The Case for Live-Cut Christmas Trees

During the holiday season, many environmentally aware families are not sure whether it is more responsible to purchase a live-cut Christmas tree or an artificial one that can be reused. There is concern that live-cut trees are wasteful—used for a short time and then discarded.

The National Arbor Day Foundation, however, makes a strong case for using and enjoying live-cut conifers as Christmas trees.

Why artificial trees are not a necessarily a good choice:
  • Roughly 85% of the artificial ones are fabricated overseas where working conditions are often substandard.
  • Fake trees are made with plastics and metals which sometimes include PVC or lead. This gets into the environment when these trees are eventually tossed in the trash.
On the other hand:
  • Live-cut conifers are a renewable, sustainable resource.
  • As they grow and mature, future Christmas trees provide the benefits that trees always do—oxygen production, CO2 take-up, erosion control, wildlife food and shelter.
  • The farms that Christmas trees grow on provide rural jobs and support American families.
  • Christmas tree farms preserve open space.
  • Live-cut trees are biodegradable and recyclable ground into woodchips for mulch and compost for soil improvement and many other purposes.