Monthly Archives: December 2011

Our Christmas Tree and the Things It’s Probably Bringing Into Our House

When I was little, my mom displayed artificial Christmas trees every Christmas season. Now as an adult, my husband and I both prefer living trees so I made the switch and set up my very first living tree two years ago.

This year when we went about selecting a Christmas tree, it was important to me to support local growers and buy direct from a farm. Most of the trees are imported from places like North Carolina and Oregon, but Texas has its own Christmas tree industry so I decided to take a look. In the past, we would go to Lowe’s or other big box stores and purchase a tree. I did more research this year (because I’m trying to change old habits) and learned that the The Texas Christmas Tree Growers page had a lot of information about local farms, so we could support a family instead of a big chain store.

Another thing I learned about Christmas trees is that they can be loaded with up to as many as 25 different chemical pesticides and herbicides at different periods throughout their life. I phoned one farm in an attempt to find an organic (i.e. trees that aren’t sprayed) grower, and she was very honest with me when she said her trees are not organic because apparently in Texas, there is one type of parasitic moss-type fungus that gets on the trees if they aren’t sprayed, as well as aphids and a host of other organisms.

What *exactly* is my husband bringing into the house, besides just a Christmas tree?

Fair enough, but I don’t want them in my house. To be fair, no conclusive evidence exists (by that I mean peer reviewed articles or studies), that I can find (if you have one please let me know), that links health issues in people to their Christmas trees or that shows that Christmas trees are making people sick. However, if I can reduce the amount of exposure to these chemicals, why not? I mean these substances are certainly not good for us, so why have them around? If I’m trying to reduce my indoor pollutants, this is worth investigating, in my opinion. Plus, chemical-free trees are more than likely better for the environment as well, because less toxic runoff ends up in our streams and rivers.

After calling farm after farm, I found a place that claims that they don’t spray their trees. For all I know, she could be lying through her teeth, but hey, a claim of organic trees is the furthest I had managed to get all day. She said their trees weren’t sprayed and the most expensive one on the lot was $70. I planned to head out to the farm, which is located about 30-45 minutes away, the following day. My husband, however, wasn’t as on board with this plan as I was (which is about normal in our household) so we waited a week. By the time the next week rolled around, they had sold out for the season. So, that is the plan for next year 🙂

For the record, my husband made serious fun of me for calling all over hell’s half acre and asking for organic trees. The way I look at it is that if we don’t call and ask, the growers won’t know there’s a demand (erm- at least a one person demand) for chemical-free trees.

Merry Christmas, y’all!