This year — our first under our own roof in a long time — we insisted on having a real Christmas tree. But not just ANY real tree. We wanted a tree from a local farm. One that we knew would replant all the trees that were cut down. One that is a whole lot more sustainable and responsible than an artificial tree. On the way to take my daughter to preschool about a week ago, I spied a sign for a farm not far from home. So on Saturday afternoon, we headed out there with high hopes that we’d find the perfect tree. We were not disappointed!
As soon as we arrived, the owners of the farm, the Tree Surgeons, greeted us, handed us a saw and told us we could pick whatever tree we wanted. My husband, daughter and I walked nearly the entire farm trying to find a tree we wanted to take home. This wasn’t because of a lack of variety, but because we were trying to find the right combination of size, color and price. Once we found it, my wonderful husband laid down on the cold Georgia clay to cut it down.
Pick your tree species
If you are interested in getting a real tree, but don’t want to deal with shedding needles, you’ll be happy to learn that many farms plant several species of pine — unlike the single type you’d find from a seller in a parking lot or at your local grocery store. I did my readers (and myself) a disservice by forgetting ask the name of the species we chose, but we picked this particular tree for it’s deep green color and the fact that it doesn’t lose any needles. The only shedding our tree produced resulted from trying to get it through our front door.
As you can see, the tree remains bare because I still have to get our Christmas decor out of storage. But even without a single ornament or light, we love it! It is just the right height, full in all the right places, and smells divine! I can remember my mother buying pine-scented air freshener to make our home “smell like Christmas” when we had put up a fake tree. Aaah…memories of “winter” in the Caribbean, where it’s 80 degrees in December 🙂
What to do after Christmas
Anyway, I can bet we’ll be heading back to the same farm, year after year, to get a beautiful, locally- and responsibly-grown tree. And when the season has come and gone, we’ll take our happy little tree to “Bring One for the Chipper,” an annual event by Keep Georgia Beautiful that is held throughout the state where they give you recommendations on the best chipper shredder to keep your yard looking great. Through January 9, residents can take their trees to one of hundreds of designated drop-off locations to have their trees turned into mulch, which in turn will be used for playgrounds, local government beautification projects and individual yards.
If you’re in Georgia, visit Earth911.com and search how to recycle “Christmas Trees” in your zip code to find a drop location near you. Readers who live in other states can do the same to find out if there’s a similar program in your area, or visit the Christmas Trees page for more information on recycling.
Stay tuned for more photos when the tree (and the rest of our living room) has been decorated! Do you have a real tree? Submit a photo to be featured in a special post on Green Your Decor in coming weeks that shows off readers’ Christmas trees!