Cut Your Own Trees

About the Farms

Is it bad for the environment to cut down a real Christmas tree?
Absolutely not! Today 98% of all Christmas trees are grown on Christmas tree farms. That means they're grown like a farm crop, so the ones that get harvested this year are replaced by new seedlings next spring. Christmas tree farms also provide oxygen and clean the air. One acre of Christmas trees provides enough oxygen for 18 people!

What are the advantages of a real tree over artificial?
Bringing a real Christmas tree into the home is a tradition that goes back centuries. The tree's pleasant aroma gives an instant reminder that Christmas is in the air. Also, unlike artificial trees which are mostly manufactured overseas, U.S. Christmas tree farms provide jobs for over 100,000 people employed full or part time in the industry. Most importantly, a real tree is a renewable, recyclable resource. Artificial trees on the other hand, average a lifespan of only 6 years, then are tossed in a landfill where they lie in a composed state for centuries.

How long will a tree keep its needles?
This depends on many factors, such as tree variety, weather conditions, and cutting date, but on average a well-watered tree usually holds its needles for 3-4 weeks. Fraser Fir and Norway Pine tend to hold their needles the longest, up to 5 weeks, while Scotch, White Pine and Balsam average 3-4 weeks, Spruce 2 weeks. For extended freshness, place a humidifier next to the tree.

Aren't real Christmas trees a fire-hazard?
No. In fact, research from the National Fire Protection Association shows that real Christmas trees are involved in less than one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) of all residential fires. Furthermore, of all the Christmas trees that were sold in 1998, only one one-thousandth of a percent (0.001%) were involved in a residential fire. You can minimize the risk of fire by using proper care (regular watering) and proper placement (away from heat sources). And as with any Christmas tree, be sure to turn off your tree lights at night or when you are away from home.

Does it matter which kind of stand I use?
Yes. You should choose a stand that will hold at least 2 gallons of water. Trees are very thirsty and can drink up to 6 quarts of water per day. The most important thing to remember is to never let the tree stand run out of water. Once this happens, the tree will form a sap seal over the base of the trunk, preventing it from drawing any more water. At that point, your only recourse is to take the tree out of its stand and make another fresh 1/4" cut across the base of the tree. For an excellent stand that's easy to use and quick to set-up, we recommend the Superior Stand. It was invented by tree growers and is on sale at all our locations.

How should I dispose of my tree after Christmas?
Fifty-nine percent of the real Christmas trees harvested each year are recycled in curbside recycling programs. The communities then use the chippings for mulch, hiking trails, playground areas, animal stalls or landscaping. Whatever the disposal method, real trees are 100% biodegradable, and all are ultimately recycled back into nature.

How long does it take to grow a Christmas tree?

Depending on the variety, it can take anywhere from 7 to 12 years for a tree to grow to 6 feet. However, the average growing time is 8-9 years.

Why do some of the trees in the field look yellow? Are they dead?
No, the trees that look yellow are just as healthy as the ones that are dark green. The difference is that pines naturally lose their dark green color in the winter when the days become shorter and the tree produces less chlorophyll. For that reason, Scotch, Norway, and White Pines are sprayed with a dark green colorant during the summer to preserve their "evergreen" color for Christmas. Other varieties, like firs and spruce retain their dark evergreen color all year round.

How many real Christmas trees are sold every year?
33 million!


Do you have a Real Tree FAQ? E-mail us!

For more F.A.Q.'s about real Christmas Trees, visit the National Christmas Tree Association's web site.

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