How quickly the fall season has transitioned into the “holiday” season. The speed from which we go from autumn color to wreaths is mind blowing. Time already to contemplate getting our Christmas tree. In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, there is joy in supporting local farmers and artisans. Shopping local is a concept that includes supporting your nearby tree farm.
In my family one of our beloved holiday traditions is choosing, adorning and displaying a fresh cut tree in our home. The beauty and the fragrance of a live tree is a warm reminder of the natural beauty around us and how fortunate we are to have bountiful natural resources in our region.
How lucky we are in the Northwest to have such a wonderful selection, as well as affordable price point for fresh, fragrant conifers. Cut your own or buy one cut, Christmas tree farms abound in our neck of the woods. A great resource to check out your local tree farms, see what products they provide, their hours and locations is the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association’s website: www.nwchristmastrees.org
The website is nicely organized so that you can enter your county and see the farms closest to you. Each farm listing has a map, indicates the different types and sizes of trees they carry and what other offerings you’ll find there, including gift shops, wagon rides, garlands, free cider, and more. Then you can go directly to the website of the farm itself for even more information. The online guide has 43 Washington and 67 Oregon tree farms listed.
While a bit more work to buy and set up a fresh cut tree as opposed to an artificial one, there are many benefits. Local tree farms sequester carbon, produce oxygen and support wildlife while keeping the land from being developed. Artificial trees cannot be recycled into rich mulch like fresh trees can; when a plastic tree has outlived its usefulness, it is destined for the landfill. If you are considering replacing your artificial tree, garlands or wreaths this year, why not switch to neighborhood grown, fresh tree and boughs? Going with the family to select a unique, fragrant tree is a heart warming holiday tradition.
© Colleen Miko, 2012