Maryland farmers offer some of the freshest holiday trees available, including the popular Fraser fir and Canaan fir as well as the Douglas fir, Concolor fir, Scotch pine, White pine, and Blue spruce. According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture for Maryland, there are more than 185 Christmas tree growers in the state with nearly 2,200 acres in production. Nationally, there are more than 15,000 Christmas tree growers in the U.S. and the fresh-cut Christmas tree business generates nearly $377 million in sales, according to the latest agriculture census.
Not only do real trees look and smell amazing, they are also a renewable and recyclable resource that keep unwanted waste out of our landfills. Artificial trees are often petroleum based, imported from overseas, and do not biodegrade, so they eventually end up laying in landfills forever. In contrast, real Christmas trees can be recycled at the end of the holiday season, often chipped into mulch that returns important nutrients to the earth.
While growing, Christmas trees absorb carbon dioxide and other gases and emit fresh oxygen. When growing in an open area, a 3-inch diameter Douglas fir can reduce atmospheric carbon by 23 pounds and intercept 102 gallons of stormwater runoff per year.
Buying locally-grown trees, including choose-and-cut trees, supports family-owned farms and businesses, preserves farmland, and protects the environment. For more
information about the benefits of purchasing a Maryland-grown tree, please check out the Maryland Christmas Tree Association’s website.
After the holidays are over, check with your county about its tree recycling programs. For other tree recycling tips, visit: www.realchristmastrees.org/All-About-Trees/How-to-Recycle.