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Real or artificial: which Christmas tree to choose

The festive season has already begun, and it's time to think about which Christmas tree you will be decorating this year: live or artificial. Moreover, now many people want to decorate the house for Christmas early. Firstly, it is so much more fun to while away the quarantine weekdays, and secondly, these decorations are a symbol of the fact that the year is coming to an end, and 2020 was such that you want to end it as soon as possible.

Photo: Shutterstock

Very often people prioritize environmental impact. As it turns out, this is often the wrong trick. There are responsible uses for any kind of wood. At the same time, there are other criteria that will help you choose which tree is right for you, writes Reviewed.

Pros and Cons of a Real Tree

Pros: an authentic holiday

The Christmas tree is in the spotlight, so details matter. From appearance to fragrance, all of this cannot be artificially reproduced.

Minus: they can easily ignite

The iconic aroma of the tree comes from terpenes, which are inherently flammable. Most modern artificial trees are more fire resistant.

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Cons: require high maintenance

If you don't want to celebrate Christmas around a brown and spoiled tree, pay more attention to the cut. In pre-cut trees, the base of the trunk is already dry and dead - make sure it can absorb water.

In addition, installing a real Christmas tree in your home combines all the skills of moving a full-size sofa. If you manage to install the tree without losing 20% of its needles, this is a Christmas miracle.

The needles of a real tree constantly fall off even with good care. Get ready to sweep them daily to eliminate the accumulation of flammable fragments.

Pros and cons of artificial wood

Plus: convenience

Modern artificial trees can be disassembled into many different parts, which makes it easy to carry them around the house. For storage, they can be folded into one small box. In addition, you do not need to water the tree or vacuum the dropping needles.

Less: cheap and dangerous production

Like anything factory-made, artificial trees can have a number of disadvantages. Make sure the wood you buy is fire retardant or completely fire retardant. Lower quality trees can easily catch fire. Make sure that user reviews do not contain frequent complaints about the constant loss of needles, otherwise there is no point in buying such a tree. This will lead to higher costs for you and the environment.

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Plus: low cost

If you buy a good, inexpensive artificial tree, you are already paying about half of what you would pay for a real one. Plus, you get a tree that can be used for decades, which is significantly more economical than buying a new real tree every year.

Less: the view is not always so beautiful

The artificial tree will not have the look and smell of a real tree. It is inanimate, and that says it all.

What is cleaner

If you buy a tree that is locally grown and responsibly grown and then recycle it, buying a real tree will do the least amount of harm to the environment. But it's worth checking if this is so. If a tree was delivered to you that was not grown on a dedicated farm, that's enough to tip the scales in favor of an artificial one. Plus, if your city dumps them instead of recycling them, the trees will produce methane for years.

For those without access to all of this infrastructure, the most environmentally friendly option is a modern artificial tree. Artificial trees have a lower carbon footprint than real trees because they can be reused, often over several decades.

Important: When it comes time to dispose of your fake tree, look for your local recycling program or send the tree to a second hand store. Artificial trees are made from PVC, which is very expensive to recycle and decomposes into various poisons when buried in a landfill.

Which option suits you

If you can buy a tree at local farms with intact roots (or you have a plan for processing it) and you do not mind dragging a giant tree into your living room and then looking after it, then a living tree is probably the best option for you.

If you don't need all that hassle (or don't have access to tree recycling) and vow to use the same tree for many years, an artificial tree is a much easier option.

Whichever one you choose, they both look great surrounded by family and gifts. So choose your tree, stock up on the best gifts and enjoy your vacation.

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