With the Christmas holiday season upon us, it's time to start thinking about where you're going to get your tree this year.  Many Americans buy artificial (i.e. fake) trees, but there are significant advantages

to both the environment and the economy to buy a real tree in our own area.

Bill Ulfelder, New York director of The Nature Conservancy, says that fresh Christmas trees provide major environmental benefits, including putting oxygen into the air.  And they're good for wildlife mammals, birds, and insects too. 

On the other hand, he says most artificial trees are made overseas, and are only used for about five or six years before being thrown out.  Nonetheless, Ulfelder says twice as many Americans still buy artificial trees, which typically are imported from Asia.  

The Nature Conservancy also notes that buying a real tree is a benefit to the U.S. economy.  Producing Christmas trees is a billion dollar industry that provides thousands of jobs at more than 12,000 tree farms nationwide.  In our state, tree farms are located on Long Island, in the Hudson Valley, and here in upstate New York.

More information about buying reals trees can be found in The Nature Conservancy's New York Christmas Tree Shopping Guide.