An acre of christmas trees will provide oxygen for how many people

How Real Christmas Trees Win at Being Great for the Environment

More people are turning to real trees from a Christmas Tree farm during the Christmas season. While artificial trees are convenient, a real Christmas tree offers so much more long-term value. Not only in making memories at Christmas, or preserving nostalgia through the years, but also in protecting our environment. Yes, choosing a real Christmas tree every year is more environmentally healthy than an articifical tree. While many fake tree manufacturers would like you to assume that reusing a fake tree is better than cutting down a live one, there are more variables than just re-use. Although, a real Christmas tree wins in the re-use department too. Let’s find out just what makes real Christmas trees winners for the environment. 

And, if you want to get in on doing your part for the environment, visit HemingwayHill this season to purchase your own real Christmas tree! On our Christmas tree farm near Dallas, TX, we have sustainably sourced Christmas trees in 6’, 7’, and 9’ heights. Limited quantities are available, so pre-order your Christmas tree today! 

Real Christmas Trees Exchange Carbon Dioxide and Other Gases and Exchange Them for Oxygen

Through the process of photosynthesis, Christmas tree farms purify our air from gases that are harmful in excess, like carbon dioxide. Using some of the carbon to create their wood, they also store carbon dioxide away from the atmosphere. They use carbon to turn it into glucose, which is the food they eat. Then they release oxygen back into the air. 

Christmas trees are oxygen farms. Taking in carbon dioxide and then switching it for oxygen, they produce double the amount of oxygen as they “breathe” in carbon dioxide each year. One acre on a Dallas, TX Christmas tree farm can eliminate 500 pounds of carbon dioxide each year, making 1000 pounds of oxygen in exchange. That is a lot of clean air! 

One human needs about 740kg of oxygen each year to breathe. That is about 7-8 trees worth of oxygen-creating work. And since most acres can support up to 200 Christmas trees, that means that each acre of Christmas trees produces enough oxygen for around 25 people each year. 

Real Christmas Trees are a Renewable and Recyclable Resource

Farmers plant, on average, 1-3 more trees per tree that they cut down each year. Acres that are devoted to Christmas trees can continually be used for more trees. A Christmas Tree farm near Dallas TX is busy providing a stable home for small animals, and the trees act as a natural ecological boost. And its important to note that real Christmas trees from a Christmas Tree farm aren’t a deforestation effort; instead, most Christmas trees come from family farms intentionally designed to grow them. 

Additionally, instead of ending up in a landfill after their use, a real Christmas tree is recycled. Accuweather reports that 93% of real trees bought each year are recycled. Their after-life purposes are varied. After getting chopped up, they can be put into ponds to give homes to fish and support the pond habitat. Or, they can be used as mulch to put nutrients back into the soil. Some communities can use the trees against erosion. Rural areas can repurpose the tree into firewood to stay warm. Any way you reuse a Christmas tree, they usually have two lives, while an artificial tree thrown away often goes straight to a landfill. 

Christmas Tree Farms Often Repurpose Soil and Land that Can’t Be Used for Crops 

The New York Times reported that the people who choose to have a Christmas tree farm often are using farmland that cannot support other crops. Often planted on rolling hills, these acreages wouldn’t be practical or sustainable for other types of crops. Using the land for good, Christmas trees help preserve the soil and keep it fertile. 

A Christmas tree farm near Dallas, TX also preserves farmland as a natural resource, instead of being used for condos or high-rise business parks. Preserving farmland offers an opportunity to grow our own products, instead of continually relying on other countries. And, Dallas, TX Christmas tree farms are a network of community. Each farm is reliant on their neighboring farms, and provides a support of economic benefits to their larger community. Running a farm takes a team – a team of stores, supplies, and experts, all of which employ many people and offer a sense of camaraderie. 

Real Christmas Trees are Natural Products 

The biggest reason why Christmas trees are great for the environment is the difference in their production. While a real Christmas tree uses renewable resources to grow – resources like CO2, a fake Christmas tree uses limited resources. Most fake trees are made out of PVC, which is created from coal manufacturing. And fake trees don’t output a resource. Instead, they are consumed for an average of five years, and then disposed. 

The results of using coal to create PVC are devastating. First, the process uses large amounts of catalytic mercury, releasing mercury into the environment. Not only that, but during manufacturing of the tree itself, large amounts of toxic waste are released into the environment. The process consumes energy, often at the expense of petroleum, or oil, which are non-renewable resources. 

This Year, Choose a Real Christmas Tree from HemingwayHill 

Start a new tradition with your family. Instead of hauling the tree down from the attic and trying to make it look more fluffy, come to HemingwayHill for a Christmas Tree farm experience near Dallas, TX. From picking out the tree to setting it up in your home and stringing the lights, your family can re-capture the magic of Christmas. And you’ll be doing your part to preserve the rest of our environment. Trees from our Dallas, TX Christmas Tree farm come in 6’, 7’, and 9’ heights and are available for pre-order. Bring some Christmas Spirit home today with your family by stopping at HemingwayHill, your local Dallas, TX Christmas Tree Farm.

How Many Christmas Trees Per Acre? Find The Real Number (Not Guess)

The question of how many Christmas trees per acre can give the best agricultural results is a question many people wonder, including many farmers planning a Christmas tree farm.

