Local Christmas tree farms help keep holidays green

NASHVILLE (press release)—Christmas tree farms grow a completely renewable and recyclable resource which contains no petroleum products and leaves a negligible carbon footprint. A natural tree is 100 percent biodegradable, in stark contrast to artificial trees which are made from plastic and various metals.

Lots of people don’t think about where plastics—and therefore artificial trees—come from. Plastic is made with petroleum products. Lead is another ingredient in PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic and other metals. Plastic trees don’t biodegrade and chances are they’ve traveled a long way, leaving a huge carbon footprint to get to retail stores.  About 85 percent of them start in China, but they’ll end up sitting in American landfills for centuries.

Natural trees from local tree farms are completely recyclable and are close to home. While they grow, trees absorb carbon dioxide and other gases and emit fresh oxygen. Christmas trees are often grown on soil that doesn’t support other crops, and their root systems serve to stabilize soil, protect area water quality and provide refuge for wildlife. Grown on farms, one to three new seedlings are planted for every tree harvested to ensure a constant supply.

For those who already have an artificial tree or are prohibited from having a real tree indoors because of allergies, using natural wreaths and garland outside the home is a good way to minimize use of plastics.

After the holidays, cut trees and other natural décor can be delivered to a local receiving site to be turned into mulch for area trails. Balled and burlapped live trees are replanted once the holidays are over. Tree farmers are happy to give tips on planting and care.

Finding nearby Christmas tree farms is easy with the free Pick Tennessee mobile app. Pick Tennessee mobile app users can quickly locate farms, then use GPS mapping for directions. Or visit www.picktnproducts.org for a statewide directory of Tennessee Christmas tree farms.

For more information about local Christmas tree farms, holiday recipes featuring seasonal products, seasonal farm-direct artisan foods, or businesses that create Tennessee themed holiday gift baskets, visit www.picktnproducts.org and follow Pick Tennessee on Facebook and Twitter.

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