Why Do Leftover Trees Attract So Much Attention?

By Dennis Tompkins

Unfortunately, trees left over after the Christmas season are highly visible and often perceived to be a waste. In reality, it is a question of perspective of “waste”.

Remember that all crops such as lettuce, wheat, bananas AND real Christmas trees do reach maturity. They must be harvested before they are no longer marketable.

Christmas trees shelter small animals and provide nesting sites for birds while they ae growing. Our “leftover” trees are biodegradable and most are recycled as mulch or used to improve wildlife habitat.

On the other hand, a person would be shocked if they ever looked into a dumpster of a supermarket. We fickle consumers demand freshness, a spotless appearance and good quality food items. Those that fail the test are discarded daily, not just once a year.

The bottom line is that leftover trees are simply more visible than unsold food items and other excess consumer goods that find their way to landfills.

Hopefully, you now understand that the crop in which tree growers have invested a great deal of money and labor is not a waste of resource. Nearly all trees are grown on plantations – not harvested from forests. They are planted to supply a product that brings joy and happiness to millions of families.

Tree growers hope this information addresses a few common concerns we often hear about. So enjoy your real Christmas tree and have a terrific holiday season!

(Dennis Tompkins is a Certified Arborist and a consulting forester from Sumner, WA. He is also a recognized expert on the nation’s Christmas tree industry)