But, you might be surprised to know that when well-spaced, an acre of land can support up to 1,500 Christmas trees!1

However, the answer isn’t something that should be guessed at. To find the real number of Christmas trees per acre, you have to consider a number of factors, including the type of land, the location, the species of tree being planted, and more. Plus, the final sizes in diameter and height play a part.

This guide provides all the information you should know about Christmas tree farms and how many trees per acre can be planted by providing the steps to make the actual calculation yourself.

Many environmentalists argue that natural Christmas trees (especially the ones that can be replanted) are the best choice for the holiday celebration… way better for the planet than manufactured plastic trees that eventually end up in landfills. Not only do live Christmas trees sequester carbon while they are growing, but these farms are also constantly being replenished, so that harvested trees are replaced to begin the cycle again every year.

Related Reading: How many trees are in the world?

A full Christmas tree is 7-7.5 feet tall and 56 to 64 inches wide.3 The base of a Christmas tree increases with its height.

Growing Christmas trees requires skills and best practices working in your target market. Some species grow almost everywhere, while others do better in some regions than others. The table below shows the most common species:

Christmas Tree TypeDetails
Balsam FirFlat needle-like dark green leaves. Produces a good scent. Silvery-white shiny allusion. It’s green throughout and is 66 feet when fully grown. It’s mainly used for Christmas wreaths and Christmas bouquets.
Frazer FirStrapping branches grow somewhat upwards and are conical in shape. Spiral needle-like leaves curl along the trunk. Fifty feet tall when fully grown. Best used for hefty ornaments, holiday décor, and Christmas garlands.
Canaan FirFlat needle-like green leaves. Best performs in the West Virginia mountains. Still new in the Christmas tree market hence few. Grows to medium size.
Douglas FirBunches of flat-soft blue or dark green leaves grow into pyramid shapes. Extra-large growing from medium-sized up to 330 feet tall. One of the most dominant in the United States.
Grand FirTwo-colored needle-like leaves with yellow-green tones and white thread beneath. Gives an inviting scent. It is 230 feet tall when fully grown. Performs best in Pacific North West and Northern California.
Noble Fir230 feet tall when fully grown. Uniformly spaced branches bearing evergreen needle-like leaves curling upward. Best performs in the Pacific Northwest.
Concolor FirAlso known as white fir.
One hundred ninety-five feet when fully grown. Bears have blue-green leaves in the early stages but turn into dull green with age.
White PineFound in forests. Sharp pointed tips but almost no scent. It serves as an option but lacks some features that give prominence to Christmas fashion. Features bundles of needles growing on weak branches. Two hundred thirty feet tall when fully grown and has a lifespan of 400 years. The largest pine in the United States is white pine.
Scotch Pine/Scots PineLots of Christmas lights and decorations find a home on dark greenery and strapping branches. One hundred fifteen feet tall when fully grown. Color of its bunches of needles alternate between blue-green to dark green. It is prominent in Scotland, where it is honored as the national tree.
Virginia PineShort twisted needles growing in twos. It is designed by decorating its short branches and is known for the thick greenery growing on short branches. Seventy feet when fully grown. Is shaped by trimming.
Blue Spruce/Colorado SpruceSkywards curling gray-blue needles. It’s a local of the United States Rocky Mountains and is 75 feet tall when fully grown. It has conical-shaped thick greenery and bears the exact shape of the Christmas tree. It is honored as the Colorado state tree.
Norway Spruce80 feet tall when fully grown. Dark green pointed needle-like leaves. Europe is its home of origin, but it’s also common in the United States. Poor maintenance causes loss of needle retention.
White Spruce/Canadian Spruce/skunk Spruce/Western white spruce etc.It’s 130 feet tall when fully grown. Stocky blue-green short needle-like leaves. It provides a beautiful home for ornaments and lights.
Arizona CypressOrigin is South Western United States. Sixty feet tall when fully grown. Has bluish-gray leaves and conical-shaped branches.
Leyland CypressGreenish gray feathery leaves that curl skywards into a pyramid shape. It lacks the quality of scent but is recommended for allergic consumers. Seventy feet when fully grown.
Red Cedar/Eastern Cedar/Pencil Cedar/Aromatic CedarThick pyramid-shaped branches, dark shiny green colored leaves that grow heavenward. Forty feet tall when eastern red cedar grows to a full height even though slow. Widely used as Christmas trees in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri.

The demand for live Christmas trees has shifted the attention of Christmas tree dealers to farming or buying from farmers. Therefore, knowing how to start a farm is important before you venture into this agricultural endeavor.

How To Calculate How Many Trees To Plant Per Acre

Calculating how many Christmas trees to plant per acre just involves a series of steps.

Step 1. Choose the type of Christmas Tree to plant, based on the soil type and watering options where you plan the farm.

The soil will dictate how well certain trees will grow, so research the options for the varieties available (or check out the information further down).

Step 2. Layout the planting site based on the tree species needs.

See the chart below to determine how far apart rows should be planted. In general, rows should be at least 5-8′ wide, with trees planted at least 5-8′ apart.

