Richardson Family

Sustainable Christmas Trees – A 100% Recyclable Choice

As you can probably guess, our family loves Christmas trees! It takes a lot of work all year round to grow the best Christmas trees, so it brings our family joy to see people harvesting a tradition at our farm each holiday season. And they shouldn’t feel guilty about it either. Cutting your own tree from a farm like mine actually gives your family a very sustainable Christmas tree.

On our farm, we plant around 12,000-13,000 seedlings every year and sell around 7,000-8,000 trees – always planting more than what is taken. Young Christmas trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen while they’re growing, enriching the air we breathe.

Christmas trees are not only enjoyed for their fragrance and beauty, but they also make great homes for wildlife. We have every type of animal living in our fields – deer, fox, coyote, mice – and there are millions of clover plants and other wildflowers for pollinators, and milkweed for monarch butterflies.

Even after their life cycle is complete, Christmas trees give back. Most cities and villages in the U.S. recycle Christmas trees back to the earth. (Not like those artificial trees that end up in a landfill.) According to the National Christmas Tree Association, trees most commonly are shredded, chipped and made available to residents for garden and landscaping mulch. Other recycling ideas include using shredded trees as a natural material on paths and hiking trails, adding trees to lake and river shorelines for erosion control and placing trees in gardens or backyards for birds and wildlife to use as habitats.

Real trees are endorsed by NASA Climate Kids, the Nature Conservancy and the Sierra Club. Meanwhile, you can find artificial trees on Santa’s naughty list.

So if you’re looking for a sustainable Christmas tree this year, give your local Christmas tree farm a try. And when the holiday ends, you can find a local recycling program to make use of the tree once your family is finished with it.

George Richardson

About George

Learn More