Christmas Tree Farms Consumer

Outreach

 

christmas tree lotOne of the proper obligations of environmental certification for Christmas tree farms is the requirement to conduct consumer education.  For the most part, people just don't know much about how Christmas trees are grown, that there really are big farms where we grow the trees, and they’re not coming out of the forest.

christmas tree farmWhen you do see a picture of a Christmas tree farm, the fields of Christmas trees are often surrounded by forest.  That is because Christmas tree farms happen up towards the edge of the mountains on valley foothills more than on the flat land of the valley floor. 

A lot of these hillside lands were long occupied by smallerfarming operations in the past; row crops, small dairy farms or independent ranches that are just no longer viable at that scale.  Because tree farming is land intensive, some small landowners now lease their land to local Christmas tree farms. This gives rural people who own small tracts of land a way to continue to bring in a stable agricultural income from their land, which in turn helps maintain rural communities.

Far more important to rural economies than farm rents are the many jobs that tree farming creates. Labor intensive, with required annual prunings of each tree and harvest all done by hand, Christmas tree farming creates thousands of rural jobs in Oregon and elsewhere throughout the country.  Over 90% of all real Christmas trees used in North America are grown in the United States, with Oregon, North Carolina, and Michigan be the leading states for Christmas tree production.

By and large, consumers don't know a lot about how we grow trees, so when they are buying a real Christmas tree what they really want to know is, “Am I participating in some sort of environmental degradation by continuing to use a real tree?”  As people everywhere try to make green choices, they are asking questions and they want to know the answer.  Because a lot of the things we used to do, we don't do anymore.  But the good news is that Christmas trees are a tradition we can still embrace, knowing the land is being used in a responsible way christmas tree lotthat is environmentally green and sustainable.  People do need jobs. And for rural communities to survive, people need to be able to make a living from their land. With Christmas tree farming we have learned how to do that in a way that respects the earth and is mindful of our impacts on the planet.  And Christmas tree recycling projects throughout the country give consumers a way to complete the environmental cycle by having the tree composted and the mulch and nutrients returned to the soil.

oregon christmas tree consumersreal christmas treesFrankly, I'm glad we get to keep using real Christmas trees.  I love the way only they can bring the spirit of the holidays into the home.  And what I really don't need is one more fake thing in my life, another sad shadow of an authentic and fondly remembered past.  Knowing that the Christmas trees are being grown sustainably right here on farms in the United States makes this a tradition I know I can teach my children sharing with them the magical Christmas memories of my own long past childhood.