Keep in mind that the soil plays a huge role in what type of tree you can plant. You can use the following chart to get started:

Tree TypeFull Height When GrownFull Height for Most Christmas TreesSpacing Needed on Farm
Balsam Fir66 Feet8-12 FeetAt least 6 Feet
Frazer Fir50 – 60 feet6 -7 feet20 feet
Canaan Fir50 – 70 feet5 – 8 feet16 – 20 feet
Douglas Fir250 feet40 – 70 feet9 feet
Grand Fir140 – 200 feet4 – 16 feet20 – 30 feet
Noble Fir50 – 100 feet7 feet8 feet
Concolor Fir30 – 50 feet7. 5 feet16 – 20 feet
White Pine50 – 80 feet80 feet6 – 12 feet
Scotch Pine60 feet4 – 9 feet6 – 7  feet
Virginia Pine20 – 40 feet8 feet8 feet
Blue Spruce/Colorado Spruce50 – 75 feet25 feet15 – 25 feet
Norway Spruce40 – 60 feet12 feet16 – 20 feet
White Spruce/Canadian Spruce/skunk spruce/Western white spruce etc.40 – 60 feet8 feet16 – 20 feet
Arizona Cypress40 – 75 feet15 feet8 – 16 feet
Leyland Cypress60 – 70 feet6 – 12 feet6 feet
Red Cedar/Eastern Cedar/Pencil Cedar/Aromatic Cedar50 – 70 feet30 – 60 feet20 feet

How Do You Start a Christmas Tree Farm?

A farmer who already knows how many Christmas trees per acre can give the best results can start a Christmas tree by:

  1. Choosing the species that best suits the target market8 and can do well in the available land
  2. Buying seedlings of a variety of choice
  3. Doing a land preparation
  4. Doing the seedling planting
  5. Preparing to plant every year for 5 years minimum

How Long Does a Christmas Tree Take to Mature for Harvesting? The Real Figure

Seedlings take two to four years to be ready for transplant and another eight years on average to grow to maturity on farms. Leyland Cypress grows much faster, up to four feet for one year, while most of the others can grow around 12-14″ a year.

Related Reading: How many trees are planted each year?

So, it depends on the species of tree planted to determine the growth rate.

What Are the Diseases and Pests That Affect Christmas Trees?

Besides using them to celebrate the birth of Christ, Christmas trees save the environment by increasing oxygen and reducing carbon offsets. An acre of land occupied by 1,500 Christmas trees produces oxygen for consumption by up to 18 human beings. Christmas trees are also a source of nutrients when recycled.

Related Reading: How many Christmas trees are cut down each year?

How Do You Select a Site for Christmas Tree Planting? Here’s the Correct Way

The quality of the site a farmer uses to plant Christmas trees determines the quality in terms of health and speed of growth of Christmas Trees.4

Choosing the site involves consideration of several factors including:

  • Depth of topsoil (should be more than 6 inches)
  • The type of subsoil (Loamy soil that’s well-drained most recommended)
  • The presence of hardpan may affect root penetration
  • The depth that the existing tree and weed roots grow
  • Rate of drainage and water infiltration
  • Possibility of water saturation
  • The site’s microclimate
  • Water flow and drainage patterns
  • Access to the site

How Do You Arrange a Layout for Your Farm?

Having known how many Christmas trees per acre are required for a grower’s Christmas tree farm, an arrangement of the best layout is important before land preparation.

This includes a layout for Christmas tree fields, roadway, and areas of operation within the farm. The road network within the farm should be marked, followed by culvert installment and grading.

Related Reading: How many types of palm trees are there?

Culverts help in the drainage that saves trees from root diseases and other effects of poor drainage like lack of oxygen and water-logging that affects the general operation within the farm.

Small-scale growers operating on a fraction of an acre should invest in a good network of pathways to ease movement during farming operations.

How Do You Prepare Land for a Christmas Tree?

Christmas trees can be planted on any portion of a grower’s acreage of land,9 from a small fraction of an acre to thousands of acres for large-scale growers. Still, calculations on how many trees a farmer needs for the available land size depend on the factors listed above to determine how many Christmas trees per acre will deliver the best results. 5

Related Reading: How many trees does it take to build a house?

If 1,500 Christmas trees per acre are the professionally recommended ratio, a farmer who owns a quarter of an acre will divide 1,500 by four and buy 375 seedlings.

Tools for land preparation depend on the capacity of the grower. Large-scale growers require machines, while small-scale growers use hands.

Land Preparation

Before planting, the land should be prepared.

  • Clearing: This includes clearing of bushes, removal of stumps, and heaping windrows bulldozed from debris to safer sites.
  • Sample Soil Testing: Samples of soil from the site should be taken for laboratory testing to establish suitability for the preferred Christmas tree species.
  • Subsoiling: Land tilling or subsoiling helps in improving drainage. Subsoiling can be done using a subsoiler or flat lifter, plows, disks, or other tools. Soil particles refill channels in clay soils, rendering tillage practice of little benefit, but it is essential in sandy soils that have coarse textures. Sloping land has the challenge of soil erosion, and removing the vegetation that occupies the surface, including weeds, exposes the soil to erosion.

How Do You Prepare Seedbeds for Planting Christmas Tree Seedlings?

Agile and healthy seedlings from a nursery8 give a grower the best planting stock and can be ready for transplant in a year.6 A Christmas tree producer can opt to buy or plant their seedlings in a nursery. The DIY method has higher returns, but will take a little longer before the seedlings are ready to transplant.

