Although artificial trees for Christmas are the norm today, a real cut tree does have advantages the artificial tree cannot offer such as these listed below:
- A real tree provides shelter for birds and other animals as well as its role in soil erosion and producing oxygen during its 7 to 10 years or more of growth until it’s matured.
- A real tree provides a wonderful fresh outdoor smell throughout the home whether it is a pine, spruce, or fir.
- A real tree can contribute to family time and togetherness as the elusive hunt for the “perfect” tree begins whether at a cut your own operation or a ready cut sales lot.
- A real tree is “made” in the United States and does not rely on imported foreign parts for its manufacturing.
While a real tree has advantages the artificial tree cannot offer, what advantages if any does the real tree have after the holiday season?
- A discarded tree will usually retain its needles well into spring and may be mounted and tied to a stake to provide shelter for birds especially near a feeder.
The evergreen branches are an effective shelter for small birds trying to avoid predators such as a hawk.
- Branches cut off the tree can be laid over low growing shrubs such as heaths and heathers as well as herbaceous perennials. The evergreen branches shade the plants if snow is not present and will prevent winter sun and wind damage on evergreen foliage and prevent a destructive freeze thaw cycle on herbaceous perennials because of the shade on the plant’s crown.
- Since a real tree retains its foliage well into the spring season, one or more discarded trees may be placed at the edge of a pond to provide a nursery and protection for the next generation of young fish.
- A real tree does not contribute to landfill waste as it will eventually decompose. Many municipalities collect discarded trees and grind them into mulch that is used in city parks and recreation sites.
No doubt exists that the artificial tree has the convenience factors the real tree cannot offer; however, the long-term advantages of a cut tree during the growing cycle, the in-home phase, and the after-the-holiday phase provides benefits the artificial tree will never be able to match.