Which Christmas Tree? -Or Arbor Day

I have often listened to arguments about what type of Christmas Tree is best and I personally have to admit that I’d rather have no tree at all, than have an artificial one. I was gratified a couple of years ago to hear that a real tree was better for the environment (quick to grow and good for fresh air) and beneficial to the local economy and can also be recycled with every bit of it reused and natural, except for the baubles and tinsel of course.

The next question posed is whether it is possible to keep a rooted tree and grow it, possibly using it again the following year. In the front of our garden we have a lovely healthy little tree which we planted following our first Christmas here five years ago. It is a testament to our new lives here and a constant positive reminder of the times we’ve shared.

The following year we bought a little tree of only about two foot and this didn’t look too healthy after the season was over and so we recycled it at our local facilities.

On the third year we bought a tree on Christmas Eve. It was such a rush that, although it was in a pot, the poor thing was quite lop sided, requiring my husband to carry out remedial work to make it presentable in the early hours of Christmas morning.  Still alive, we decided to bring it inside last year too and when it was time to think about buying one this year we had quite a dilemma. We felt sorry for the poor tree, having endured such a cold spell since November that we thought it might be cruel to bring it back into the warm. In the end my husband inspected it and brought it around to shelter of our porch. On Wednesday evening we brought it into the cool kitchen in the hopes that, by the time it faces the warmth of the living room today on Christmas Eve, it will still be a happy tree. Its stay in the house will be a short one, maybe a week at the most, when we will reverse its journey over three days and promise that we will plant it in the spring.

This got me thinking about tree conservation and with two of our neighbours recently removing tall hedgerows in preference to fences, making our outlook at the front all the more bleak, rather than being surrounded by greenery as before, I started to think about one of my favourite subjects, Alderney.

Recently the island has reintroduced Arbor Day, a tradition of planting trees to replace those cut down for domestic purposes, whether it be firewood or building. In fact during the Occupation of the island in WW2 so many trees were chopped down to keep the incumbents war that very few remained.

When I was carrying out some research in the archives of The Alderney Museum back in late October, with the enormous help of their new Curator Francis, I was excited to find pictures of Arbor Day back in 1913 and 1919. It just goes to show that out ways of conservation, which we see as being so new, are only bringing back of the olden days when people respected and understood their environment so much more than we do today.

On that thoughtful note I wish you a Happy Christmas whatever Christmas tree you may have.


Filed under Alderney

5 responses to “Which Christmas Tree? -Or Arbor Day

  1. shame the trees are cut down..:( Here in Brittany they are hacked and mutilated to bits.. We have more wind damage as a result.. People do not seem to understand that the very nature of a tree is to give life and to protect.. Trees are shields again the wind.. Wind-breakers.. They provide us with air to breath… I do feel UK due to its tiny size is more aware of the importance of trees than here in France…

    • I am so aware that we are returning to values about the environment our predecessors took for granted….to us ‘the green thing’ is new but it isn’t. Most of the trees on the island of Alderney were cut down for fire wood during WW2…trees are seen as precious but they always should be. Maybe the message will get to Brittany too..hopefully Sathy

      • Or Arbor Day – sorry about that.. been so tired with fallen trees here. lol

      • no likely to get the message here… They use wood to burn during the winter. (wood burning stoves are popular here.) There are many trees in this area, but no value is put on them.. They simply have too much land and too many trees.. So don’t value either. eve

      • that’s sad eve. Wood burning stoves are more popular over here too now but with sustainable wood (or fallen down trees) on the whole. Trees are a precious resource. I agree with you
        all the best Diana

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