Steps for growing your own seedlings include:

  1. Selecting the best site for a tree nursery
  2. Site clearing (This is much easier than farm clearing)
  3. Laying out the seedbed
  4. Preparing the seedbed for germination. Must be properly tilled and cleared of any debris before sowing seeds
  5. Sowing as many seeds as possible to take care of possible losses and depending on how many seeds per acre a farmer is targeting to plant
  6. The surface of the bed must be pressed firmly to make the soil hold the seeds more strongly
  7. Covering the seedbed using recommended materials like sawdust, pine saw, barks of hardwood, peat moss, etc. (Don’t use fresh sawdust)

Fertilizing the seedbed should be done based on the needs of the species and the outcomes of the soil sample test. Generally, use potash fertilizer and nitrogen cautiously in the first year, followed by nitrogen topdressing in the second year. The fertilizer should be applied three times in different months depending on the seasonal needs of the geographical locality.

And, you should ensure a constant water supply, from any source as long as it is pure water.

How Do You Transplant Christmas Tree Seedlings?

Christmas tree seedlings should be planted during a rainy season when the climate can support them fresh from the nursery. The seedlings can easily perish if exposed to dry, frozen, or wet soil.

Farmers should buy or remove Christmas tree seedlings from nurseries when they are about to do the transplant to ensure the roots stay moist.

What Are the Diseases and Pests That Affect Christmas Trees? A Great Surprise

Pests and diseases are a serious impediment10 to the growth of Christmas trees. 7 A farmer can easily calculate how many Christmas trees per acre are suitable for their business, but such destructive enemies cause the possibility of harvesting a smaller number. Some of the most dangerous pests and diseases destroying Christmas trees include:

  • Spotted Lanternfly: Harm is not much, according to experts.
  • Insects: Some Christmas trees may have some insects but no serious threat is reported.
  • Zimmerman Pine Moth: The main trunk bears a popcorn-like pitch mass. It damages the beauty of the Christmas tree by causing ugly frass that is reddish and looks like. sawdust
  • White Pine weevils: Causes shepherd’s crook to wilt.
  • Birds: Damages top parts of the Christmas trees.
  • White pine Blister Rust: Signs are red or yellow spots on affected areas that kill branches of Christmas trees.
  • White Grubs: causes reddish-brown discoloration to transplants and seedlings of conifer through their larvae that eat roots
  • Swiss Needle Cast: Kills Douglas Fir starting with the tips of its needles. Visibility of signs start in less than 3 years of infection
  • Striped Pine Scale: Causes sooty mold
  • Spruce Spider Mites: Damages needles by causing yellow stripling
  • Spruce Needle Rust: Causes yellow discoloration on the needle
  • Rhizosphaera Needle Cast: Discolors needles of young trees
  • Rhabdocline Needle Cast: Causes enlarging yellow spots on needles
  • Dothistroma: Causes dark green bands lesions which are reddish-brown
  • Ploioderma Needle Cast: Causes a blotchy appearance on needles
  • Pine wilt disease: Causes yellow to reddish-brown discoloration
  • Pine Shoot Beetle: Causes damages to branch and shoot
  • Pine Sawflies: Eats needles
  • Pine Root Collar Weevil: Can make a whole tree yellow
  • Pine Bark Adelgid: Damages shoot and branch
  • Phytophthora Root Rot: Causes reddish-brown needle and dieback
  • Pales Weevil: Damages shoot and branch
  • Lophoderrmium Needle Cast: Damages and discolors needle

Each of these pests can be dealt with in an eco-friendly way.

Christmas tree farms not only offer a traditional holiday symbol, but they also reduce the environmental impact that is associated with the holiday season. The trees themselves sequester carbon emissions while they are growing, and provide clean oxygen. However, because of the short life cycle of a Christmas tree, they aren’t used for tree planting carbon offset programs by carbon offset providers.

In order to be ‘farmed’ in this manner, the length of time the trees are required to grow is usually more than 25 years. However, they still provide a significantly lower carbon footprint than a plastic-chemically made and processed tree. Although those trees can be used more than once, they eventually end up in landfills and take hundreds of years to decompose, if ever.

Knowing how many Christmas trees per acre can be planted can help you if you decide to plant your own little farm using Christmas trees that retain their root balls, so they can be planted and enjoyed all year round.

Christmas tree, New Year and ecology

The New Year tree is a traditional attribute of the New Year celebration. Live spruces, pines and firs or artificial trees are used as Christmas trees. Recently, people are increasingly putting artificial Christmas trees in their homes, trying to cause as little harm to the environment as possible - they think that in this way they save one tree each year. But it turns out that everything is so simple, and even among environmentalists there is no agreement on which Christmas tree is preferable from the point of view of ecology - live or artificial. Each of the options has its pros and cons, and therefore finding a clear answer to this question is surprisingly difficult. Let's try to weigh all the pros and cons.

Natural Christmas tree

All the disadvantages of a "live" Christmas tree come down to the selection, transportation, installation complexity, subsequent care of the tree, crumbling needles and disposal problems.

Natural spruce has undeniable advantages. For many of us, the smell of living spruce is, first of all, the smell from childhood. Christmas trees release essential oils into the air that have a bactericidal effect, the coniferous smell has a beneficial effect on the nervous system, relieves tension and nervousness. In addition, wood is completely biodegradable.

