Ken's Christmas Trees opened last weekend for the season.  The lot is across from Arbys in Faribault.

The lot features Balsam trees in various sizes.  Wreaths and Garland are also available.  They have limited numbers so when they are gone that's it.

Faribault Fire Chief Dustin Dienst told KDHL AM Minnesota listeners today artificial trees are safer than real trees when it comes to fire danger.

Artificial trees have been sprayed with a flame retardant but he was unsure how long the retardant was effective.  The Fire Chief also stated his home has a real tree tradition.

33-36 million real trees are produced each year in the United States while 50-60 million are grown in Europe.

Remember Germany started the tradition in the 12th century.  Along with the settlers from Europe in the mid-1800's came the Christmas Tree tradition.

According to the National Christmas Tree Association artificial trees grew in popularity in the 1960's but the first artificial tree was made in the 1880's out of goose feathers.  In the 1960's the trees were usually made from aluminum with a silvery glow.

More real trees are sold each year but more artificial trees are used in homes.  The 2000's brought technology into the mix with very popular pre-lit trees sold eliminating the hassle of adding lights.

It's interesting to note the average real tree purchased in 2020 was 38 years old, four years younger than 2019.  40% were purchased by urban dwellers.  An 8% increase from the previous year.  It's believed COVID may have influenced that trend.

10 million artificial trees are purchased each year with 90% coming from China.  The main raw material for fake Christmas trees is PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride).  It's non-renewable and polluting because you can't recycle it.

The artificial tree eventually ends up in the landfill.

According to the Nature Conservancy you need to reuse the artificial tree for 20 years before the total energy used to produce it is less than the energy costs associated with a new real tree purchased each year.

A real tree helps fight climate change.  For every tree harvested farmers plant 1-3 seedlings in it's place according to the National Christmas Tree Association.

A real tree provides vital benefits for people and nature like clean air and water, provides more wildlife habitat and healthy soil.

More than 50% of US forests are privately owned so purchasing a real tree benefits the tree farm industry.

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