Are those real?!

Does your household put up an artificial or authentic Christmas tree when December rolls around? My family doesn’t have the tradition of a real tree, we’ve used the same artificial tree for 20+ years and spice it up with a vast assortment of ornaments, lights and a star on top. But if you’re like the Ninja, you prefer a real tree (the Frobose’s use white pines) and won’t accept anything less. Did you know that when you purchase a real tree, you’re supporting a segment of American agriculture? Contrary to popular belief, Christmas trees are not cut from forests. In fact, 98% of all Christmas trees are grown on Christmas tree farms all over the United States.

Christmas trees farms are very environmentally friendly. Check out all of their ‘green’ attributes.
• For every Christmas tree that is harvested, 2-3 seedlings are planted.
• Christmas trees remove dust and pollen from the air.
• There are more than 4,000 Christmas tree recycling programs in the U.S.
• Growing Christmas trees provides a natural habitat for several wildlife species.
• Recycled trees have been used to make sand and erosion barriers and have been placed in ponds for fish shelter.

There are over 21,000 Christmas tree farms scattered all over the U.S. (including Hawaii and Alaska) however Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are the top five producers. Every year, 30-35 million real Christmas trees are sold, which accounts for a whopping $1.3 billion boost in the economy. A few days ago, I helped the Frobose family select two beautiful white pines for their home. It was new experience for me and it was really cold but it was a ton of fun. For your viewing pleasure, here are a few pictures of that adventure.

Looking for the ‘perfect’ tree
This one made the ‘cut’!

The fiance is good for a lot – including manual labor!

Many factors go into selecting the ‘perfect’ Christmas tree. Height, uniformity, trunk width and overall appearance all play into the decision. It was quite an entertaining experience to say the least.
So what are you waiting for? If you haven’t bought your tree yet, head over to Wal-mart, the Home Depot, Lowe’s or any one of a hundred different places near you to buy a real tree. Celebrate this Christmas in style and support American agriculture.
Merry Christmas!
Until next time,
p.s. I just want to point out that if you don’t have a real tree, there’s nothing wrong with you. Here’s a picture of my dad and I’s tree and I think it’s beautiful in its artificial glory!