Today special nurseries are engaged in growing Christmas trees. In them, Christmas trees are massively planted on large areas every year. As a result, these areas function as forest areas, performing all the ecosystem functions inherent in young forests: they are a habitat for many species of animals, birds and insects. In addition, actively growing young trees absorb a large amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and actively release oxygen, and the reduction of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere slows down global warming. Most often, plantations are located where a normal forest cannot grow (for example, in the clearings under the main power lines, which, anyway, must be regularly cleared of overgrowth of trees and shrubs). The area of ​​Christmas tree plantations throughout Russia is about 5,000 hectares. On New Year's Eve, Christmas trees are cut down from 8 to 15 years old. In the future, young trees are planted again at the felling site, and the territory of the nursery continues to be "green". The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) confirms that the purchase of natural spruce, grown in accordance with the rules, does not harm nature. Income received from the sale of Christmas trees by forestries is directed to the development of forestry and financing of various measures to take care of the forest fund of the Russian Federation.

The procedure for harvesting trees for the New Year is strictly regulated by the Forest Code of the Russian Federation. Violation of this procedure entails not only penalties, but also the seizure of harvested products, and the obligation to compensate for the harm caused. Cutting down a Christmas tree by yourself is not only harmful to the environment, but also punishable by law. In the Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offenses (CAO) there is Art. 8.28, which is called "Illegal logging, damage to forest plantations or unauthorized digging of trees, shrubs, lianas in forests." According to it, citizens are fined for illegal felling of forest plantations (even one Christmas tree). Nevertheless, a significant part of the forest beauties enters our homes as a result of a kind of "poaching" - illegal cutting of trees in forests, which causes significant damage to nature. Especially if the best young trees or rare shrubs are cut down. In the vicinity of large cities and in densely populated areas of the country, such felling can cause significant damage to the forest and disrupt the process of its natural renewal.

In order not to cause much harm to nature, it is better to buy a natural Christmas tree, but make sure that it is not poached. Greenpeace recommends buying Christmas trees only at special Christmas markets, where sellers have invoices for trees, and the buyer is given receipts.

But there are also disadvantages to buying live spruce. One of them is the use of pesticides and other chemicals in growing natural spruce to reduce the damage caused by various insects, parasites and infections. Such processing is harmful to the environment.

Unfortunately, only a small part of Christmas trees are recycled in our country, and the “correct” disposal of Christmas trees is not yet very developed. Basically, they are either dumped or burned senselessly, which leads to another environmental problem: the release of harmful substances into the atmosphere. In fact, there are a huge number of ways to reuse Christmas trees, but in our country, at the moment, the disposal of fir trees is at the stage of inception.

Artificial christmas tree

But artificial Christmas trees have their downsides as well. The damage from an artificial Christmas tree begins much earlier than the moment when it enters our homes, and ends much later than we got rid of it and forgot about it. Artificial begins to harm the environment already at the level of its production, then for many years at home, decomposing and releasing formaldehyde and phenol: toxic toxic fumes. These harmful substances accumulate in the human body. As a rule, artificial Christmas trees are made of polyvinyl chloride or PVC, a material that is toxic and dangerous to life and health. It is known that polyvinyl chloride (PVC), from which artificial spruces are most often made, is created from oil resources that are not renewable. Moreover, for all its positive qualities, polyvinyl chloride is the most dangerous of all types of plastics, scientists argue that when heated, an analogue of the military poison gas, phosgene, is released from PVC. The production of such plastic, in addition to its subsequent harmful effects on us, is also accompanied by active environmental pollution.

Even artificial Christmas trees of very good quality, which have passed all the tests and have certificates, age and are not safe for the body. In addition, the certificate is issued only for one year, a guarantee that no changes will occur to the artificial Christmas tree. Having decided to purchase an artificial Christmas tree, you must definitely check the availability of a certificate for Christmas trees in the store. But keep in mind that an artificial Christmas tree, even if it is made to the highest quality standards, is made of plastic using other chemicals that are often not listed on the label.

Further, according to impartial statistics, after 5, and in a good situation and careful attitude to an artificial Christmas tree - 6 years, such a synthetic tree ends up in a city dump, and the next one comes to replace it. So, the decomposition or complete decay of the raw materials from which such a Christmas tree is made will last for more than one hundred years. Manufacturers of artificial Christmas trees become ardent defenders of the environment when it comes to marketing their products and somehow give very little information about how and from what materials their products are made. To what extent these materials are toxic, carcinogenic and recyclable and recyclable.

Greenpeace believes that the production and disposal of plastic Christmas trees causes much more harm to the environment than the cultivation and sale of real ones. Canadian consulting company Ellipsos conducted an independent study in 2009 on the environmental impact of real and artificial Christmas trees. To do this, we compared the life cycles of two-meter Christmas trees grown on a plantation in Quebec and two-meter artificial Christmas trees produced in China. Researchers have studied in detail how the production, transportation and distribution of Christmas trees affect human health, climate, ecosystem and natural resources. This took into account, for example, how many pesticides were used when growing a natural tree, how much harmful emissions were released into the atmosphere during the production of artificial Christmas trees, and how much was transported from the store to the buyer. As a result, it turned out that, in general, an artificial Christmas tree is more environmentally friendly than natural ones only if a person uses it for 20 years.

