Christmas Tree Facts
Christmas trees are grown as a renewable crop, and therefore add more living trees to our planet. Unlike Christmas trees of the past, modern Christmas tree farms replant up to 3 seedlings for every tree that is harvested from their farm. Modern-day Christmas tree farms do not cut down trees in the forest and sell them to customers, but plant seedlings every year, which helps to decrease the carbon footprint of their farms. Their trees absorb and retain he carbon from the atmosphere, utilize it for photosynthesis, and to produce sugars and carbohydrates for the trees to live off of. They also remove dust and pollen from the air. Christmas tree farm plantations provide shelter, food, and habitat for a diverse array of wildlife, including bears, deer, groundhogs, squirrels, turkey, quail, songbirds, insects, and microorganisms in the soil. One acre of Christmas trees provides for the daily oxygen requirements of 18 people. The average Christmas tree, before harvest and shipping, provides valuable habitat for approximately 30,000 bugs and insects.
It can take as long as 15 years, or as short as 4 years, for a tree to grow to the typical height of 6-7ft. The average growing time is 7 years, however. There are currently about 350,000 acres in production, close to 350 million living Christmas Trees growing in the U.S. all planted by close to 15,000 farmers, and employing over 100,000 full or part time employees, much of it preserving green space. Over 70,000,000 seedlings will be planted this year alone. Farmers typically plant over 2,000 trees per acre, of which 1000-1500 will survive. Approximately 25-30 million Real Christmas Trees are sold in the U.S. alone every year, and many more are shipped worldwide. Of all of the Christmas trees that were recently harvested, 47% were Douglas Fir, 45% were Noble Fir, 5% were Grand Fir, all others combined equaled 3%. (Fraser fir, Nordmann fir, Concolor fir, Shasta fir, Silver fir, Balsam fir, Turkish fir, Colorado blue and Norway spruce) The top Christmas Tree producing states are Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Washington. 82% of Christmas trees purchased were pre-cut and 18% were cut your own. To speed the harvest process some large growers use helicopters to pick up slings of freshly cut trees and fly them to the staging area for loading on trucks. 59 percent of real Christmas trees harvested are recycled in community programs. There are more than 4,000 local Christmas Tree recycling programs throughout the United States.
Real Christmas trees, as opposed to artificial Christmas trees, are 100% renewable, biodegradable and can be recycled in many ways, such as being chipped up for mulch, sunken in ponds and creating fish habitat, and stabilizing sand dunes on coastal areas, just to mention a few. Eighty percent (80%) of artificial trees worldwide are manufactured in China, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. They contain non-biodegradable plastics and possible metal toxins such as lead, using petroleum-based products and non-recyclable PVC plastics. Some artificial trees are packaged with a pair of gloves, to protect customers from directly touching the Lead that artificial trees contain. Artificial trees will last for six years in your home, but for centuries in a landfill.
Real Christmas trees are involved in less than one-tenth of one percent of residential fires and only when ignited by some external ignition sources.