Christmas Trees

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 important fact.

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.

Pictures from 1994 in Urbandale, Iowa

Notice the Christmas Tree did not burn in the 2nd picture!


house did burn


 tree did not burn

Curtains did burn - tree did not

house did burn

Real Christmas Trees


Above Copyrighted 1996 - 2015 by
The Christmas Tree Farm Network, Inc