An eco-friendly option to celebrate the New Year is to purchase a decorative coniferous tree in a pot, tub or box. True, it is extremely difficult to preserve such a tree after the New Year holidays (and the larger the tree, the more difficult it is to preserve it), this is a whole art, without special knowledge and skills it is not easy to achieve the preservation of living trees. Therefore, it is best to use as a Christmas tree those species that can grow indoors throughout the year: cypresses, araucaria and other southern trees grown in our climate as indoor plants. You can make compositions from coniferous branches. Breaking off the lower branches of pines and spruces does not harm the tree. Many branches can be obtained during sanitary stumps and thinning of the forest. In addition, the transportation of spruce branches is much less problematic: much less fuel is consumed, the branches are very light and flexible - they can be stuffed into the car in large quantities without risking that they will lose their presentation. Even the extraction of poaching spruce branches, in general, does not harm the forest.

And you can make a Christmas tree from recycled materials (magazines, plastic bottles, cardboard). Recently, it has been fashionable to make a New Year's tree from everything that is at hand - from pillows, books, bottles, paper, cones, sweets, feathers, fabric - in general, from everything that fantasy tells. It will be eco-friendly, unique and interesting.

A good option is to plant a Christmas tree in the yard. Such a tree can be decorated not only with toys, but also with birdhouses and bird food balls.

Or you can not buy a Christmas tree at all - this is the most environmentally friendly move, because it has a zero ecological footprint.

Weighing all the environmental pros and cons, everyone makes their choice.

Based on Internet resources

You can read more:

  1. Anashkina, E. There once was a Christmas tree / E. Anashkina; photo by V. Guriev // Young naturalist. - 2009. - N 12. - S. 28-29 . Annotation: European and Siberian spruce: their similarities and differences. The damage caused to the forest area by New Year's traditions.
  2. Batov, S. Christmas Trees / S. Batov // Dom. - 2014. - No. 12. - S. 42-44. Annotation: Selection of a Christmas tree, assortment and technique of growing a coniferous plant indoors in pots.
  3. Vladimirova, A. Christmas trees are green! / Anna Vladimirova; comments: Tina Voznesenskaya, Alexander Kuksa // Health. - 2013. - No. 12 (702). - S. 126-127. Annotation: How to choose an artificial Christmas tree?
  4. Living tree - is health for everyone: interesting advice // Preschool education. - 2011. - N 10. - S. 123-126. Annotation: An article about the healing properties of spruce (needles, resins, essential oils). Tips for parents, thanks to which the New Year holiday will become joyful and safe for children.
  5. Zhukova, O. And here she is, dressed up, came to us for the holiday! / O. Zhukova // Worker. - 2012. - No. 12 . - S. 47. Annotation: Which Christmas tree is better from the point of view of ecology - living or artificial.
  6. Lebedeva, E. Replacement of the New Year tree / E. Lebedeva // Homestead farming. - 2008. - N 12. - S. 78-79. Annotation: About a distant relative of Russian Christmas trees - araucaria of various leaves.
  7. Lebedeva, E. Different Christmas trees are needed, different Christmas trees are important... / Elena Lebedeva // Nature and man. XXI Century. - 2012. - № 1. - P. 54. Annotation: About Christmas trees made of various materials.
  8. Matveenko, A. "In winter and summer she was slender, she was green..." / A. Matveenko, T. Moiseeva; photo by M. Bogomolov, K. Mikhailov // Young naturalist. - 2011. - N 12. - S. 24-27. Annotation: A coniferous plant - Norway spruce or European spruce.
  9. Petrov, V. How to choose a Christmas tree? / V. Petrov // Young technician. - 2011. - N 12. - S. 61-62. Annotation: How to choose and install a Christmas tree at home.
  10. Smirnova, VS Spruce - a representative of gymnosperms, a biological object and ... a festive beauty / VS Smirnova // Biology at school. - 2014. - No. 10. - S. 65-70. - Bibliography: p. 70 (12 titles). Annotation: The classification of gymnosperms and conifers is presented, and the spruce genus is described. The technology of creating an alternative, artificial spruce for the celebration of Christmas and New Year is presented. The materials can be used by biology teachers in the study of coniferous plants.
  11. Uspensky, I. New Year's beauty / I. Uspensky // Homestead farming. - 2015. - No. 12. - S. 2-7. Annotation: About coniferous trees in the garden.
  12. Chepizhko, A. Save the life of spruce! / Anna Chepizhko; rice. V. Sidorenko // Young naturalist. - 2011. - N 12. - S. 10-11. Annotation: How to celebrate the New Year without sacrificing the life of a spruce.
  13. Shlykov, A. Christmas tree without a Christmas tree. Modern trends in holiday decor / Alexey Shlykov; ph. Natalia Turdakova [and others] // Russian reporter. - 2013. - No. 50. - S. 78-81. Annotation: Designers offer alternative versions of the Christmas tree using any materials, but without coniferous trees.
  14. Schneps-Schneppe, A. Christmas trees without needles / Anastasia Schneps-Schneppe // Ideas for your home. - 2013. - No. 12. - S. 114-117. Annotation: Several ways of Christmas tree improvisations.

tree and holiday history, legends, facts |

Christmas tree is a coniferous tree that is decorated for the New Year and the holiday named after it. In Russia, she is affectionately, as if alive, called the forest beauty. Her presence at the New Year's celebration is mandatory. The Christmas tree, as the most important attribute of the holiday, did not immediately become commonplace in our culture. Its fascinating history in Russia spans approximately 300 years.

