Real Trees, Please!
Fake trees can certainly be convenient. For folks who are getting older, I can understand the attraction of an artificial tree. They are lightweight, don't have to be watered and are easy to assemble/disassemble. But I ain't buying one.
In just the experience of the Christmas holidays, I like the soft texture of the needles, the smell of pine or fir, the freshness that can't be created artificially-- especially by a dusty remnant of petroleum products. But I have better reasons for sticking to my "real" trees.
First, this is a way in which I can support local agriculture--as long as I ensure that the place from which I purchase my tree is either a local grower or is reselling trees from a local grower. Second, during the time the tree was growing, it served as cover for birds, insects and small mammals. They may have nested in the branches--or nibbled the cone, as you can see in the picture provided. Also during the time it was growing, this tree gave off oxygen and sequestered a small amount of carbon. It filtered surface water with its roots. So the process of "creating" this Christmas tree contributed to wildlife, the air I breathe and the water I drink.
When this tree has done its time as a Christmas tree, it will become part of the snag of cover tossed into a back corner of my yard--along with other branches and brush--to provide cover for young wrens and other birds as they fledge. Slowly, it will become part of the soil as insects and other smaller organisms consume it. During its lifespan, it will support the lives of dozens of other species. After it has been "discarded," it will STILL support the lives of dozens of other species.
with an artificial tree.