Do you prefer a real Christmas tree or one of the ever-popular fake variety? Both can be beautiful, but the Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry encourages purchasing a fresh Oklahoma-grown tree for the holidays.
And if you're not convinced, check out the Oklahoma Forestry's "Top 10 Reasons to go ‘Real' this Christmas!"
10: Wallet-friendly value. Real Christmas trees are available in a variety of species, shapes and sizes to fit any holiday tradition or budget.
9: Support the Oklahoma economy. Real Christmas trees are grown by individual Christmas-tree growers and farmers, often with many generations of families working on the same land, and purchases supports Oklahoma business.
8: Real Christmas trees are recyclable. Trees can be used as mulch along park trails, underwater habitats for fish and compost for gardens.
7: Bring a little bit of nature into the home. Extra tree branches can also be used as decorative greenery.
6: Selecting a fresh tree is easy with the "Smell and Snap" test. Give the branch a gentle crush and smell the needles to check for a clean Christmas tree fragrance. Then, bend a needle between your fingers; if it snaps, similar to a carrot, the tree is fresh.
5: Environmentally friendly. Real Christmas trees are grown on sustainable farms just like produce, nuts and other crops, and they do not threaten natural forests.
4: Easy to care for. With simple, proper care, your perfect tree can stay green and healthy throughout the holidays, minimizing clean up and maximizing the joy of your Christmas season.
3: Fun – and memories – for the whole family. Get everyone involved in the selecting a real tree by assigning fun jobs during the trip and take lots of pictures.
2: Real Christmas trees are truly a renewable product. Growers plant one or more trees to replace every tree they harvest.
1: The smell! You can't replace the distinctive Christmas tree smell. Reach in to the middle of the tree every few days and gently crush the needles to release its fragrance.
"You just can't duplicate the many positives of a real Christmas tree," says George Geissler, Oklahoma State Forester. "Above the wonderfully rich smell, real Christmas trees are easy to care for and environmentally friendly, which should give people peace of mind when selecting one for the holiday."