It’s a debate for many families during the holiday season—should the Christmas tree be real or artificial? Here’s a look at the pros and cons of having a real Christmas tree vs. an artificial Christmas tree.
Real Christmas Trees
- Real trees fill your home with that fresh fragrance of evergreen, a scent that can conjure up happy childhood memories for many.
- Nearly all real Christmas trees sold in the United States are grown by American farmers, according to the USDA.
- Growing trees help clean the air we breathe and also provide much-needed shelter for wildlife. When trees are cut down, more are planted in their place.
- The cost of buying a real Christmas tree each year can be a disadvantage. The average price for a real tree in 2017 was $75, according to the National Christmas Tree Association.
- Some people have allergies related to the trees, meaning they’d spend the holidays sneezing and wheezing if they had one in their home.
- Real trees need to be watered throughout the holiday season and can drop needles. They can also harbor bugs and can be a fire hazard, if they dry out.
Artificial Christmas Trees
- Artificial trees are convenient. Just set them up and they look just right, year after year. When the holidays are over, just pack them back up for the next year.
- You’ll save money over the years with an artificial tree. The American Christmas Tree Association reports buyers spend anywhere from $65 to $176 on an artificial tree.
- There’s no mess—no dropping needles, no watering, no bugs.
- Artificial trees cannot be recycled. Made from PVC, a petroleum-based, non-biodegradable plastic, they are destined for landfills.
- Most artificial trees are made overseas.
- Artificial trees can be a fire hazard, too. There are several news reports of artificial, pre-lit trees that have caught on fire due to a blaze that starts in the tree’s firebox at the base of the tree.