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O (Real) Christmas Tree
News Bytes 12/3/2020 58 Comments

Like a Charlie Brown story come to life, the real Christmas tree industry has been battling competition from glitzy, high-tech fake trees for years. But this year, many people plan to buy the real-deal—and most cite the pandemic as the cause.

It’s still early in the season. But so far, both wholesale tree farmers and small cut-your-own lots are reporting strong demand.

Ani Sirois, a nurse, cares for coronavirus patients at a Portland, Oregon, hospital. She’s getting busier as infections surge before the holidays.

But on a recent sunny day, COVID-19 seemed far away as she, her husband, and their two-year-old daughter roamed a Christmas tree farm searching for the perfect pine. For the first time, they were picking their own tree instead of buying a pre-cut one.

“It’s nice to have home be a separate safe space away from the hospital,” she says, “and whether we can have a gathering with family or not, . . . that’ll be something small to look forward to.”

At some pick-your-own-tree farms, customers sneaked in early to tag a tree to cut before businesses even opened. Walmart is offering free home delivery for the first time.

“We’ve never seen the demand like we’ve had this year,” says McKenzie Cook, who ships between 1.8 million and 2 million trees each year combined from McKenzie Farms in Oregon and Happy Holiday Christmas Trees in North Carolina.

What’s driving the uptick? More Americans are staying home for the holidays amid pandemic restrictions—and they’ll be home to water a freshly cut tree. Plus, with holiday parades and festivals canceled, stir-crazy families also are looking for a safe way to create special memories.

Another advantage is that fresh-cut trees are mostly displayed outside, where there’s a lower risk of viral spread, says Marsha Gray, executive director of the Christmas Tree Promotion Board.

The growing interest in real trees comes after the industry has struggled to attract new, younger customers in recent years.

Between 75% and 80% of Americans who have a Christmas tree now have an artificial one. The $1 billion market for fake trees has been growing by about 4% per year—despite the fact that they can be used again and again.

“We want to introduce real Christmas trees to young families and new buyers and create greater demand,” Gray says.

The Christmas Tree Promotion Board even sponsored an instructional video on how to shop for and put up a real tree . . . then keep it alive. It’s for those who say, “‘I’m a little nervous about just taking a tree and dragging it into my house,’” according to Gray. The video has tens of thousands of views.

“Getting a real tree involves the choosing, the hunting for it, the family outing. It really is a memory maker. It’s a day you spend together, and it really becomes much bigger than the tree itself,” she says.

Bigger indeed. The true joy of Christmas isn’t the gifts, gadgets, or even popular traditions, like decorating a tree—genuine or not. The real “reason for the season” is God’s coming to Earth as a human “to save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)

(Josh and Jessica Ferrara shop for Christmas trees with their children, Jayce and Jade, at Sunnyview Christmas Tree farm in Salem, Oregon. AP/Paula Bronstein)

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Most recent comments

1st Comment

I am glad more people are going for real trees. We don't have a tree farm anywhere close to where we live. We put up our fake tree every year, but once or twice we have gotten a pre-cut one from a store that is 1 1/2 hours away. When the Christmas season is over, we take it outside and plant it in our windbreak!

2nd comment! P.S. This is Caro

We have a fake tree because it's way easier and when we decorate it we just put on the ornaments because the lights are already on. We got a real tree a couple of times but it dropped pine needles everywhere lol.

My dad is super allergic to

My dad is super allergic to Christmas trees and my mom says real trees make even a bigger mess than fake ones so we've never had a real one. I don't really see what the difference is besides the great smell real Christmas trees have. But I heard you can buy scent stuff to put on your fake tree to make it smell good, so what's the point of a real one? I hear it's more costly too. But whatever, if people like it, than that's good for them.^_^

4th comment

Wish my dad would let us have a real tree... I even wrote an essay to try to convince him to get my family one :)

@Micah D

That's smart. When I wanted a puppy a few years ago I wrote my dad a letter, and my sister did the same thing 2 years ago year when she wanted a dog. Luckily for us, our letters worked :) That's sad that you cant get a real tree


6th comment

Funny thing, my parents just bought a fake tree this year, and before that we always got real ones that had stinkbugs in them, which wasn't very pleasant.


