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Is a Real Christmas Tree Better For The Environment?

Written by James, Plant Lover

We’d like to think you already have a grasp that on the whole, a real Christmas Tree is better than a fake one, but for those of you sitting on the fence, here’s our guide to answer your burning question- is a real Christmas tree better for the environment?

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Real Christmas Trees- how are they better for the environment?

Whilst the idea of taking a tree and cutting it down doesn’t necessarily bode well with a better environment at first glance, the reality is that a real tree is actually better for the environment versus a fake one.

Now, time to answer your question, is a real Christmas tree better for the environment? The short answer, yes, but here’s why

Is a Real Christmas Tree Better For the Environment? - The Reasons

Farmers Plant 1-3 Trees For Every Christmas Tree Cut Down

For every Christmas tree cut down, Christmas tree farmers tend to plant one to three more tree seedlings. In other words, you’re investing in an industry that increases the number of trees year on year. It’s known that one of the best ways we can fight climate change is by planting more trees - and The Stem supports this by partnering with the Eden Reforestation Project, planting a tree for every order made throughout the year.

Another interesting aspect regarding Christmas tree farming is that the trees, soaking up carbon dioxide as they mature, are often planted in soil that is unforgiving for other crops. Over 50 million trees are planted every year in Europe alone, with the UK importing one to three million annually.

A Better Carbon Footprint

According to Dr John Kazar at the Carbon Trust, an artificial tree has a carbon footprint of around 40kg; which is twice as much as the average real tree that ends up in landfill, at around 16kg. Interestingly, research has found that burning trees reduces their total carbon footprint even further, given trees left to decompose release methane gas which adds to their total carbon footprint.


Whilst there are a lot of tacky things about Christmas - with our particular pet peeve being hearing Christmas music in shops as early as October(!) - there are some aspects that we love. It’s the authentic moments amongst the tacky ones that make Christmas truly special; the aroma of the Christmas lunch on the table just before you start eating, or the warming scent of mulled wine with a lovely fire going. A real Christmas tree is part of that authentic experience.

Perhaps one of the greatest joys of a real Christmas tree is the refreshing scent from the tree’s pine needles, which comes from the terpenes in the tree. Ultimately, every time you bundle a real tree into your car - or receive it hassle-free via The Stem - you know Christmas has really begun!

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The Stem’s Christmas Tree Planting Initiative

Whilst Christmas Tree farms can have a net positive effect on tree production and reduction in carbon emissions, The Stem is taking things one step further with a special Christmas tree carbon offsetting initiative. For every cut Christmas tree sold this year, the Stem will plant 10 new trees. How about that for a fantastic festive win-win for Christmas and the planet?

Still Wondering if a Real Christmas Tree is better?

If you need any more convincing that a real Christmas tree is the right choice, it is worth keeping in mind that the original company that designed the first mass-produced artificial trees in the UK, was the Addis Brush Company, a toilet brush manufacturer, which used the same bristles in their brushes to make the bristles of their artificial tree range. If that doesn’t convince you to go with a real tree, then not much else will.

Make your home magical with a real Christmas tree from The Stem.

This year The Stem is offering a collection of real cut and pot-grown Christmas Trees available in different sizes to suit preference and the size of your home.

Nordmann Firr Cut Christmas Tree Large

Nordmann Fir Cut Christmas Trees

Our British grown, award-winning Nordmann Fir (Abies nordmanniana) trees are freshly cut and one of the most popular varieties in the UK. Known to be one of the 'Kings of Christmas trees', this 'picture-perfect', bushy tree is very robust and will stay fresh and green for up to five weeks.

As well as planting ten trees for each cut tree purchased, our Nordmann Fir trees are delivered to your door.

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Blue Spruce Pot-Grown Christmas Trees

Our Blue Spruce miniature Christmas Trees are the more sustainable choice for Christmas and throughout the year! As the Blue Spruces are pot-grown and living they have a functioning root system, which means they'll live way beyond the Christmas cheer. Once Christmas is over they can be planted in your garden or kept in their pot inside or outside, and even reused next year.

Here’s to a Christmas with a real tree and helping the environment!

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