The story of the Christmas tree is similar to the story of Cinderella. For a long time, it did not evoke bright positive emotions in our ancestors. She is prickly, unkind, sprouting in uncomfortable swampy places. Coniferous branches cover the last path of a person going to another world.

Writers also did not favor the Christmas tree. I immediately recall “War and Peace” by L.N. Tolstoy. The writer, through a description of nature, conveys the inner state of his hero: “Look, the crushed dead fir trees are sitting, always lonely ...” But years will pass, and a miracle will happen. "Dead Spruce" will turn into a charming Cinderella. She, elegant, will come to the holiday and will give a lot of joy, happiness and cause genuine delight.

Legends of the Christmas tree

Before becoming an indispensable attribute of the New Year, the tree first took pride of place on the Christmas holiday. There are many legends in world culture that tell beautiful stories about how this happened. Let's take one of them.

After the birth of the Infant Christ in the cave of Bethlehem, trees from different parts of the earth came to bow to him. A local beautiful palm tree came, which proudly took first place. Then maples, birches, poplars, eucalyptus and other trees gathered from foreign countries. Finally, to distant Palestine, having traveled a long way, the modest northern Christmas tree reached the last. She stood in the shade of large trees, and she was not visible.

But suddenly, a real Christmas miracle happened. Dazzlingly beautiful stars began to fall from the sky to the earth. They landed on the northern guest and decorated it. So the tree, turning into Cinderella, became the most beautiful tree in the world. Since then, people have always decorated it for Christmas.

The origin of the custom of decorating the Christmas tree in Germany

It has been established that the tradition of decorating the Christmas tree originates in Germany. This happens, according to researchers, in the XVI-XVII centuries. Who first suggested decorating a spruce tree is not known for certain. The opinion of researchers differs. Some believe that this happened in Alsace. It is known that the authorities of one of the cities instructed the forester to cut down the Christmas tree for them, and several decades later, written sources report that the custom has become general.

Another legend connects the appearance of the Christmas tree with the religious reformer Martin Luther, who began to install and decorate Christmas trees in his house. The authority of the religious figure was so great that many of his compatriots soon followed his example. An engraving has survived to our time, in which Martin Luther is depicted next to a decorated Christmas tree.

The new custom spread rapidly in Germany, and by the middle of the 18th century it was becoming ubiquitous. Christmas trees are decorated with flowers made of colored paper, gold foil, apples wrapped in gold and silver paper, sugar and other sweets are hung on the tree. In addition, candles are lit on the festive tree.

From Germany, the custom of the Christmas tree gradually spreads to other European countries, and soon crosses the ocean and is established in America.

Acquaintance with the Christmas tree in Russia

Since 1700, the inhabitants of Russia, according to the Decree of Peter the Great, decorated the facades of houses and courtyards with coniferous trees and branches. However, with the death of the king-transformer, the tradition gradually died out.

A separate article has been written about the decree of Peter the Great "On the celebration of the New Year".

Russian people saw the Christmas tree as an attribute of the Christmas holiday in the 20-30s of the XIX century. Many Germans lived in St. Petersburg at that time. It is through them that the first acquaintance with the new Christmas rite takes place. Moving to Russia, the former residents of Germany tried to preserve their home traditions.

For the first time Petersburgers were introduced to the Christmas tree by the Emperor's wife Alexandra Fedorovna. At first, she arranged home Christmas trees for members of her family, and in the 30s she began to invite representatives of the St. Petersburg nobility to the holiday. At the same time, society is aware that the Christmas tree is an overseas invention that has nothing to do with the Russian ritual tradition.

For example, in the works of A.S. Pushkin never mentions it. Apparently, the poet simply did not know about her. Recall, "Eugene Onegin" - "an encyclopedia of Russian life." The fifth chapter is devoted to a detailed description of the preparation of Christmas and Christmas divination. But not a word about the tree. Also does not remember the Christmas tree and M. Yu. Lermontov, but the action of his "Masquerade" takes place just on Christmas.

But all of a sudden, it seemed to break through. From the second half of the 40s, the Christmas tree gradually began to come into use of the wealthy part of St. Petersburg society, and by the middle of the 50s and 60s it occupied an important place on the Christmas holiday. From the capital, the Christmas tree is gradually spreading throughout Russia, conquering the estates of landowners and wealthy citizens in the provinces. The German idea is rapidly becoming a Russian Christmas custom.

One of the reasons for the rapid entry of the Christmas tree into the homes of Russian residents was the great popularity, one might even say, love for Hoffmann's Christmas tale "The Nutcracker". In 1839, the ode to the fairy tale was published as a separate book. Decades later, in 1892, the premiere of the ballet of the same name by P.I.

At the same time, for citizens of the common class, the Christmas tree remained inaccessible to entertainment. Sometimes the children of servants or peasants were invited to the homes of landowners or wealthy citizens so that they could admire the beauty of the forest and take part in the Christmas holiday.

How the Christmas tree was organized for children before 1917

The organization of the Christmas tree has always been shrouded in mystery. Parents believed that they were preparing a wonderful surprise for their children, which in fact was true.

It was believed that children should not see the Christmas tree ahead of time. Therefore, she was secretly carried into the house, installed in the largest room and began to dress up. Children were strictly forbidden to take part in this action. Various delicacies and decorations made of paper were hung on the branches, candles were always attached. Rich people could even hang real jewelry on the Christmas tree.

