Monday, 27 November 2017
Get real this Christmas
The air is biting, you scraped ice of the windscreen this morning and it feels like you only just closed the door to the last trick or treater. It is coming. Grin with glee or grin and bear it, you cannot stop the season.
At the centre of the tinsel storm is the feature of choice in your living room, the Christmas tree. As so many of us welcome a tree into our home, it’s important that we remember how important our green friends really are.
There’s a lively debate behind choosing an artificial or a genuine Christmas tree. Yet in our minds there is only one kind of Christmas tree, one that grew from the earth. A real tree brings natural pine scents to your home, oxygenates the room and never risks looking tacky. Living trees are also practical; purchasing one can support the rural economy, there is no manufacturing process, only growing, and the end product is 100% recyclable.
Many shy away from real trees. Faking it can seem so much easier. Unfortunately a lot of artificial trees are made from non-recyclable plastics, they take up valuable storage space and they never become anything more than an ornament; in our humble opinion, trees deserves more love than that. They deserve to be celebrated.
If you do have to go artificial, we recommend buying one made from recyclable materials. Also, if it is made from wood or a wood product such as plywood, always make sure it carries the FSC logo.
How to choose your tree
When you purchase an FSC certified Christmas tree, you know that someone has responsibly cared for that plant from sapling up to the triumphant greenery you see on display. Going local, to your nearest FSC certified supplier, also ensures quality. You know that tree was grown in Britain, you know it was harvested recently and you can see how healthy the tree is.
Arwel Roberts, Managing Director at Glasfryn Fencing & Sawmill has some top tips for those going real this year.
He said: “The advice is to make sure they are fresh. The way to test this is to lift the tree and just knock its butt on the floor. If the needles fall off, leave it there."
The traditional tree is the Norway Spruce. It is liable to losing its needles, but this can be countered by keeping the tree fresh. Arwell added: “We try to cut every day to make sure the trees are fresh. We give them plenty of moisture.
“When you get the tree home, cut about an inch off the stem to open it up again.
“Instead of standing it, the best way to go is get a bucket. Put it in and put some stones in there to keep the tree stable. Then pour water on the stones to keep it fresh.”
Where to buy your tree
There are a number of FSC certified growers that can give your house the perfect tree this year. Be sure to check with the grower that the tree came from a responsibly managed forest.UK growers include:
Glasfryn Fencing & Sawmill (FSC® C018622)
The Crown Estate (FSC® C102073)
CrownEstate Scotland (FSC® C136407)
Forestry Commission England (FSC® C123214) and Forestry CommissionScotland (FSC® C123223) also hold FSC certification and sell Christmas trees, though it will depend on the individual location whether the trees on sale are FSC certified.
Remember, when purchasing any wood based product, always check for an FSC label to ensure you are buying from a responsibly-managed source.