As ebay tells me I have but 45 days until Christmas, I thought it would be the right time to start campaigning for something I’ve long thought to do – saving Christmas Trees. I ask you: consider buying a potted tree to use every year, instead of a cut tree.
Christmas Trees – For Life, Not Just for Christmas: Potted not Chopped.
Borrowing a phrase from the likes of animal libration groups, I’ve decided to remind people that, like puppies and kittens, Christmas Trees too are living things and should not be discarded when Christmas is over.
I present to you exhibit A. The spent Christmas Tree stuffed into the gardening bin.
Everyone is familiar with the sight of roadside littered pine trees throughout the month of January. I did a quick google image search for ‘dead Christmas Tree’ and was surprised at the number of blogs that turned up, not admonishing the wasted trees, but rather praising the ‘January kerbside collection’ to come and collect all the dead trees.
Growing trees to be cut and sold as Christmas trees is now a world wide flourishing industry. Started after World War 2, growers around the globe now produce more than 33 million trees annually. In Australia, we grow Pinus radiata – each tree takes around 5 years to grow to the point where it can be harvested as a Christmas Tree. (Sourced from Department of Primary Industries).
I haven’t researched the environmental effects or benefits of plantation growing – I just think it seems like an awful waste of a tree. Is it so commonplace to have masses of pines cut down every year for household decoration, that no-one considers that perhaps instead of letting a new tree die in the living room every year, one could buy a Christmas Tree in a .. pot..?
I guess it’s because I grew up with potted Christmas trees all my life, that I don’t find it strange now that I need to look after a tree in a pot during the year, brush it down a couple of weeks before Christmas, and get my husband to drag it inside. No, they’re not the easiest of trees to look after, they do need water… and yes, the first tree I had living out of home died in its pot in the hot Australian summer when I forgot to water it. But, we’ve now had our next Christmas tree for a few years, and it’s a real pleasure to watch the bright green needles appear on it’s little branches every spring.
So, I do ask, consider not wasting the life of a tree, but saving the life of tree. Consider popping down to your local nursery and buying a Christmas tree that you and your family can watch grow over the years, until it gets to big to fit in the house. A Christmas tree can be for life, not just Christmas.