The local impact of buying your Christmas tree Breana Cacciotti

In the midst of the holiday season, one Christmas tree farm in Lansing is hoping that people will choose to buy a locally-grown tree.

“Many people in this area are impacted by what is sold here, we definitely are not a big box store,” Kay Moore said, who has owned the farm with her husband Richard for the past 30 years.

Buying from a local tree farm, she added, supports both the local economy and environment.

The Statewide Effect

According to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, 875 farms across Upstate New York sell over 300,000 locally-grown Christmas trees.

With an eight million dollar Christmas tree industry in New York, State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball is also encouraging residents of New York to buy their tree locally.

“New York is one of the largest producers of locally-grown Christmas trees anywhere in the country and there is nothing quite like a fresh, locally-grown tree during the holidays,” Ball said in a press release.

An Expert's Opinion

Tree farmers go to Monika Roth at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County when they have questions about their crop. Roth, an agricultural expert, says these local tree farms are great for the environment.

“The nice thing about a real Christmas tree is that afterward the holiday you can use it in a number of different ways,” Roth said. “You can recycle them to get chipped and then you can use them in your yard for mulch. It's a good recycling process. Even though we're harvesting the tree from the landscape, we’re still contributing it back to the landscape and it isn't a waste product.”

On a Local Level

At Moore Tree Farm, they have a designated place for people to return their tree after the holidays are over and get it recycled.

“The natural trees are good for the environment, prevent erosion, are homes for birds and squirrels, and then when you are done with a cut tree you can bring it back here or to your curbside and it will be chipped so you can use it for mulch at your home. It’s true recycling locally,” Kay Moore said.

She says while artificial trees last longer in your home, they are not an environmentally-friendly option.

“A plastic tree is probably in your home for five to six years and then it ends up in a landfill for unfortunately hundreds of years. It’s just not good for the environment,” Kay Moore said.

With the holidays just around the corner, Richard Moore says they have a large staff of over 40 employees, ranging from young to old, on the farm.

“We have a lot of high school students where this is their first job, and a lot of people who are retired and this is their second career,” Richard Moore said.

The Moore's try to keep everything about their farm local, whether it's locally-grown or locally-sourced.

“Everything sold is made in New York,” from the trees to the wreaths to the Christmas ornaments for sale in the gift shop, says Kay Moore.

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