I popped in a few retail shops over the weekend and was amazed to hear some chatter about the Christmas holiday season already. I was stunned. We just entered September, and already with Christmas? I thought the common courtesy was to wait until the day after Halloween. Unfortunately, just that slight nudge to the brain and I began thinking about the only thing I really know anything about when it comes to Christmas… trees. I was interested to know if there were actually farms that were raising organic trees. My research led me to a couple of websites (see links below) providing some pretty solid tips for those interested in an environmentally friendly Christmas. As for the trees… yep, there are definitely organic options, and here are a few fun facts about Christmas trees (real ones) in general:
– Christmas trees have been sold commercially in the United States since about 1850.
– Until fairly recently, all Christmas trees came from the forest.
– More than 2,000 trees are usually planted per acre. On an average 1,000-1,500 of these trees will survive. In the North, maybe, 750 trees will remain. Almost all trees require shearing to attain the Christmas tree shape. At six to seven feet, trees are ready for harvest. It takes six to ten years of fighting heavy rain, wind, hail and drought to get a mature tree.
– Growing Christmas trees provides a habitat for wildlife.
– Recycled trees have been used to make sand and soil erosion barriers and been placed in ponds for fish shelter.
– Christmas trees remove dust and pollen from the air.
– 100,000 people are employed in the Christmas tree industry.
– 98 percent of all Christmas trees are grown on farms.
– In 1856 Franklin Pierce, the 14th President of the United States, was the first President to place a Christmas tree in the White House.
– President Coolidge started the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the White House lawn in 1923.
– In 2002, 21% of United States households had a real tree, 48% had an artificial tree and 32% had no tree.
– 73 million new Christmas trees will be planted this year.
– You should not burn your Christmas tree in the fireplace; it can contribute to creosote buildup.
– Artificial trees will last for six years in your home, but for centuries in a landfill.
– Thomas Edison’s assistant, Edward Johnson, came up with the idea of electric lights for Christmas trees in 1882.
– Teddy Roosevelt banned the Christmas tree from the White House for environmental reasons.
– In the first week, a tree in your home will consume as much as a quart of water per day.
– One Christmas tree decoration was banned by the government. Tinsel contained lead at one time, now it’s made of plastic.
– 93% of real Christmas tree consumers recycle their tree in community recycling programs, their garden or backyard.
– 30-35 million Real Christmas Trees are sold in the U.S. every year.
– In the United States, there are more than 4,000 Christmas tree recycling programs.
– In 2007, 23% of real Christmas trees sold were from chain stores, 9% by non-profit groups. 12% from retail lots and 21% from choose and cut farms.
– An estimated 175,000 Real Christmas Trees are sold via e-commerce or catalogue and shipped mail-order.
– In 2007 the retail market value of the 31.3 million trees purchased at the mean average purchase price of $41.50 was $1.3 billion.
– An acre of Christmas trees provides for the daily oxygen requirements of 18 people.
Christmas Tree links for making an eco-friendly choice this winter: