When it comes to Christmas trees, not even the best replica can match the exact look or scent of a fresh evergreen. Thankfully, Michiganders looking for a wholly authentic holiday experience won’t have to look very far.
Michigan ranks third in the United States for the number of holiday trees harvested, with the Michigan Christmas Tree Association’s website listing over 70 you-cut farms and almost 30 retail lots throughout the state. Some tree farms take the fun beyond the woods: Duddles Tree Farm in Reed City offers campfire hot dog roasts and a petting zoo, while Juneau’s Christmas Trees and Reindeer Farm lets kids see bottle-fed Blitzens up-close.
- Douglas, Balsam and Fraser firs hold their needles best and are considered the most fragrant.
- Before taking your tree home, shake it to eliminate dead or loose needles. Most tree farms have mechanical shakers to perform this task after you choose your tree.
- When transporting your tree, bring a cover for the top of your vehicle, wrap your tree in a tarp and tie down securely. The top of the tree should point toward the hood of the car to protect needles from flying off.
- Once home, keep a good level of cool water in the base container as fresh trees may dry out quickly.
- When the holiday season is over, call 1-800-CLEANUP to locate the nearest Christmas tree recycling program.
Take special note of that last tip. While artificial trees are often made of non-biodegradable plastics and possible metal toxins, fresh trees are renewable. In fact, for every real Christmas tree harvested, up to three seedlings are planted in its place the following spring.