Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Real Trees vs. Fake Trees: Round 2

Almost time! Thanksgiving is tomorrow and the tree season is upon us.

We're getting some good e-mail questions and feedback from site visitors, and I'll start posting some of those on Friday. I just wanted to rant a little more about how fake tree people try to misdirect and confuse consumers.

Check out this advertisement:
"In addition to saving our forests ..." Sometimes people don't believe me when I tell them that fake tree sellers purposely lie to consumers. Here's proof. Real Christmas Trees don't come from forests. They're grown on farms, planted by farmers.
Or take this article by someone named Zea Gevert.
This one is so full of holes, mis-truths and opinions stated as fact, it's hard to know where to start.
"An artificial Christmas tree offers many benefits and advantages when compared to a fresh Christmas tree. Some of the advantages are self-evident: owning an artificial tree, easily stored in the house..." Ummm, no, not for many people. For example, I live in a renovated old row house in a neighborhood where most buildings are 150+ years old. Storage space is at a premium. I'm lucky to have space to store my tree stand for my real tree.
"Artificial Christmas trees can last more than a decade if well-maintained and stored appropriately. So the initial investment pays off in that regard..." Hey, that's great math. So you spend $400 on a decent fake tree then use it for 10 years. That's $40 per year average. That's the same amount people spend on average on a real tree. Errr, how exactly does that pay off?
"...artificial trees are infinitely safer than fresh trees; one worries much less about fire safety or electrical problems with an artificial tree..." Here's an example of an opinion stated as fact. The National Fire Protection Association reports only home fires where the first item ignited was a "Christmas tree" but do NOT distinguish between real ones and fake ones. If you don't think fake trees catch on fire, you're wrong. They're plastic - they do. And those words "flame retardant" on boxes ... just words as there is no testing lab or certifying body verifying that.
"And those who suffer from allergies can enjoy a handsome artificial Christmas tree..." Here's an example of a flat-out lie. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, people with sensitive allergies should be equally concerned with fake trees as real trees.
"This kind of flexibility and freedom of choice just isn't available with a natural Christmas tree. With a natural Christmas tree, the shopper's choices are severely limited ..." Another mistruth. Most people don't know that you can get more than 35 different species of farm-grown trees in the U.S. And the real irony is, that EACH AND EVERY TREE IS UNIQUE in its own way. You have WAY MORE choices in sizes, colors, types, shapes, needles, branches and overall appearance with a natural tree.
Oh well. We should try to stay positive and enjoy the season, but it is frustrating sometimes when I read some of the garbage put out by the fake tree people.
BTW - did you know that this week, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (NY) called for the Consumer Product Safety Commission to start testing imported artificial trees for lead?
Nice. Well, Happy Thanksgiving and happy tree hunting if you're going this weekend to get it. Don't forget to submit a video in the YouTube contest. The entries have started being posted. There was a hilarious one posted today.