Real Christmas Trees More Eco-Friendly than Artificial Ones

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BOONVILLE - When it comes to picking out the family Christmas tree this year, consumers may want to think twice about what is best for the environment.

The American Christmas Tree Association conducted a study that showed it took 10 years of use before a fake tree became the better option for the environment than a real one.

In addition, fake trees are not recyclable, making their disposal less eco-friendly than real trees.

The National Christmas Tree Association predicts close to 400 million trees grow on Christmas tree farms in the U.S.

It also estimates about 30 million trees are cut down every year.

Kaylene and Will Cobell have bought real Christmas trees for the last two years and enjoy picking out a tree with their kids.

"When we were younger we had real Christmas trees, so we really want to carry on that tradition with the kids," she said. "It's a lot of fun."

The family travels to Starr Pines Christmas Tree Farm in Booneville to pick out a tree to bring home for the holiday.

"Our tree this year is big and round," Carter Cobell said. "I like putting the ornaments on it the most."

But not everyone believes real Christmas trees are the better option.

Tina Bradley has had both real and artificial trees in her home and said she prefers an artificial tree.

"I had a real one until I had kids and then I got a fake one," she said. "Once I realized how big of a fire hazard real trees can be, I decided to get an artificial tree."

She also said artificial trees are the more economic choice.

"From an economic standpoint, artificial trees are the better option," she said. "They've come a long way with artificial trees and a good one can last five or six years."

The city of Columbia offers a Christmas tree recycling service after the holiday.

Residents are now able to place their real tree at the curb for pickup without removing any decorations.