It’s the same debate every year – is it better to buy a real Christmas tree or an artificial one?
The answer really depends on who you ask.
A plastic Christmas tree can save money in the long run and be easier to clean—but nothing quite compares to the festive experience of choosing a tree at a local farm.
Artificial trees cost more but last longer
According to the American Christmas Tree Association, an artificial tree costs an average of $104, while a live tree costs about $78.
Artificial tree prices are expected to rise 20% to 30% this year, the association says, due to weather in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest and “supply chain congestion.”
The National Christmas Tree Association says about 350 million Christmas trees grow in the US alone, while 80% of artificial trees are imported from China.
On average, a fake Christmas tree will last about a decade, making the holiday season easier.
Artificial trees come in a variety of colors and styles
Artificial trees usually come in a variety of sizes and colors, making it easier to find the perfect tree for your household.
From pink to silver to an upside down tree, there’s something for every style. Many trees come with multicolored or clear lights, making it easy to brighten up your home during the holiday season.
Artificial trees are easier to clean and reuse
An artificial tree means fewer needles on the ground and less mess when cleaning up when the holiday season inevitably comes to an end. And best of all, you can store the tree and use it again next year.
Where do American Christmas trees grow?
Real trees are environmentally friendly
A real Christmas tree takes an average of seven years, some grow up to 15 years. For every tree harvested, one to three more seeds are planted the following spring, according to the National Christmas Tree Association.
And best of all, real Christmas trees are considered a renewable and recyclable resource.
The association says artificial trees often contain metal toxins and non-biodegradable plastics.
An artificial tree also has a 1,000% larger carbon footprint compared to a real tree – due to the plastic materials.
With just a little more thought about your Christmas tree and all of its ornaments, you can reduce your carbon footprint and give a gift to the planet this holiday season. Learn more about why you should buy a real Christmas tree, not try to recycle your ornaments, and how a carpenter found a creative way to turn holiday junk into a touching tribute to veterans.
Buying a real tree supports your community
There are nearly 15,000 Christmas tree farms in the US employing around 100,000 people, so buying a real tree is also a way to support your community and local businesses.
States that produce the most Christmas trees include Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Washington, reports the National Christmas Tree Association.
What’s more fun than picking out a real Christmas tree at a nearby farm during the holidays?
The annual experience of buying a real tree keeps the tradition alive – and nothing says celebration.
Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on November 18, 2021.