|Jack Beckwith trims a tree during the summer of 2014.|
By FAYE BECKWITH
Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York
Take a walk on (or near) a Christmas tree farm.
What’s the first thing you notice? Take a deep breath … Can you smell it? It smells different, doesn’t it?
It’s not just the fragrance of pine, spruce or fir you smell. It’s much more than that. As trees absorb pollutants and carbons from the air in the photosynthesis process, they produce oxygen — pure, unpolluted oxygen.
And, real Christmas trees are among the greatest producers of oxygen in our environment. So, inhale deeply.
Scientists tell us Christmas trees may produce higher levels of oxygen in the early years of growth, thus removing more pollutants from the air as they mature. This is good news because trees are continually being harvested and replanted as they grow to market size.
Many people are not aware that most Christmas trees are grown as crops, much like grapes, corn, wheat, oats, etc. They just take longer (7-plus years) to mature to harvest size.
Very few Christmas trees are taken from the forests, especially here in New York. Those that are cut from forests are likely to contribute to good forest management.
When a tree is harvested, generally two or three more are planted in its place, thus continuing and expanding the cycle of oxygen production. Evergreens that are not harvested as Christmas trees grow to become timber for future generations’ home construction.
Additionally, real Christmas trees are recyclable; and, however they are disposed of, they eventually return to the earth. This is in sharp contrast to the foreign-produced plastic artificial trees that may never decompose in landfills.
Are artificial trees pretty? Sometimes they are, making it tempting to go fake. Remember that local Christmas tree farmers pay sales tax, provide employment and otherwise contribute to the local economy.
These factors provide strong evidence that real Christmas trees are the environmentally best choice for families. Varieties are available that have little or no needle drop. Other types are perfect for allergy sufferers.
Check out a real Christmas tree farm near you.
Ask the farmer what species he/she grows that resolve these issues. Take a walk on, or near, a real Christmas tree farm.
The fresh air may compel you to choose a real tree for your family.
Faye L. Beckwith is president of the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York and runs Beckwith Family Christmas Tree Station with her husband Jack in Hannibal, Oswego County.
Here are places to buy or cut your own Christmas trees in Central New York:
Central New York
Romagnoli’s Christmas Tree Farm at Oneida Valley Acres, 8498 Oneida Valley Road, Canastota, 697-9498
Toth Tree and Shrub Farm, 6833 Forbes Road, Canastota, 697-3550
Critz Farms, 3232 Rippleton Road, Cazenovia, 662-3355
Page’s Christmas Trees, 3270 Oran Gulf Road, Manlius, 682-7309
Rocking Horse Farm, 3736 Apulia Road, Jamesville, 492-1100
Mary Christmas Tree Farm, 1490 Dutch Hill Road, Tully, 696-0121
Cedarvale Maple Syrup Co., 3769 Pleasant Valley Road, Onondaga, 469-6422
Syracuse Christmas Tree Farm, 4809 Beef St., Syracuse, 673-0998
Chuck Hafner Farms, 8500 Green Lakes Road, Kirkville, 458-2231
Chengerian’s Tree Land, 84 Merritt Road, Lysander, 678-2046
Potter Tree Farm, 1229 Kingdom Road, Baldwinsville, 638-0222
Cross Lake Farms, 7681 Tater Road, Memphis, 420-8141
Luchsinger's Christmas Trees, 1155 Lucky Lane LaFayette, 696-6856
Three B Tree Nursery, 124 Clinton Road, Jordan, 263-2108
Grace Farms, 78 Gunther Road, Central Square, 668-1195
Goodman’s Christmas Tree Farms, 460 Gilbert Mills Road, Phoenix, 695-3576
Stony Hill Acres, 1685 State Route 264, Phoenix, 593-0684
Granger Tree Farm, 380 Tubbs Road, Mexico, 963-3480
Three Seasons Farm, 429 Dry Bridge Road, Mexico, 298-6332
Ontario Orchards, 7735 State Route 104, Oswego, 343-6328
Beckwith Family Christmas Tree Station, 189 Mill St., Hannibal, 564-5479
TriStar Tree Farm, 13952 Shortcut Road, Sterling, 564-5125
Berndt Christmas Tree Farm, 1512 Finches Corners Road, Martville, 564-6616