KIRKVILLE, N.Y. (NCC News) – A 2010 study done by PE International found that an artificial tree only needs to be used for 3.6 to 4 years before there was a benefit regarding global warming contribution. But those who think purchasing a fake tree is better for the environment compared to cutting down a real tree may be in for a surprise.
Since 2004 artificial tree sales have more than doubled, according to a study done by the National Christmas Tree Association. The study showed in 2004, nine million artificial trees were sold and those sales grew to about 21 million fake trees sold in 2017.
There are several reason some would make the switch from real to fake, including:
- Fire safety
- Environmentally friendly?
Kristina Ferrare, the Forestry Program Specialist at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Onondaga County, believes that hands down chopping down real trees for Christmas is more environmentally beneficial than purchasing fake trees.
“You certainly can’t recycle that artificial Christmas tree, you can’t put it out for birds and animals to use,” Ferrare said. “It just only has one destination, and that’s the landfill.”
Marcus Todd said on top of being biodegradable real trees provide homes for countless animals.
“From anything as small as mice and birds to deer rabbits squirrels,” said Todd, operations manager at Chuck Hafner’s Cut Your Own Christmas Tree Farm. “Pretty much anything you can think of, they create a habitat for.”
Todd also said Christmas tree harvesting is a continuous cycle.
“For every tree that we cut down, it may not be in the same field, but on our property we plant that tree as a seedling form for the next year,” Todd said.