We at Kildare Christmas Trees operate a sustainable production system and have been doing this for more than 40 years. We do not “denude the forests” as some people seem to think. It takes approximately 11 years to produce a 2.5 metre Christmas tree from the seedling stage. During those 11 years we protect our trees from pests and diseases because we know that our customers will want perfect trees at Christmas time. We ensure that each tree that is harvested is replaced by another in January to sustain production.
If Christmas trees were not grown in Ireland, they would have to be imported to satisfy demand, with the consequent loss of money from the economy. Irish Christmas tree growers benefit our economy by exporting large quantities of real Christmas trees each year to the U.K. and mainland Europe. In 2017 we exported a large container of Noble Fir to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Real Christmas trees make an essential contribution to the atmosphere, absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and giving off oxygen. This is “carbon sequestration”. In this way, the growing of Christmas trees helps Ireland to meet its commitments to reduce our “Carbon footprint”.
Christmas trees, and the surrounding hedgerows, provide an attractive and much-needed refuge for birds and other forms of wildlife. Because Christmas trees retain their foliage over winter, our Christmas trees provide cover for wildlife all the year round.
Artificial Christmas trees
The use of artificial Christmas trees in Ireland makes no fiscal or environmental sense. Fossil fuels are used in their manufacture and in transporting them half ways round the world. Their carbon footprint is at least 10 – 12 times that of real Christmas trees. The world is awash with “end-of-life” discarded non-biodegradable plastic. Ten million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans each year. Incineration is not the answer because incineration simply puts carbon dioxide from fossil sources into the atmosphere.
We have a surplus of high-quality real Christmas tree in Ireland and we at Kellehers’ Christmas Trees would be very happy to satisfy any demand.
Recycling real Christmas trees
People ask “How can I dispose of my tree after Christmas?” We suggest that you take your real Christmas tree along to your local county council depot. They will be very happy to take it from you for chipping/shredding. It is nice to know that, in doing so, you are contributing to the beauty of our parks.
Please do not leave any metal, such as a stand screw, in the butt of the tree. Similarly, if you are disposing of wreaths, remove the wireframe and dispose of the frame separately. Any metal materials would seriously damage the blades of the chipping machine.
Alternatively, you can simply strip the branches from the stem with a secateurs. Cut the stem into 25 cm (10 inch) lengths and leave to dry over the Summer in a corner of your garage. It will make excellent firewood. You can also dry the branches and use them as fire-lighters or they can be disposed of in your regular garden waste.