Every Christmas I look for organic Christmas trees, wreaths and greenery. In the past they have been difficult to find, but last year I have quite a few. Some of these are from Debra’s List, others I’m not adding only because they are seasonal. This is last year’s post updated.
Before you make a decision, check out this great article from Beyond Pesticides about Christmas Trees and Pesticides. They talk about pesticides used on Christmas trees, give suggestions on how to find organic trees in your area, and give lots of tips about how to handle and care for your tree.
And here’s another interesting article about how farmers are learning to reduce and eliminate their use of pesticides. It says that even though Christmas tree farmers do regularly use pesticides such as Roundup and Lorsban, the amount of pesticide residue that may be present on a Christmas tree by the time it gets to your house in “minor.” Most pesticides are sprayed in the spring or summer, so by December, they’ve been broken down by the elements.
SILVERTON TREE FARM “Our Christmas trees are organically grown, with no pesticides used. Our tree farm is certified with the American Tree Farm system. To be certified we must follow “[t]he American Forest Foundation’s (AFF’s) 2010-2015 Standards of Sustainability for Forest Certification…” By following such standards we are promoting “…the vitality of renewable forest resources while protecting environmental, economic, and social benefits and work to increase public understanding of all benefits of sustainable forestry.” (http://www.treefarmsystem.org/) We are also working toward organic certification.”
LYNCH CREEK FARM Wreaths, garlands, centerpieces, and “trees” (assembled from sprigs) made from Noble fir boughs from the Cascade Mountains. Assembled on a farm that has been organic since 1980. “We generate revenue for local landowners, giving them a reason to protect their forest versus opting to clear-cut.”
GRANSTORM EVERGREEN Wreaths, garlands, and a cross wreath. “We do not use any pesticides when growing or making our evergreen products. We are a family business that has been making wreaths for over 30 years.”
OREGON HOLIDAY WREATHS Wreaths hand-made with fresh cut boughs of Noble Fir, Douglas Fir, Juniper, and Pine Cones. “We are 100% organic and pesticide-free.”
CREEKSIDE FARMS Holiday wreaths made from plants of the season that are not evergreens, grown naturally without pesticides.
ORGANIC BOUQUET Wreaths, plants, and fresh flowers. “All of our sustainably certified partner farms in Ecuador, Colombia and California use earth-friendly techniques to grow the flowers you enjoy! Instead of using harmful synthetic chemicals for fertilizers and pesticides, natural resources are used to grow these beautiful flowers.”
GREEN PROMISE List of organic Christmas tree farms in USA. This list has been growing for many years and is updated for 2016.
SLOW FLOWERS A lovely online directory that lists local providers of “slow flowers”—flowers that are locally grown and often organic. Providers know the source of the flowers they sell.
CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE CHRISTMAS TREES
Now there is a program for Christmas tree farmers that educates and certifies farmers for sustainable practices in the Northwest. Socially and Environmentally Responsible Farm (SERF) Includes in their certification requirements use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) instead of toxic pesticides.
While only four farms in Oregon have been certified as of this writing, Oregon is the largest Christmas tree producer in the nation—more that 6 million tress are harvested there every year, and they are shipped all over the world. So you just might see a SERF seal at a Christmas tree lot near you.
A GIFT OF A WREATH
Last year I received a beautiful wreath from Jen’s Wreaths.
I had contacted them last week for this post, but there was a big blizzard in Minnesota and they didn’t get the message in time. When she finally responded, Jen offered to send me a wreath in exchange for adding them to the list. How could I refuse?
All the materials for their wreaths are hand-harvested from their local forests. “We are all about sustainable harvesting and a lot of our greenery actually comes from logging sites and the branches they discard…Some of our bows are made of synthetic material, but we’re on the look out for affordable, durable ribbon that is organic and healthy for everyone.” Maybe they will have that this year. Sustainably harvested wreaths with organic bows. 🙂
I emailed Jen on Friday I needed the wreath by Monday and it arrived on Saturday. It was full and lush and just beautiful. It was mixed greens—cedar, white pine, balsam fir and dogwood—so fragrant I could smell it even sitting in the next room as I wrote.