Five green reasons to get real trees next Christmas

SCOTCH PINE TREE: Also referred to as the Scots pine tree, this pine tree is another common Christmas tree option. It has dark green foliage and sturdy branches, perfect for plenty of Christmas lights and decorations. The needles’ colour range from blue-green to a darker green during winter, and grows in fascicles or bunches of two. The scotch pine is known for its needle retention, meaning less cleaning up for you to do. It has a medium fragrance and it’s also the national tree of Scotland.

IN South Africa, it’s the norm to buy plastic Christmas trees each year – after all, it’s reusable and easy to store. But, it may be time to consider setting the trend in getting a real Christmas tree – read on about five beautiful real trees to choose from.

Why a real tree and not a plastic, reusable one?

Don’t fall into the assumption that cutting down trees for a few weeks of festivity will lead to deforestation. According to Bill Ulfelder, executive director of The Nature Conservancy, overseas Christmas tree industries are actually beautifully sustainable, providing clean air and water, an important habitat for wildlife, and erosion control. Also, only about 10 per cent of these trees are harvested each year.

On the other hand, you’d have to use your fake tree for about 20 Christmases before it became a better environmental bet than a real tree. That’s bad news for most fake tree fans, as the average lifespan for an artificial tree is more like six years, especially for folks who like to keep up with the fake-tree trends.

At Christmas’ end, you can even recycle your real tree for mulch or compost. Your real tree can be the gift that keeps on giving!

NOBLE FIR TREE: This is yet another popular Christmas tree variety. The dense branches are evenly spaced along the trunk of this evergreen tree. The noble fir tree boasts needle-like leaves that tend to curve upward, making them a sturdy option for all of your Christmas decorations. It also smells lovely.

BALSAM FIR TREE: The balsam fir is an evergreen tree, cone-shaped with dense, dark-green, needle-like leaves. These leaves are also commonly used for Christmas wreaths and bouquets. This evergreen tree also smells wonderful and emits a spicy Christmas scent, making it an even more popular Christmas tree choice.

WHITE SPRUCE TREE: The white spruce tree is also called the Canadian spruce tree, the skunk spruce, the western white spruce and a few other names. This particular spruce tree has needle-like, blue-green leaves that are short and sturdy, also making it a good option for lots of Christmas lights and ornaments. The tree’s fragrance is not very strong.

CONCOLOUR FIR TREE: The concolour fir tree is also known as the white fir tree. It’s known for its flattened, needle-like leaves that are pointed at the tip. While young, the concolour fir tree features more blue-green coloured leaves, but as it gets older the leaves turn into a duller green hue. The strength of this tree’s aroma is at a medium level.

• Information sourced from www.proflowers.com

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  AUTHOR
Monique van Wyk
Journalist

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