Is anyone else having trouble leaving comments? I am.

@EY No, not really. @Amelia B

@EY No, not really. @Amelia B we can't have animals IN our house. ):

@EY No, not really. @Amelia B

@EY No, not really. @Amelia B we can't have animals IN our house. ):

@EY I guess i am, with 2

@EY I guess i am, with 2 accidental comments! xD

Real Trees!

Yes...stinkbugs in the tree...terribly awful and they fall in your hair...and yeah...we had that one year
We always get a real tree, but my grandma gave us a little fake tree so now we have a real one and a fake one. We get ours at Menards and it took forever because all of them were "Charlie Brown" trees xDD it was funny, but we finally got one that's between and Charlie Brown tree and a normal tree ;P

We've never used a fake tree in my life

Every year we will go Christmas tree hunting in our 60 acre woods. But the only problem is,is that we only have Cedar trees, so basically we use Charlie Brown trees. But the main thing we love is that we get to all be together as family,since it is a little date since my older siblings work,and my mom is always teaching my younger two siblings with all their school.
P. S. We are homeschooled

Rare * not date

Rare * not date

My grandparents have a

My grandparents have a miniature forest in their backyard(they live in the country) so they have a living Christmas tree. My family has an artificial one.

@Isabel F

That is soooo cool you have a woods on your land!! My Mom would LOVE that!!! It is awesome that you can go get your own!!!

I like real trees

We always get a real Christmas tree it does kinda make a mess bet its not hard to clean up, plus I just think that the real tree just looks nicer. But I have been growing up with a real Christmas tree all my life so that's just what I'm used to.

Fake Trees

My family has a fake tree and it works very well. My parents bought it 19 years ago and it still looks great. We had a real tree a few years ago but it made such a big mess that we haven't gotten another one.

I love real Christmas trees

My family always it's a real tree. We get it from Boy Scouts. We already have ours

@Nora L


Christmas trees

We used to somtimes get a real tree when I was younger, but they sorta made a mess, so we bought a nice fake tree and its pretty good :)

We got a real tree.

We got a real tree.

P.S. This is Grace lol

We normally get a small 5 foot tree but this year we moved into a new house so my dad wanted a real tall tree. So we got it but my mom says she never wants to get a real tree again. I don't care either way. A tree is a tree.


If presents can fit under it I am fine.

We usually get a 7 foot tree

We usually get a 7 foot tree but this year we're going to get one that's more like 6 feet tall, because we have a copper star this year to put on top.

Did you notice that the kids

Did you notice that the kids aren't wearing any masks, but nobody's there so who cares!

@ Riley D

Thanks. Maybe sometime, Lord willing, you may either get some woods, or go to some place that has woods so you can get a Christmas tree. Where do you live, if you don't mind me asking?


Well, real trees do make a mess, but it is not hard to clean up. Fake trees can make just as much of a mess, and sometimes I think they are harder to clean up because the "needles" static to everything!! XD
@Isabel: I live in Texas, in a place that there are literally no trees. There are some, but we don't get much water so there aren't many. and the ones that are here are all invasive species. Not really any native trees grow here. If they do, they are more like scrub trees! But Elms. which are not native, do grow nicely here with little water. We have three giant elms, two of which are in our pens which are like super rocky, and they don't get anything but rain water, which we get maybe 9 inches a year, some years not even that.

@ Riley D

You live in Texas?? I live in KY (Kentucky). I've read about Texas, but never seen it, well, except on TV. :) Maybe some time for Christmas you should come to KY and get a tree! But, be warned, you may not see the full ones, but Charlie Brown trees. :) Do you have any horses? I can't IMAGINE anyone who could live in Texas, but not have a horse! :)

@Isabel F

Yes, I live in Texas!! One of my old friends lives in Kentucky! Have you ever been to any horse races? I used to want to be a jockey until I got too big!! :) Yes, my family has three horses, two are the family's and one is my sisters, she bought it with her own money. I love horses! I can tell you do! Do you have horses, and do you ride?


