Tree Choice Strikes Debate

Rachel Singleton, Sports Editor

Rachel Harrington loves the tradition of decorating her Christmas tree.

When one thinks of Christmas, one big motif that comes to mind is the Christmas tree. It has a place of great importance in many people’s memories around the holidays. Recently, certain debate has gained more heat as we reach another year of practicing this christmas tradition, this debate being, real versus artificial trees.

While real trees have been a long time tradition for families, the world has modernized and artificial trees provide new opportunities to compete against the evergreens. According to the American Christmas Tree Association, 81 percent of christmas tree consumers ar using artificial trees while 19 percent are using real trees. However, real trees are not going down without a fight and are still a favorite among many.

Real trees come with many pros and cons. Beginning with the pros, real trees provide a very a traditional experience for people. Junior Rachel Harrington says that she prefers real trees over artificial trees for this reason.

“It’s fun to pick a new and different tree each year,” she says, “I like going out with my family and getting excited for the holidays.”

Another benefit includes the environmental benefit, some argue that cutting down real trees is not environmental friendly at all but christmas tree sellers and the American Christmas Tree Association combats this by saying that the trees are grown mainly on farms so they are not causing deforestation.

They also argue that real trees are a better option environmentally as they are 100 percent biodegradable, lead and chemical free, recyclable and created from renewable resources; all which artificial trees are not.

However, there are some cons that have been brought up to argue against real trees. One argument is that they are very dangerous as they are a possible fire hazard and people also comment that many are allergic to the pine trees. Sophomore Gillian Royal is one of these people so she has an artificial tree that she brings down from her attic every year.

Other arguments include the mess and maintenance as real trees constantly drop pine needles and require to be watered every day. Consumers also comment that real trees are too expensive and since you only have them for about a month and then throw them out, the prices are unreasonable.

Artificial trees come with their pros and cons as well. One pro that many enjoy is the wide variety that the artificial tree provides. Because, the trees are man made, consumers can buy them in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Royal says that it’s fun to have a variety of things to choose from and sophomore Cammi Winston says that her family puts up a white tree and “it makes a tree unique.”

Another pro is the financial benefit. Winston says that her family gets their tree from Walmart. “They usually have a good variety of colors and prices,” she says. Although they can be found to be more expensive than the average real tree, consumers can use the tree every year, therefore, they save more money every year.

Unlike real trees, artificial trees are argued to be safer and cleaner as most are argued to be non-flammable, do not drop needles and do not require watering.

However, like real trees, artificial trees also have their cons. For one, they are not very environmentally friendly, according to tree sellers across America. They are created from non-renewable resources such as petroleum and contain lead. They are also not recyclable and many end up in landfills when thrown away.

Artificial trees also do not provide the annual tradition of going out picking a Christmas tree and do not have any other traditional factors such as the smell. Royal says that real trees “smell nice and it’s like growing a tree in your house,” but due to her allergies, she can not have a real tree.

While people claim that artificial trees are non-flammable, tree sellers debate this is not true and allege that when the lights burn out or blow on an artificial tree, they have a high chance of catching fire.

Despite the hot debate, one thing most can agree on is that the Christmas tree is a beautiful part of the holiday which brings both sides together. “You can still celebrate Christmas without a tree but it’s a big part of the holiday,” say Winston. Royal agrees in saying “it brings spirit, joy, light, and happiness; it just makes Christmas better.”