Real or Fake?

Besides being my favorite time of the year, when the seed catalogs come, it is of course, also the Christmas season. I like to keep things simple during this season, but it is looking like Christmas around the Little Homestead.

The stockings are hung.


This week the temperatures dropped, and today it snowed almost all day.


Earlier in the week, we visited a local tree farm, and the ten year old single handedly fell this year’s Christmas tree. Never mind how she is dressed. Yes. It was cold that day. My struggles to get her to dress appropriately for the weather are fodder for another post.


This post is about Christmas trees. If you put up a tree, do you get a real tree or a fake one? Personally, I love the real thing. I haven’t owned a fake one, ever. Before kids, trees were picked off a lot most years. After kids, the experience of cutting your own became part of the family traditions. For many of the years living on our larger homestead trees were picked from our woods. The were always uneven, sometimes scrawny, but those trees were probably my favorites for their wild beauty, for the simplicity and experience of the harvest, and because they were free.

The oldest child is home from college on break. He is in intern in the sustainability department at school and has become much more aware and interested in the topic. After we cut our tree, he brought up an interesting question. Are real trees or fake trees more sustainable?

Perhaps there are studies on this topic. I’ll admit we did zero research. His instinct was artificial trees were better. My first response was that a real tree was more sustainable. Real trees help clean the air. Pines grow relatively quickly and can be replaced. But then we talked about how they are grown commercially. How much fertilizer, herbicides, and fossil fuels are used? And I had to concede that he had a point.

In the end we had to agree that harvesting from our own forest had to be the most sustainable, but sadly we no longer live in our own forest. Next best would be growing our own, the way a grow everything else, sustainably. So you know what that means. . . I need to plant a patch of Christmas trees. And you know when the best time to plant a tree is right?  Perhaps, in this case, spring would be a better choice.


On a side note, I don’t think that cat cares at all what kind of tree we have. What kind of tree do you have?




10 thoughts on “Real or Fake?

  1. Real for us, all the way. They can be replanted, and the wood can be used afterwards, and the rest can be either turned to mulch or compost. Fake trees are made of plastic…’nuff said lol. Pines don’t need a lot to grow, and if you’re getting it locally, your carbon footprint is small to non-existent…you could always plant a few trees in the spring each year to “replace” the one you took 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes there’s just nothing like it. I was actually reading up on that yesterday afternoon, as a way to make money from your homestead. It takes approximately 8 years for a pine to grow to 5 to 7 feet. If you have the space, you can make a pretty profit… you can fit about 1500 trees on a 1 acre piece of land, and they say most people replant about 200 per year, with very little up front cost and overhead, and the average tree can sell for about $46… I don’t know all the magic behind the numbers, but that sounds pretty good to me!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Have had a fake for the last several years. As a child, always had live one from a lot. Mom was so afraid of fire that it always went out on the 26th.


  3. Allergic to pine!!

    Used to love cutting trees on a farm. Grew up with the Charlie Brown trees that you could throw a cat through and they would never touch a branch lol.

    Put the fake one up this year, didn’t even get it decorated and the cats or dogs chewed the lights in half, so back to the garage lol


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