Do you remember when you were younger when you went out and chopped down a Christmas tree to take home and decorate? Well, you can still do that, because here in Chatham-Kent, as we have a number Christmas tree farms. Also, did you know that Saturday, Dec. 6 is National Christmas Tree Day?
There is nothing like a natural Christmas tree to enjoy at Christmas time. The look, the scent, and the very feel of a real tree are integral parts of the warm, homey atmosphere of this joyous and festive season. Choosing the perfect tree is a cherished tradition in many families. Whether you visit a retail lot or join the many people who treasure their annual visit to a choose-and-cut farm, you will enjoy knowing that your natural Christmas tree is great for the environment and provides employment for thousands of Canadians!
Am I harming the forest by choosing a real tree? Definitely not! Christmas trees do not come from the forest. Almost everywhere in North America and for sure in Ontario, Christmas trees are grown as a crop on tree farms. For every tree harvested, there are ten more coming along, otherwise the farmer could not harvest each year.
Is tree farming harmful to our environment? No. Christmas trees are, except for cultivated forests, the most environmentally friendly crop around. This is because a tree is harvested only after 10 years. To ensure future harvests, 90% of the farm must remain in trees all the time.
How are real Christmas trees beneficial to our environment? Carbon dioxide is taken in by the trees and therefore out of the atmosphere, counteracting the human use of fossil fuels. Trees also act as air pollution filters and can remove up to 13 tons of airborne pollutants per acre per year. Christmas tree farms are havens for a wide variety of bird and mammal species including grosbeaks, sparrows, chickadees, foxes, coyotes, mice, voles, and squirrels. The “edge effect” created by a stand of Christmas trees next to a woodlot or an open field is known to increase wildlife species diversity.
Will my Christmas tree cause problems at the landfill site after Christmas?
No. Here in Chatham-Kent, t he trees picked up by BFI as part of the curbside contract are mixed with the rest of the garbage and therefore they go to the landfill. Real Christmas trees are completely biodegradable and will, on their own, break down and return their stored nutrients to the soil from which they came.
Many people are delivering their old Christmas trees to a transfer station or leaf and yard depot throughout Chatham-Kent, where they are ground up annually and used for mulching material.
So, where can you go and have a great family experience by cutting your own Christmas tree? Here in Chatham-Kent, we have four locations.
1. Puddleford Tree Farm – 12360 Magnavilla Line, Kent Bridge (519-692-5181)
2. Sloan’s Christmas Village & Tree Farm (Emerald Acres) – 29876 Zone Road 7, Bothwell (519-471-4691)
3. Sloan’s Nursery & Christmas Trees – 30718 Zone Road 8, Bothwell (519-695-3525)
4. Watson’s Christmas Trees – 7102 Grand River Line, Chatham (519-354-7271)
Why not take the entire family out for a great winter experience? You will have lots of fun and memories as well as supporting our local businesses.
Think about this – The Christmas season is not so much about the gifts we give or the gifts we receive. Christmas is about the gift of Jesus Christ.
Just some food for thought.
Here in Chatham-Kent ‘We Grow for the World’. Check out our website – www.wegrowfortheworld.com
Kim Cooper has been involved in the agribusiness sector for over 40 years. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also follow him on Twitter at ‘theAGguy’