Real or artificial: which Christmas tree to choose

The festive season has already begun, and it's time to think about what kind of Christmas tree you will decorate this year: live or artificial. 

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Very often people prioritize environmental impact. As it turns out, this is often the wrong trick. There are responsible ways to use 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 tree's iconic scent 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 taken apart into many different pieces, making them easy to carry around the house. They can be folded into one small box for storage. Plus, you don't need to water the tree or vacuum the falling needles.

Less: cheap and dangerous production

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As with anything manufactured in a factory, artificial trees can have a number of disadvantages. Make sure the wood you buy is fire retardant or fully 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 look and smell like 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 harm to the environment. But it's worth checking if this is so. If a tree has been delivered to you that has not been 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 who don't have 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 of 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.

Regardless of which 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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