Real or Fake: Which type of Christmas tree should you get?

Meteorologist Jacob Durham breaks down the benefits of real vs. fake trees
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 4:41 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2022 at 6:23 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Each year, thousands of people head out to Christmas tree farms searching for the perfect tree, but studies reveal which is better for the environment.

That’s exactly what the Murphys have been doing for the last three to four years. They said Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm in Anderson County is one of their favorites.

“So this one of the only farms that is open before Thanksgiving and that you can cut on your own without traveling too far,” Jeremy Murphy said.

After some searching, they were able to find the perfect tree for their home.

“It’s symmetrical, full, and green. It looks well put together and majestic,” Murphy said.

Being able to go out and choose your own tree is always a special time with your family, but did you know that getting a real tree is actually better for the environment than buying an artificial tree?

Real trees are around ten times more eco-friendly in comparison to artificial trees. While artificial trees only have one use during the Christmas season, real trees can provide a more lasting impact.

Burning trees and using them for mulch is the best way to lower carbon emissions with landfills being second. A huge spike in emissions occurs once you choose to go with the artificial tree; however, of course, there are certain circumstances in which an artificial tree is needed.

Artificial trees have to be shipped to all of the stores, and then the use of plastic makes for high carbon emissions. Most artificial trees are used for an average of six to 10 years in the United States before new ones are bought, and then they get thrown into landfills to sit for decades.

Studies from show that artificial trees must be used for at least twenty years before they can compete with real trees in terms of the environment.

Some people say that you are cutting a tree down, and that’s bad for the environment, but it’s good practice for keeping a healthy forest.

Bluebird Christmas Tree farm is just one of many that strives to bring a family fun experience to those looking for the perfect tree.

Leo Collins with Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm said it’s more about the experience than the tree itself.

“People come out really for the experience and the memories and that is what we try to do,” said Collins.

If you are thinking of heading out to Bluebird, you can find an assortment of cut and pre-cut trees.

Whether you are looking to cut your own or get a pre-cut tree is beneficial to support local tree farms and enjoy the Christmas season with family.

Interested in checking out some local farms? Here’s a list:

  • Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm (Heiskell, TN)
    • Open Thursday through Sunday each week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST
    • Closed on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Wilson Glyn Christmas Tree Farm (Sevierville, TN)
    • Open Friday, Nov. 25, to Saturday, Dec.3, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST or while supplies last.
  • Camp’s Christmas Forest (Sweetwater, TN)
    • Open on Friday, Nov. 25 and Saturday, Nov. 26, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. EST
    • Additional dates may be added as needed.
  • JKL Christmas Tree Farm (Knoxville, TN)
    • Open Friday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST each week beginning Friday, Nov. 25.
  • Sycamore Springs Tree Farm (Jamestown, TN)
    • Open Thursday and Friday by calling ahead for an appointment; Also open Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST.