do not CAUSE FIRES!
Each year, thousands of families purchase a fresh
Christmas tree. Others purchase a "FAKE" or artificial tree which
is made in Asia. Inaccurate stories on Christmas tree fires cause many people
to change from purchasing farmer grown trees to Hong Kong imports. This is
very damaging to all of us.
A reporter from a local TV station puts gasoline on
a tree to get it to burn, yet doesn't show the gasoline being added to the
tree (and never even tries to burn a fake tree), is being unfair to the
viewers. Fake trees DO BURN since they are made out of plastic, a petroleum
product. This type of reporting is similar to the network news reporter
who placed an explosive on a truck gas tank to show that when a certain
model truck is hit broadside by another vehicle, the gas tank explodes!
What they forgot to tell and show the public is that the fire started from
an explosion, not the accident! A minor detail to the news media but an
A Christmas tree can never be the cause of a fire.
Either it's a short in the Christmas lights or a candle is placed too close
to a tree and the flame causes the fire. There is nothing about a
Christmas tree that will let it start a fire! There are millions of evergreen
trees growing in the world and not one has ever started a fire. People use
them to landscape their yards and never has the evergreen been the cause
of the fire. The press has never reportered that "Evergreen tree in
front yard of residence at 123 Main St caused a fire that destroyed...."
Homes are made of wood and yet when a house fire starts, the news media
has never reported that the 2 by 4's caused the fire. If a candle gets too
close to the curtains, the story is that the candle caused the fire,
not the curtains. When someone falls asleep while smoking, the report of
the fire is that a cigarette caused the fire, not the bed or couch. Why
is it that when it comes to a Christmas tree the media reports "Christmas
tree causes the fire?"
Assumptions about ALL Christmas trees being dried out and
a fire hazard are also not correct. Look at the photos below. This fire
took place in 1994 in Urbandale, Iowa. The house is completely burned. The
home owner writes us, "Soon after we put up our tree last year,
we had a fire which started behind the fireplace. Our house was totally
destroyed. The heat from the fire was so intense that the ornaments on the
Christmas tree melted! Although the tree was in sad shape, it did not burn.
The fire department was amazed!"
A freshly cut tree can not burn (period). Every year, Christmas tree growers take a hit from news reports that are not accurate.
The trees that do eventually burn (due to external causes) are trees cut
in August and imported into the state and sold at the grocery or lumber store
or at a tree lot. Many of these trees are dead. A freshly cut tree is still
green and will not burn for 30 days after it has been cut. Artificial
trees will burn. They are made from petroleum and when the tree lights
short out they will catch the tree on fire and a thick black smoke including toxic fumes is let off. The news media hints that artificial trees
are OK and that fresh cut trees are a fire hazard. Why is that, when the
opposite is true.
Also, artificial trees don't decay in the land fills. It
takes thousands of years for plastics to dissolve. Real trees can be chipped
up for recycling, placed in ponds to help smaller fish survive, and if put
in a land fill, would turn into compost within two years.
There are thousands of farmers who are trying to grow crops
other than corn and beans. Iowa producers supply more than 5 million pounds
of honey, 9.5 million pounds of apples, 4.6 million square feet of floriculture,
over 1 million Christmas trees and they comprise 2,400 businesses. Through
accurate reporting based on facts and not emotions, the media could support
all of us in the Iowa Horticulture Industry and contribute to the acceptance
of an Iowa grown fresh Christmas tree.