In order to install a holiday tree, certain conditions are required
The Christmas and New Year holidays are approaching, and millions of people are getting ready to decorate their holiday trees. For many, the question is – which one to choose. British experts have given their advice, which is said to be based on science.
Choosing the size of the tree, garlands and decorations can cause stress even for the most ardent lover of Christmas and New Year holidays, writes the Daily Mail. Another important question is whether to choose a real tree or a fake one, especially for people who want to reduce their carbon footprint this year.
To help, MailOnline spoke to experts to find out which Christmas tree is the perfect one, according to science, and why more – is not always better.
Choosing whether to use a real tree or an artificial one is usually the first step – and, generally speaking, it's best to use a real one.
Artificial Christmas trees are not recyclable because they are made from a combination of materials that cannot be separated, so when they are thrown away, they end up in a landfill.
What's more, they're mostly made of plastic and emit more greenhouse gases over their lifetime than real products, which actually absorb carbon.
According to Professor Ian Rotherham, an ecologist at Sheffield Hallam University , artificial trees can leave a particularly large carbon footprint if they are imported from abroad and used only once.
“If you spread out use over ten years, the impact is negligible,” he told MailOnline. – But if produced overseas, say in China for example, and transported to the UK, the immediate carbon footprint will be significant.”
While artificial Christmas trees can of course be reused, so can real Christmas trees if they are replanted in the garden or returned to suppliers, notes the Daily Mail.
Some services collect used Christmas trees after the new year to replant them before reusing them for the next holiday season in an attempt to eliminate waste.
Professor Rotherham stressed that the carbon footprint of a real tree depends largely on what you do with her after Christmas.
“Buy a real tree in a pot and use it for a few years, then plant it outside to let it grow,” he told MailOnline. – This way, you'll even reduce your carbon footprint from other Christmas celebrations a little.”
Christmas tree sellers sell a variety of trees, but only one is considered the best, according to the Daily Mail. Veronica Kusak, director of London-based tree company Pines and Needles, said Nordmann fir (Abies nordmanniana) was the most popular option. It is native to the mountainous areas south and east of the Black Sea in countries such as Georgia and Turkey, but is grown commercially in the UK as a long-lasting Christmas tree. Its non-shedding, soft-touch needles make it an excellent option for homes with children or pets,” Kusak told MailOnline. – With proper tree care, there's no reason why you should ever have to grab a vacuum cleaner and clean up fallen pine needles throughout the holiday season.
Other good options are noble fir, known for its blue-gray foliage, and Fraser fir, which also holds needles well.
And while people like to buy their Christmas tree right after December arrives – or in many cases long before, – The second week of December is optimal, the Daily Mail emphasizes.
“If you're choosing a natural tree, we'd recommend not putting the tree up too early,” Ms Kusak told MailOnline. – The second week of December is the best time to keep your tree looking stunning all season long.”
In terms of height, six-foot (1.82 m) trees are the most popular choice as they tend to , fit well into most homes, although a lot depends on how much space you have, notes the Daily Mail (we're talking about British housing, of course).
It's worth keeping in mind that the taller the tree, the further its branches will stick out when it's turned around, which can lead to impact, so bigger isn't always better. “Make sure you have enough space for your branches to reach their final positions,” Ms Kusak told MailOnline. – As long as your tree is properly cared for, size should not affect its longevity.”< /p>
Some tree retailers offer a stand that you can refill with water, which will help extend its life throughout the holiday season. “Your tree can drink up to 1-2 liters of water per day, depending on its size and central heating settings, so you need to constantly top up the water,” reminds Veronika Kusak. – However, a lot depends on how the tree was grown, so you may not need it (but if in doubt, ask the seller).
"Trees are now treated to reduce loss moisture and needles falling off – so it extends the "working" term and reduces differences between different species,” says Professor Rotherham.
What can affect the longevity of a tree is where exactly you place it in your home. Once you place it indoors, you will need a location away from any extreme temperatures, such as a radiator or air conditioner.
“Trees prefer stable conditions, so it is better to avoid any sudden changes in temperature,” Veronica Kusak told MailOnline. – Make sure you position your tree away from any direct heat sources such as radiators or fireplaces. Heat, air conditioners and dehumidifiers dry out your tree faster, so the farther you are from potentially harmful heat sources, the better and the fresher your tree will remain.”
A location in front of a window can be ideal if you want to show off your tree in front of neighbors, but this is not necessary, since spruce trees do not need sunlight.
“As a rule, the problem is not lighting, but excessive heat, so it’s best to keep the tree relatively cool,” – said Professor Rotherham.
The final step is to decorate the tree, and it is always better to buy more environmentally friendly paper or wooden decorations instead of plastic ones, writes the Daily Mail. It is known that any plastic accessories, once thrown away, are harmful to the environment. Plastic waste takes years to decompose in landfills and can pollute the environment or end up in our waterways and oceans.
Another eco-friendly option is LED lights, which use 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last longer.
"Choosing to use paper, wood or even greenery is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint minimum, advises Veronica Kusak. – It's also a good way to get kids involved in decorating with fun holiday crafts.”
Once the festivities are over, reuse the decorations for upcoming Christmas parties – and if you can't replant your tree, contact your local council to have it recycled. Just make sure you don't burn the wood or send it to a landfill.
"If used wood is recycled as wood chips, all of that material ends up returning to the soil, and only a small amount some immediately returns to the atmosphere, said Professor Rotherham. – If you burn an old tree, both carbon dioxide and other pollutants immediately enter the air.”