My grandparents have a 400-acre farm up here in Minnesota and they have lots of Christmas trees on their land, and by lots I mean thousands. They planted them because our family hunts and deer like to hide in pine forests.

My great uncle lives in Texas

My great uncle lives in Texas and he has a donkey. I think he used to train horses

@Asher E

That is cool!

This is London

I live in tx and there are a lot of Christmas trees, there is this Hugh Christmas tree farm we go to and they are rather large trees


Yay! I like real trees.

@London S

We must live in very different parts of Texas!!! but then again, Texas is the second largest state, and there are so many different landscapes in just this one state. Beach, forest, desert, a little bit of mountains, we have it all!!!! (Now I am sounding like a salesman!! XD )

@ Above


i do not get on this every

i do not get on this every day it is only on wensdays and tuesdays and thursdays sorry for spelling

so if you would like to talk with me and have a on going conversation you will have to find me on one of the articals i look at all of them twice at t10:00 to read and commit the second time at 10:30 to see if anyone want to have a conversation. then twice at 5:00-5:30 for the peolpe who do public school we had a real tree one year before we moved to the country it wa sso much work oh and the 8th was my B-day and for christmas i was wishing for a hoverbord bur got ist for my B-day!!!!!

@ Riley D

Yes, I have been to horse races before and they are actually pretty fun, but go by real quick. Usually, when I pick out my horse I want to win, most the time it wins. I like to pick either number 5, 1, or 3. If not those, I pick out number 7. :)

Yes!!! I LOVE horses!! Sadly I don't have one, but my dad and I are working on building a barn so that I can get a horse. My neighbor lets me ride her pony (Shimmer is 14 hands) and I jump. I've been riding for years. I would like to be a hunter-jumper when I grow up. Me and my neighbor also volunteer at Whispering Woods in Georgetown KY, and I get to ride horses there.

If you ever come to KY, you should come by Whispering Woods on a Thursday. (I work on Thursdays) :)

Does anyone else celebrate

Does anyone else celebrate Hanukah? My family does along with Christmas. If so, happy Hanukah everyone! (Its the second day today:))

Does anyone else celebrate

Does anyone else celebrate Hanukah? My family does along with Christmas. If so, happy Hanukah everyone! (Its the second day today:))

I don't celebrate Hanukkah. I

I don't celebrate Hanukkah. I don't really know much about it. I mean, I've read about it, but other than that, I'm kinda clueless. :)

@Isabel F

that is soooooooo cool!!!!! I will definitely remember that!! I have never jumped before, but think it would be fun. We just ride western around here. There are really no English riders around here. Just cattle and rodeo's and such! I wish there was a place for me to volunteer at, but there is so much pasture land here and such a small town, that everyone keeps their own horse. but I have looked into it.


No, we don't celebrate it. Isn't it a Jewish celebration? Are y'all part Jewish? That is neat though!

@Desaroe S

We don't celebrate Christmas or Hanukah, though i would want a Christmas tree (just for the looks).

@ Riley D

I didn't think you rode English. Most the time people in the west ride Western. Do you ever compete? I mean, when I get a horse, I plan on completing in show jumping. I think that it would be fun.

What type of horses do you have? I would like a Hungarian Horse cause they are good for show jumping, but my Dad wants a Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse, or a Morgan because they can do small farm work.

@ David P

How come you don't celebrate Christmas? We do. I never knew someone who didn't celebrate Christmas. What do you do instead?

@Isabel F

Because i think it has roots in paganism. You finally have met someone who doesn't celebrate christmas (just the holiday)! I would love to go to kentucky some day. I saw that website on whispering woods. Cool you work with horses!

@Isabel F

Because i think it has roots in paganism. You finally have met someone who doesn't celebrate christmas (just the holiday)! I would love to go to kentucky some day. I saw that website on whispering woods. Cool you work with horses!

@ David P

True, the holiday does have roots in paganism. So does Easter. However, it's been changed to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ (and Easter his resurrection), although there does seem to be a lot of extra stuff-like Santa Claus and decorations and music-that sort of take over sometimes.


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