It’s that time of year again. Time to consider where you’re going to purchase a Christmas tree from. This year I’m not going to push the idea of choosing a live tree over a cut tree, mainly because of a comment left by Eliz last year when I posted that people do so. Eliz pointed out that there are plenty of environmental benefits no matter which choice you make (as long as you follow through with green disposal methods when purchasing a cut tree)… something that I had never considered at any great length and spouted off without much considering the alternative. Here’s her comment from last holiday season:
“I like Urban Roots a lot and wish them well, but there is a lot to be said for buying a cut tree. Christmas tree farms generate oxygen, help fix carbon in their branches and in the soil and provide habitat for birds and animals. They also help preserve green space. We should support these local businesses. If disposed of properly–left outside to be recycled as compost or mulch–the cut tree continues to provide benefit. I have used lots of city-provided free mulch in my community gardening. Guess where it comes from? Christmas trees. I think living trees are a nice choice for those that prefer them but let’s not go overboard.”
That said, if you do decide that you will be purchasing a live tree, there are great benefits that come along with your decision that include the option of replanting the tree after the holidays are over. “Living trees also improve the air quality of your home and eventually your community,” said Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, General Manager of Urban Roots Community Gardening Center “They absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen as well as mediate air temperature and humidity. When you bring a living tree into your home, you and your family get the benefits of natural air purification. By planting the tree in your yard or an urban neighborhood after Christmas, you give the continued gift of improved air quality to the community. The trees will also provide habitat for native wildlife species as they grow. Living trees reduce landfill use and methane production. 30-35 million cut Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. each year and approximately 10 million of them end up in landfills, thus producing methane. When you purchase a living tree, you keep valuable nutrients out of the landfill and cut methane production.”
This year do the right thing. Buy a living tree for all of the right reasons, or purchase a cut tree and make sure that it doesn’t end up in a landfill. If you’re interested in purchasing a living tree from Urban Roots, here is all of the info that you need to know in order to do so…
Urban Roots Community Garden Center offers eight (8) varieties of living, locally-grown evergreens for the holidays. They are priced in the $60-$75 range and stand 3′-4′ feet tall. The staff can provide you with full planting instructions or will take the tree back and protect it until it can be donated to the community through: Grassroots Gardens, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper or the Olmsted Parks. You choose the recipient of your tree, receive a tax deduction and will be notified of where your tree was planted in the spring. Beyond living Christmas trees, Urban Roots also features locally grown wreaths, garland, holiday greenery, Christmas cactus, cyclamen and amaryllis. “All of these locally grown items support local job opportunities, particularly needed during in the off-season, and reduce the amount of energy used in transporting them from a long-distant source.” Urban Roots is the nation’s first gardening cooperative and continues to be a foothold in the West Side Renaissance. Lifetime member-ownerships are available for purchase and gift-giving at a one-time cost of $100.
428 Rhode Island
Buffalo, New York 14213
*Buffalo’s Department of Public Works, Parks & Streets conducts a curbside collection each year as a way to reduce costs associated with taking trees to landfills.