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Chopping Spree.

Each holiday season more than 36 million pine trees are chopped down in the U.S.--enough to blanket the state of Rhode Island! That may sound like a raw deal, but the tradition actually helps the environment, claims tree expert Craig McKinley at Michigan State University. "Trees grown for Christmas provide homes for wildlife and keep soil healthy," he says. "Plus, they're a renewable resource--unlike artificial trees, we can grow new real trees every year."

Each harvested tree is replaced by two to three seedlings. This year alone, 56 million new trees will be planted on tree farms across the country, where 98 percent of Christmas trees are grown. More than just ornament stands, trees help remove dust and pollen from the air, give off life-sustaining oxygen, and can be recycled into fertilizer or used to fuel wood-burning fireplaces.

What happens to Christmas trees after the holidays? Fifty-nine percent are recycled, says the National Christmas Tree Association. Want to recycle a holiday tree? Check out: www.realchristmastrees.org/ enviro.html, or call your local recycling center to learn more.
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Title Annotation:environmental benefits of Christmas trees
Author:Brownlee, Christy
Publication:Science World
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 11, 2000
Words:180
Previous Article:Teachers' Trek.
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