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Tips for choosing your real, locally-grown Christmas tree

Thursday, December 11th 2014 9:45:30am

(December 11, 2014 Toronto, ON) While many have pledged to buy less over recent holiday seasons, Ontarians remain committed to purchasing Christmas trees. A recent province-wide poll, commissioned by Forests Ontario, indicated that 95% of Ontarians plan to buy and put up a tree this holiday season.

Forests Ontario would like to encourage Ontarians to purchase real, locally-grown trees. After all, a real tree is the better environmental choice.


The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario’s Christmas tree, presented by Forests Ontario. Photo credit: Shan Qiao and CNW Group

It seems that many Ontarians agree. Nearly half (48.3%) of respondents in a recent Ontario-wide poll chose real Christmas trees as the environmentally friendly choice this holiday season. This was significantly higher than the one-third who thought artificial trees were better for the planet.

Almost three quarters (73.5%) of respondents aged 18 to 24 considered a real tree to be the environmentally friendly choice.

To ease the process for first-time tree buyers, or those that have recently made the switch to real trees, Forests Ontario has developed this list of tips for choosing a real Christmas tree:
  • Pine, fir, and spruce are the most common types. Spruce tend to lose their needles first, and fir are somewhat slower.
  • Before going to buy, measure the space where you plan to put the tree. Make sure you have a sturdy stand.
  • Upon deciding the type and size of Christmas tree, make sure your tree is fresh (a freshly cut tree will last longer and its needles will stay on the branches, instead of your floor).
    • Make sure that the trunk has some sap coming out of it.
    • Look for a tree that does not have brown needles.
    • The needles of pine and spruce should bend and not break. They should also be hard to pull off the branches.
  • Raise the tree just a few inches and drop it on the base of the trunk. Shake it a little if you can.  Few needles should drop off. If they do, your tree may have been cut too long ago and has already dried out.
  • Make sure you have enough rope or bungee straps to get the tree home using your car (or bike).
  • Check and maintain the tree’s water supply daily.
  • Buy locally-grown trees and products made from local wood.

Forests Ontario will once again be present at the Toronto Christmas Market (The Distillery District from November 28 to December 21) selling real, locally-grown Christmas trees. Available trees range from the increasingly popular "condo-sized" trees to eight footers, along with wreaths and other green gifts for the holiday season. All trees and wreaths are provided by Somerville Nurseries in Alliston, Ontario. Proceeds will help support Forests Ontario's forest restoration and tree planting efforts across the province through initiatives such as the 50 Million Tree Program.

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For more information, or to schedule interviews, please contact:

Shelley McKay
Director of Communications & Development, Forests Ontario
416.619.0783
smckay@forestsontario.ca

Forests Ontario was created in 2014 as a result of the merging of not-for-profit organizations Trees Ontario and the Ontario Forestry Association (OFA). Forests Ontario is committed to the re-greening of Ontario through tree planting efforts on rural lands and in urban areas as well as the renewal and stewardship of Ontario's forests through restoration, education and awareness. Visit www.forestsontario.ca or follow us @Forests_Ontario.

The 1,000-person survey by Oraclepoll Research entitled was conducted between November 10th and November 13th, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 3.1%, 19/20 times.