Read More »from The truth about Christmas tree farms
Can cutting down a tree ever be eco-smart? Absolutely, says Rick Dungey of the National Christmas Tree Assn., a Missouri-based nonprofit that represents America's 22,000 Christmas tree growers. "There's no reason to feel guilty about taking home a live spruce, fir, or pine that has been harvested specifically for the holidays," says Dungey.
Christmas trees are a crop just like any other agricultural product, such as potatoes, broccoli, or corn, and they're completely natural and biodegradable, he adds. "I would invite anyone who has misgivings about buying a real tree to visit a tree farm in the spring," says Dungey.
This year alone, growers planted an estimated 47 million trees in North America, with most farmers planting up to three seedlings for every tree that was harvested. And best of all, tree farms not only enhance the beauty of our hillsides, meadows, and back roads, they create a lush habitat for all manner of wildlife, big and small, which is a lovely gift for the planet