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Fake Christmas trees are not 'green'

Posted: November 20, 2008 9:18 p.m.
Updated: November 21, 2008 4:55 a.m.

The following is a copy of a letter sent to Ken Pulskamp, Santa Clarita city manager:|

Dear Mr. Pulskamp,

I was quite taken aback when I read in the Burrtec News your recommendation to the people of Santa Clarita to buy a fake Christmas tree.

True, I am in the business, but I would like to point out that the idea that buying an artificial tree is "green" is just plain wrong.

Eighty percent of fake trees are made in China, where environmental controls over the manufacturing process are almost nil.

A few years back, fake trees were on the pest list due to a potentially harmful beetle found in the wooden center trunk.

Non-biodegradable PVCs and sometimes toxic metals such as lead are used to manufacture these trees.

They are nearly totally non-recyclable, and what about the fuel expended to transport these trees to the markets around the world?

Real trees, on the other hand, are a local renewable, recyclable green resource. They provide jobs for real tree growers. With all 50 states participating, just under half a billion trees are growing on 500,000 acres in the U.S. alone. The growers, who number over 20,000 - many preserving family farms and green space for future generations - account for another 100,000 part- and full-time jobs in the farming and retail industry.

If everybody did as you requested, what would happen to this important segment of our population?

And what about all that fresh air? One acre of Christmas trees produces daily oxygen required by 18 people. So I am hoping you will see that your recommendation was made without adequate information at your disposal, and you will print a retraction - soon!

You can always visit the National Christmas Tree Association Web site at for help in supporting your position for real Christmas trees.


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