As Christmas Tree growers, we hear plenty of rumors, myths and facts about real-vs-fake Christmas Trees. The North Carolina Christmas Tree Association has given us these Myths and Facts to share with you…
MYTH #1: Real Christmas Trees are cut down from forests.
FACT: Wholesale tree farmers plan where they are going to plant trees, like any other crop. One to three seedlings are planted for every tree that is actually cut. Your tree was planted and harvested just so your family could take it home and enjoy it!
MYTH #2: You save a tree by using a fake tree.
FACT: Christmas trees are planted on tree farms and replaced with seedlings. Close to half a billion trees are currently growing on tree farms in the U.S. Your tree is a renewable resource that can be completely recycled after the holiday season. And, artificial trees come in sturdy cardboard boxes…made from trees.
MYTH #3: Real Christmas Trees aggravate allergies.
FACT: Sources like the National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS) and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) say that while it’s possible that a person may be allergic to Christmas tree pollen or even tree sap, it’s not as widespread as many believe. According to the NIEHS of the 50,000 different kinds of trees, less than 100 have been shown to cause or aggravate allergies. Most allergies are pollen-specific to one type of tree, and Christmas trees are unlikely to produce pollen during December.
An artificial tree stored in the attic or basement can collect dust, molds, etc.. So whether you use a fresh Christmas tree from a farm, or an artificial tree stored in a box, if you have sensitive allergies to dust and molds, AAAAI recommends you spray the tree down in the yard with a hose before putting up. Let it dry completely before bringing indoors.
We want you to feel good and enjoy your beautiful, real Christmas tree!
MYTH #4: It’s better to use a fake tree because you can re-use it each year.
FACT: According to research, most fake trees are only used between 6 and 9 years before they’re disposed of and eventually end up in a landfill. Unlike real trees, which are completely biodegradable and recyclable, fake trees are usually made from petroleum products, end up in landfills, and do not easily decompose.
MYTH #5: Christmas Trees are a fire safety hazard and frequently catch on fire.
FACT: The reality is, a tree being accidentally ignited is EXTREMELY rare…as in 0.0004%. Some news stories showing a tree ablaze have been staged using gasoline or other flammable substances. According to a report from the National Fire Protection Association, 28% of rare home fires involving a Christmas tree reported use of an artificial tree.
MYTH #6: Real Trees cost too much.
FACT: Prices vary by many variables including: location of retail lot, where the tree was harvested, species, size, grade, and competition. The bottom line is, you can spend from $15 to over $200 on a tree in many places. We have three retail locations to choose from, or Choose ‘n Cut your own perfect Christmas tree!
MYTH #7: Real Christmas Trees have pesticides and chemicals on them.
FACT: Chemicals are used only when needed and only according to the specified instructions and regulations of the EPA, the USDA and the FDA. Most Christmas tree farmers live on their land and raise their families there, and would not endanger their families, employees or their customers.
There has never been a scientific research article suggesting that harmful levels of chemical residue exists on Christmas trees, however, there have been studies showing a potential health danger of lead dust coming from plastic trees. The state of California requires a warning label on fake trees and wreaths.
MYTH #8: Real Christmas Trees end up in landfills.
FACT: Christmas tree recycling programs are available nationwide, some offer curb side pickup, and many are quite creative. A farm-grown Christmas tree is 100% biodegradable, so it can be used for all kinds of things in nature, from mulch to erosion control. The acidic nature of pine mulch is much loved by our blueberry plants! Have you ever seen used Christmas trees sunk into a public lake for fish habitats? Some people like to leave their tree outdoors during the winter months as shelter for birds, bunnies, and other creatures.
MYTH #9: Real Christmas Trees are a hassle and a mess.
FACT: There are many places to buy a tree and all offer something a little different. If you want to spend a lot of time with family or friends getting your tree and have some entertainment, go to a Choose & Cut farm. If you want a huge variety of trees, both species and sizes, go to a specialty lot. If you want to support your community organizations in the process, buy one from a nonprofit selling them as a fundraiser. These days, you can even order a tree online and have a tree delivered to your front door. Then sit back and enjoy the fragrance and beauty throughout your holiday season.
There are many different styles and types of tree stands…pick one that’s easy to assemble and fill, and make sure it holds at least 1 gallon of water. Use a mat with a waterproof backing to put under the stand to catch any drips. There are even funnels that make adding water easier.
MYTH #10: No one cares if my Christmas Tree is real or fake.
FACT: The time invested in buying and maintaining a farm-grown Christmas tree is minimal to the joy your family will get out of it! Memories of picking out the tree together. The anticipation of setting the tree up and having your home smell like Christmas. Choosing hand-me-down ornaments or crafting new ones. Knowing that you made a good environmental choice. Recycling your tree after the season and watching birds flitter through the branches, or be mulched for a spring garden.
The care you put into selecting your family’s Christmas tree will set the tone for a holiday season filled with peace, love, and gratitude.
(Content Courtesy: North Carolina Christmas Tree Association)
Tom Sawyer’s Christmas Tree Farm and Elf Village is located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina on the Highlands/Cashiers Plateau overlooking Lake Glenville. At about 3500 feet elevation, Lake Glenville is the highest large reservoir in the eastern U.S., with over 1400 acres of water surface. The lake’s cool mountain waters provide a beautiful backdrop for our farm.
Just 6 miles from the Village of Cashiers, we invite you to Choose ‘n Cut your own Christmas tree, or we’ll cut one for you, then experience our magical Elf Village for lots of fun family and holiday festivities.
We have over eighty acres dedicated to growing the finest Fraser Firs, ranging from 3’ to 12’ in height, with prices starting at $29.
Choose ‘n Cut hours start the Saturday before Thanksgiving from 9 am to 5 pm – come rain, shine, or even snowfall! We are even open on Thanksgiving Day from 1 to 5 pm.
Bring the kids and/or grand kids. Bring the dog too! (on leash please) Feel free to bring a picnic lunch and spend the day.
From our family to yours, may the peace and joy of the holiday season stay with you all year long!