Real or Fake - the Christmas Tree Dilemma

Millennials are pining for real trees this year

Dreamstime Photo


Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN- Susan Rose) - "Millennials are something new on my scene," said Jerry Saab, President of the WNY Christmas Tree Farmers Association.  "I've been doing this a long time and I'm getting a lot more young people who realize the benefits of a real tree over an artificial one." 

Saab, whose tree farm is in the Eden Angola area, said he expects to be busy this upcoming weekend, but last weekend was the busiest of the season.  "I'm a small fish and I'm usually sold-out after the second weekend in December. The bigger guys go right until Christmas Eve." 

He has to plant trees every year, to replace what he loses.  "It takes about 8 years for a seedling to become a Christmas tree," said Saab. 

Saab says his trees are an easy sell because most artificial trees are made in China, and they are made out of petro chemicals.  And after a couple of years they end up in a landfill, and never decompose. "A real tree will decompose and most communities mulch them". 

Millennials' interest in real trees is not driven by nostalgia, it's because they want a cleaner, ecological footprint. 

Dave's Christmas Wonderland, a popular local Christmas store, has been supplying artificial trees for over 20 years in Western New York.  Owner Dave Gordon says there has been a huge spike in sales over the last few years as they have become very, very realistic looking.

"All of our trees are safely made, they are recyclable, and each tree saves another from being cut down in a forest," said Gordon.  "They're also easy to assemble, don't require water and are fireproof".  He said young people to old people are buying them in great numbers, especially on the internet.  "We're shipping them all over the world from one foot to 50 feet!"

Enough about the trees.  What's being done about strings of lights that semingly burn-out, just after you put them on a tree?

Technology has changed dramatically over the years.  Gordon said a lot of trees today have LED lights, versus incandescent.  "A lot of them are designed now where if one bulb goes out, the rest stay lit." 

(I guess I have the wrong lights!)

Here are results of our webpoll.  (To vote, go back to our home page and scroll down to the right).



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