Real vs. Fake

TaLeiza Calloway

With the holidays right around the corner, people are considering their Christmas tree options

Rich Glanville of Kent lugs his $25, fresh-cut Christmas tree to Martin Flower, one of the owners of the HB Flower and Sons Tree Farm in Kent. Customers have the ability to buy pre-cut trees or cut their own.

Credit: Jason Hall

Real or fake? That is the question.

During Christmas time, it is all about the tree. Families go out and buy trees to decorate or choose to go to tree farms and have a real tree cut down for them.

The debate over Christmas trees is a common one, as decorating a tree is tradition for many families. Some people prefer to have a real tree versus a fake one. The regularity of watering it and making sure it does not get too dry and catch on fire is not a problem for them.

Fifty-seven-year-old Betty Bryant of Cleveland recalls that when she was growing up, her family always had a real tree.

“I like real trees. My mother didn’t want anything but a real tree,” Bryant said.

For her own children, however, Bryant used a real tree a few times but has mostly used fake ones.

There is a variety of reasons for having a fake tree, but some people have fake trees because they do not have a choice.

If it was up to Carlyn Rowe, junior English major, she would always have a real tree, but her mother is allergic to them. She lives with her grandparents now, who own a fake tree because it requires less work to maintain.

“I love real Christmas trees. I don’t think there’s anything that can replace a real tree,” Rowe said.

Rowe is not alone in praising the real tree. Fifteen-year-old Jeff Piatko of Canton feels the real tree is the only way to go. His mother adds to this belief because she thinks real trees symbolize more, he said.

“It’s weird getting something out of a box to represent Christmas,” he said.

For some people, real Christmas trees do not bring up memories of clean-up work. Pets can be a factor. For Khadija Williams, senior pre-law major, a real tree was hard to keep steady, especially because her cat Snoopy liked running up and down the tree and knocking the ornaments off, she said.

On the business side of things, a lot of families go out to tree farms to get a tree, said Barbra Flower of HB Flower and Sons Tree Farm in Kent.

“People enjoy coming out and cutting their own trees,” Flower said.

Price is another factor to consider when buying a tree. A tree at HB Flower and Sons Tree Farm, for example, starts at $25 and goes up to about $50. However, someone can pay up to $80 for a real tree, Flower said.

At the Ravenna Wal-Mart, fake trees can be priced at $17 and go up to $80, depending on the brand name and whether or not the tree comes with trimmings.

The Christmas tree debate has branched itself into many different arguments, but Flower, who has worked at her family-operated farm for 30 years, has always preferred not to use fake trees.

“I think real trees are better because it’s the spirit of the season,” she said.

Contact features correspondent TaLeiza Calloway at [email protected].