Wednesday, December 01, 2004

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree...

Welcome to tree-hugger central.

I have a dilemma. It’s Duckie’s first real Christmas and I want a Fraser fir tree in the house. But. I honestly don’t know if I can justify my participation in the death of trees, especially when I know that a tree takes several years to grow. Yeah, yeah, I know the trees in farms are grown to be cut down, but that smacks of an awful sort of inevitable predestination to me.

And I know that trees don’t have a human consciousness, but does that preclude the possibility of an arboreal consciousness? The lifespan of trees is so much longer than that of humans – and they have a different perspective, of course. They don’t move around – the world moves around them. They don’t sense their environment in the same way we do – if it’s cold, they may not be aware of it as humans are – they won’t shiver, but there is an organic response to the temperature – and to light, and moisture, or lack thereof.

What is it about live trees that keeps me from enjoying the yearly ritual of cutting them down and bringing them indoors? I’ve tried the option of having a tree in a pot (some of you might remember Fluffy) but I can’t even manage to take care of myself let alone making sure a tree doesn’t die while it’s on top of my entertainment center. And then there’s the necessity of replanting outside after the weather warms, and making sure it doesn’t die in my yard.

Am I moving towards a small artificial tree? I have some nice cedar and pine essential oils – maybe I can work with those to recreate the smell of a live tree.

Because I don’t think I can do it this year – I can’t justify the death of one more tree, just to bring it into my home and watch it die. Yuck. I’m surfing as I’m writing this and the pictures of little kids looking up at their big tree with wonder and adoration is really kind of creeping me out – don’t they know the tree is terminal?

Really I’m not in that morbid of a mood. It’s just that the idea is weighing heavy on my mind right now and I think I’ll be more comfortable when I have a nice 3-foot artificial tree in the house.

Then again, the artificial trees aren’t exactly biodegradable, are they? And I probably won’t be using it for the rest of my life, so how does that choice impact landfills later on?

Geez, having a kid makes things SO much more complicated…


Anonymous said...

Just wait until duckie decides to climb the tree like Tinker!


Sam said...

Andi, have you read "Reaper Man"? If not, you need to. Whoa.
As for the artificial tree, I have a teeny one, and it fits so nicely in my little house. You can store them easily, you will use it for years probably and when you get ready to get rid of it, you can donate it to one of those Christmas charity programs, like Steps to Hope, or even send it to your thrift store (which is where I got my little teeny tree) and then someone who needs a tree (and will probably use it for years, like me) can have one that costs almost nothing and has a sweet history, whether they know it or not.
As for the tree smell - go to where they sell the trees and ask them if you can have some of the branches that they cut off of the bottoms of the trees, to make room for the stands. Usually they will give them to you (especially if you have Duckie with you and tell them why you want them), but even if they charge you for them, it probably wouldn't be much, then weave them into a grapevine wreath (with nandina berries and holly from the yard - my yard, if you need it) and/or make a few arrangements 'round the house. That's what I do. It gives you the smell without the guilt, the expense, the hassle and the !@#$ needles.
I guess getting those nice-smelling branches is also capitalizing on the death of these trees, but where I come from, the major industry is pine growth and the people who do that do it responsibly, 'cause it's their livelihood. They help the wild trees with the new pollen, they are constantly planting new trees, and so there's constant stages of new growth, and when you think about it, it's not much different than buying produce, because they grow more quickly than any other tree, and they are farmed for the purpose. Plus, you're keeping those excess branches from going to waste.
'Hope this helps your dilemma. I love live trees too, but can't justify cutting down a whole big one just for my little house and fam. Now if I had a HUGE family, and the tree (and Christmas) was a big deal, maybe. I dunno. I might do the very same thing, just with a MUCH bigger fake tree!

home grown christmas trees said...

Dear Andi, isn't the internet amazing? I was out looking for info and sites related to xmas trees and the search put up your post 'this post'. Whilst it's not exactly what I was looking for I can see why it came up when I searched on xmas trees and other terms. Just thought I'd let you know I stopped by. Bye for now and thanks for a good read!

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