Bypass the cold wind and maze of look-a-like Christmas trees and go online to hunt for your ideal pine-needle beauty this season. That's what the staff at Coyote Hills Christmas Tree Farm in Oregon are hoping people will do, and they're serious about the digital shopping experience - even assigning serial numbers to the trees.
Pictures of uncut Christmas trees can be seen online and shoppers can browse through the selection in the comfort of their home or office. The trees are shown still growing in the field and will not be cut until the day they are shipped to ensure the freshest tree possible.
"So you are seeing the actual tree you would be buying, not just a tree off a truck or from a lot," explains Coyote Hills.
In addition to a comfortable shopping experience, the farm highlights that it does not pre-cut Christmas trees to avoid the trees going to waste if they are not sold by the end of the season. Rather, unsold trees will simply continue to grow for the next year.
"This means we are conserving our resources and products," notes the farm.
Paul Krebs, owner of Coyote Hills Tree Farm, points out that buying a real Christmas tree is the way to go for environmentally conscious Americans.
Each acre of Christmas trees provides the daily oxygen for 18 people, according to the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association. With 1 million acres of Christmas tree farms nationwide, this translates into oxygen for 18 million people each day or the equivalent daily oxygen used by twice as many people as the population of Los Angeles County.
Also, Christmas trees are grown as a sustainable crop and take many years of culturing and work before it is brought to the market. In other words, one tree will provide oxygen for many years before it is harvested and displayed in someone's living room.
Even the way the trees are harvested should strike a chord with those concerned about the environment. Most trees are removed from the field by helicopter so tractors and equipment do not disturb the ground during harvest, Krebs explains.
"It also reduces time, getting fresher trees to the market," he adds. "Sustainable agriculture practice and conservative methods are important to virtually all tree farms."
When the holiday season is over, fear not that the trees will end up in landfills. Most major metropolitan areas offer programs to take the Christmas trees and turn them into mulch for playgrounds, gardens, and other landscape needs. Because real trees are 100 percent biodegradable, they do not contribute to landfill and waste management problems.
Oregon, where the Coyote Hills Farm is located, supplies roughly 25 percent of the nation's Christmas trees.
On the Web: www.thefreshchristmastree.com/