All the plastic components were PVC including stands, needles,
brackets and branch end plugs.
· All others including branches were steel wire.
· The wrapping around the base of the two smaller trees was Hessian
· The snow on the trees was polyurethane foam.
· Analysis by weight shows that one of the artificial trees is
about 60% metal, whilst the others were 80% metal.
· Due to high levels of toxic emissions, PVC should never be incinerated
· The use of twisted wire makes separation of the metal from the
PVC virtually impossible.
For these reasons none of the plastic trees were found to be easily recyclable
and it was concluded that artificial trees all end up in land-fill sites
were they would not easily degrade.
Artificial trees will last five years in your home, but for centuries
in a landfill!
The following is a sequence of photographs of Christmas Trees being planted on land that had previously grown Christmas Trees at Chesham in Buckinghamshire. The plantings took place in March 2005. We plant at least one Christmas Tree for every one we sell.