Just like now, gifts for children were placed under the Christmas tree: soldiers, horses, drums, toy dishes, dolls…

While parents and guests were removing the Christmas tree, the children were in a separate room; , they couldn't. It was not easy to be patient and withstand these bans. Moreover, adults tried in every possible way to keep the intrigue. They answer children's questions about the Christmas tree evasively - they will never say directly that the Christmas tree is being prepared for the meeting of children.

Finally, the long-awaited moment comes - and the doors swing open. The picture of a luminous elegant forest beauty causes real delight, comparable to a miracle, with immersion in a fairy tale.

Children rejoice, rejoice, clap their hands, look with pleasure at the toys and sweets hanging on it. And then there comes a moment that would cause us great bewilderment today. The tree only stands for one day. And at the end of the holiday, it is given to the children at their full disposal.

They literally pounce on a tree, pluck toys and sweets from it, knock down, destroy and break branches. Nothing remains of the former forest beauty. In those years, this kind of action was called "destroying the Christmas tree. " Memories of the Christmas holiday and the Christmas tree for many children become the happiest moments of life.

How the Christmas tree was celebrated in the Soviet Union

The godless authorities that came to power after the 1917 revolution did not favor the Christmas tree as an attribute of the Christmas holiday. In the 1920s there were still Christmas markets, Christmas trees were sold, and parents arranged good family holidays for their children. But in 1929, the day off for Christmas was canceled, along with the New Year. Frantic anti-religious propaganda is unfolding in the country, the tree is banned. Propaganda posters of that time are characterized by such slogans: “Parents, do not confuse us: do not make Christmas and a Christmas tree!”

This continued until 1935, when it was decided at the top that the Christmas tree and the merry New Year's holiday should be restored.

For details, see the article of the encyclopedia "History of Santa Claus"

Thousands of Christmas trees are organized for children all over the country. Trees and Christmas decorations immediately appear on sale. Only now the Christmas tree is becoming an attribute of the New Year holiday, which is replacing the Christmas holiday everywhere. Christmas decorations have an ideological connotation. Instead of golden apples and flowers, planes, tanks, paratroopers, soldiers, and many toys with Soviet symbols appear.

Soviet Christmas traditions are taking shape. Special methodological literature is published for teachers and pioneer workers, analyzing the practical experience of holding Christmas trees in the Soviet country.

The Christmas tree festival acquires new traditions, which, in general terms, are preserved to this day. The obligatory guests of the Christmas tree are Ded Moro and the Snow Maiden. The winter wizard usually appears in the middle of the action. You need to call him several times to come visit.

Lighting the fires becomes an obligatory element of the New Year's holiday. Under the guidance of Santa Claus, all participants in the holiday say a magic New Year's spell three times: “One, two, three! Shine Christmas tree!" Around the dressed-up forest beauty they dance, they sing the main New Year's song “A Christmas tree was born in the forest . ..” in chorus. At the end of the holiday, the winter wizard distributes gifts to children. Sometimes, in order to receive a present, children read simple rhymes, sing songs and dance.

About the history of the New Year spell "One, two, three! Christmas tree, burn!" written a separate article.

Main and Kremlin Christmas Trees of the country

Christmas trees that are held in Moscow, first in the House of Unions, and then in the Kremlin Palace of Congresses, receive the status of the main Christmas tree. After moving to the KDS, the main Christmas tree is also called the Kremlin. The children of the entire country of the Soviets dream of getting to the Kremlin Christmas tree of the country. Initially, the best students of the capital's schools are invited to it. Subsequently, especially distinguished children from other parts of the Soviet Union come to Moscow.

In modern Russia, the main Christmas tree is the spruce, which is installed on the Cathedral Square of the Kremlin. This first happened in December 1996. In different years, due to climatic conditions, a living tree was replaced with an artificial one.

In 2019, a 90-year-old tree 27 meters high was chosen as the main Christmas tree of Russia. The lower branches of the beauty were 6 meters wide. She lived in the Borodino forestry of the Mozhaisk district of the Moscow region.

The search for the main Christmas tree is a very important and responsible business. They start a few months before the New Year. Sometimes, in order to pick up the “right” beautiful tree, helicopter reconnaissance and photography are carried out. Several trees are planned for the role of the first forest beauty, which must meet certain parameters. Age - over 90 years old, height - more than 25 meters, diameter at the place of its log - more than 70 centimeters.

Selected from hundreds of similar trees, the main Christmas tree arrives in Moscow by a special road train, and is delivered directly to the Kremlin through the Spassky Gates.

Then comes the equally important stage of decorating the Christmas tree, which lasts several days and is always thought out in advance. A garland is being prepared, exceeding a kilometer in length, non-standard large balls and toys are ordered. The star of Bethlehem is installed on top of the modern main Christmas tree.

Interesting facts about the Christmas trees of the world

Did you know that there are so-called floating Christmas trees in the world. Trees are installed on specially prepared rafts and sent on a journey through the water element. The most famous and tallest is the artificial Christmas tree, which is installed annually in Rio de Janeiro on Lake Lagoa. The weight of metal structures supporting the tree is more than 50 tons, and the height of the beauty is 85 meters.

The most expensive Christmas tree was once installed in the United Arab Emirates, in Abu Dhabi. She could rightly be called the main beauty. The authors and sponsors of the project did not stint on decorating the tree with real jewels.

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