The Pryor Times

December 12, 2013

Choose a real Christmas tree


PRYOR, OK — Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry



The holiday season is upon us and families across Oklahoma are pondering the age old decision to go real or go plastic. Oklahoma Forestry Services would like to encourage you to go green this year and purchase a locally grown Christmas tree from one of the many growers in our state.

“There are several reasons to choose a fresh or live tree,” said State Forester George Geissler. “They smell wonderful. They can be recycled. You can have the classic family experience of visiting a Christmas tree farm to choose and cut your own.”

Whether fresh-cut or live, a real tree benefits the environment instead of harming it. During their lifespan, an acre of Christmas trees supplies enough oxygen for 18 people and after the holidays they make excellent habitats for birds and other wildlife. Fake trees are made of non-natural materials so they will not decompose, cannot be recycled into mulch or wildlife habitat, and are transported thousands of miles because they are manufactured outside of the US.

By purchasing a locally grown tree you are also helping our state’s economy! Christmas trees are grown on farms as a crop and for the sole purpose of becoming someone’s family Christmas tree. It’s just like a crop of corn; the trees are planted to be harvested and for every tree cut one or two will be planted back in its place.  Buying locally grown trees supports family farmers across Oklahoma.

OFS hopes that you will agree that a few fallen pine needles and watering of real trees is worth the environmental and the economic benefits.   Have a family outing by going to a local tree farm, meeting the farmer, and thanking them for keeping Christmas real.

Oklahoma Forestry Services is a division of the Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry. For more information on where you can purchase an Oklahoma-grown Christmas tree and how to properly care for it, go to www.forestry.ok.gov/

christmas-trees or contact the Oklahoma Christmas Tree Association at www.okchristmastrees.com. Christmas tree farms are also listed under Specialty Crops on the agritourism website www.oklahomaagritourism.com. Many offer boughs, wreaths and greenery for sale along with free hot chocolate and candy canes for kids.