Are real Christmas trees good for the environment? Which is best for the environment – fake or real?
There are many pro’s & con’s, but here are the main factors to help you decide.
It was in the 1930’s a British firm who made toilet brushes created the first fake tree for sale. Fake trees have improved considerably since then, and many fake trees look surprisingly realistic.
The most common argument promoting fake trees is that they can be used for many years (the UK average life span is 6 years).
However, the adverse environmental impact comes from use of pvc, made from non renewable oil. Pvc is both non renewable and polluting, and may include toxic lead to help create the needles and stabilise the pvc – plus the considerable transport footprint by travelling from China rather than being locally grown in Worcestershire.
Later, when the fake tree comes to the end of its life, it will be lingering around for centuries in your local landfill, and the national Carbon Trust estimates that a six foot fake tree sent to landfill has a carbon footprint of 40kg of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. So assuming an average 6 year life, that’s a minimum of 1,200 tonnes Co2 in the UK per year!
Real trees are a natural and renewable source, and Pinewood Christmas Trees are grown specifically for the Christmas tree market. Each acre of 3,000 Pinewood trees can be expected to absorb up to 1 ton of carbon dioxide – less in the early years and more as they grow towards harvest. This means that a real Christmas trees footprint assuming it is recycled is a maximum of 3.5kg of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, or 19.5kg if not recycled – still less than half of a fake tree. A link for your local authority recycling plant can be found on the ‘contact us’ page. Alternatively, if you are feeling creative you could use the spent foliage as a potpourri!
Pinewood Christmas Tree plantations offer a quiet and safe habitat for a wealth of birds and other wildlife. Many insect eating birds including tits and linnets feast on aphids and other insects in the plantation, and we have added badger gates to the rabbit fencing to permit brock to continue to take his (or her) traditional routes through the field.
In addition, to achieve an enhanced balance with nature we also have 5 acres of broadleaved woodland and two ponds which sit alongside two local streams and support resident moorhens & coots plus visiting kingfishers and herons which feed on the fish stock and freshwater mussels.
For every tree harvested another will be planted in its place, maintaining a constant carbon sink, and avoiding the potential for soil erosion. Whilst it is necessary use some weedkillers, insecticides and fertiliser we will only do so when necessary to keep the crop in top condition. By minimising their use we can keep our costs low – reflected in the highly competitive middleman free prices that we can offer you.
Are Christmas trees good value for money ?
The production of top quality Christmas trees takes a great deal of work & expertise. From seed to harvest, a Nordmann Fir will take 11 – 12 years to reach the saleable height of 6ft, during which years the vast majority of work such as annual shaping & pruning is still performed by hand.
So £25 – £45 for natural hand crafted ornament that has taken 11 – 12 years to produce just can’t be a bad deal!
But however good the shape, smell and colour, none of these count if the needles drop off after a few days. The key here is freshness, and you can be assured all our trees will have been harvested just a few days ago – far different from those trees found elsewhere which will have been harvested in Denmark in the early days of November.
Once taken into the house, though, it is still essential that you keep to tree well watered to ensure that it remains fresh through the Christmas period.
See our Lifecycle of a Christmas Tree page for more information on how we grow our trees.
How do we make it easy to buy a real Christmas tree?
We have roadside frontage at the Hartlebury/Stourport junction on the main Worcester to Kidderminster road (A449) – so no country lanes or complicated directions to follow, and no traffic to contend with in towns.
Our sales area is floodlit with a well surfaced carpark, the trees are displayed in stands offering a 360 degree view, so no need to wrestle trees out of pens and persuade your other half to hold and twirl your final choices!
If you require some tree information we would be more than happy to offer it, or if you prefer to browse we will not try to rush you. Help with loading your tree goes without question! Or if you would prefer we can deliver it to you at extra cost.