The Christmas Tree Debate – Real, Fake, Local

Revelstoke Rona brought in 115 Christmas trees this year. Today, there is likely very few left.

“All our Christmas trees come from Jesperson’s Tree Farm in Salmon Arm,” says Rona’s General Manager, Bobbi McClelland.

The tree farm does not use any pesticides or any kind of growth formula on the trees, and McClelland has found the trees to be consistently long lasting.

“Purchasing as locally as possibly is important for me,” he says. “These trees were cut four days before we had them for sale at the store.”

McClelland is giving $8 from every tree sold to the local food bank. “Giving locally is equally important,” he says.

Live trees are also available at Save-on-More Christmas. Corporate media relations did not get back to The Revelstoke Current before publication deadline, but these trees are likely from a larger scale farm, possibly from the USA and potentially cut up to a month before shipping.

While live trees are popular, many residents have fake trees they use year after year at Christmas time. For those suffering allergies, asthma or mobility issues, a fake tree is a must.

What if you don’t really mind one way or another and are, instead, trying to make an environmentally conscious choice?

It turns out the debate of real vs. fake has been going on for years.

Fake trees are more affordable over the long run, don’t make a mess and don’t require a live tree to be cut. However, fake trees only last 7-10 years and are typically made from metal and PVC plastic, rendering them non recyclable and non biodegradable. Most are imported from overseas and and built in impoverished nations.

If purchasing a fake tree is a must, try and get a tree made out of PE plastics and pre-lit with LED lights, though the price tag is increased. If that is a concern, try and shop used. The most environmentally option is likely the Rona trees; they’re as local as possible, from a place that doesn’t use harmful chemicals.

Live trees grown on tree farms spend their lives absorbing C02 from the air. They can be easily recycled after Christmas, chipped into mulch which can be utilized in landscaping or as trails. An agricultural product, Canadian farmers grow them and by purchasing a tree, farmers and the economy of the communities they live in benefit.

In Revelstoke, trees can be delivered with minimal transportation. Trees shipped long distances are not as environmentally friendly.

Kate Borucz, executive director at the North Columbia Environmental Society, notes that while the NCES doesn’t have an official stance on the live versus fake tree debate, it is likely that real trees certainly have a much more positive effect on our environment, society and economy.

“The byproduct of the “waste” real trees can be used as mulch, firewood, etc., which is not the same case for fake trees. They are typically made from plastic or another synthetic material,” she says.
For those who want a real tree without the price tag and possible environmental impact from shipping and growing, BC residents are able to download a free permit from the Ministry of Forests website to harvest their own tree on Crown Land.

If you really wants to have a minimal environmental impact with their Christmas tree, decorating a houseplant or creating a tree from books/boxes/wood is a great alternative.

So what kind of tree do you use?

Christmas tree farm



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