Real Christmas tree or fake one? Experts say which is best

Buying a real tree or pulling that artificial tree out of the attic this year? Researchers at the Texas A&M Forest Service say to have a positive impact on the environment, you should go with a real one.

An average of 20-25 million Christmas trees are sold every year in the U.S. That's roughly one tree for every five households in the country, according to the Christmas Tree Promotion Board.

While you may think getting a real tree every holiday season would be wasteful, that's not necessarily the case.

"For every tree that's cut and brought into your home, two to three more are planted that year to make sure we have that production," Fred Raley of the Texas A&M Forest Service said.

Real trees are also entirely biodegradable.

And most importantly, real trees also provide a certain kind of coziness to the holiday season.

"For me, it was always about walking into the house and smelling that tree. It always made me stop and remember, you know, the special specialness of the season," Raley says.

The Forest Service says the most popular Christmas tree grown in Texas is the Virginia pine. This type of tree is not native to Texas known for its survivability and grows well in the Lone Star State. It takes about three to five years for a Virginia pine to be ready for a holiday season inside a home.

Of course, not everyone goes out for a real tree every December.

Most people choose artificial trees for the cleanliness or the convenience of taking it out of a box and setting it up in minutes.

Whether you decide on a real one from a tree farm or an artificial one that will last years, make this season a special one.

"It's a very unique and very special experience, during a special time of the year," says Raley.

Learn more about how trees can impact your health at Healthy Trees Healthy Lives.
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