Posted by: Kate | November 23, 2010

The Test Tree

We’ve had an artificial tree for the last 15 years. We got frustrated with the needles constantly dropping and the mess that fresh trees made, so we went to an artificial. We have loved it, but the tree is getting old and is now itself starting to shed needles like crazy. So we are debating what to do this year – Wait until this one really gives up the ghost, get a new artificial tree or get a fresh tree. Out here there are a number of local Christmas tree lots (shocking, I know, in the land of the evergreen tree), so we can easily get a farmed Christmas tree (thus a renewed – as it will be replanted – resource). The city provides tree chipping services after the new year, so we can also dispose of it in an environmentally friendly way.

There are, however, two main obstacles to a fresh tree. The first obstacle is still the needle drop. We have electric heat in this house and even with our damp west coast climate it can get dry in here in the winter. We have carpet in our living room/family room areas, and I get really annoyed with the needles sticking into the carpet. This may be a deal breaker for me. The second obstacle is also a difficult one. It’s our cat.

Torti is a delightful little girl. She does have one problem – she’s allergic to something. We paid $400 to find out that yes, she was definitely allergic to something. The something appears to be related to green things, and outdoor things. We don’t let her outside – she gets sores on her neck and head as soon as she spends any sort of time outdoors. We can’t have plants in the house, as she eats plants. Obsessively. But an evergreen tree is a little different, prickly and all that. I do have one Christmas cactus in the house that has survived her occasional chewing, and she seems to be no worse the wear for that one.

So we thought we’d better do a trial on it, as we don’t want a fresh tree that the cat will then gnaw on endlessly. The other day someone gave me a little tree as a thank you gift. I brought it home and put it on the top of the bookshelf, then went about my work. I looked over at a slight noise.

She’s chewing on the top quite delicately, here.

Artificial tree it is then.



  1. Your post made me smile Kate! We always have an artificial tree. I have this rather silly feeling inside of me that is being very selfish, to cut down a tree, adorn it with baubles and bring indoors to die. Your cats are beautiful, by the way! Ros

  2. Decision made then :) Don’t you love when someone else makes the decision for a change? lol

    Pretty cats! I agree with Ros aka snoopydog, I feel the same bringing in a real tree. I say leave it where it belongs. To quote Willa Cather, “I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.” (I have no idea who Willa Cather is, but I do resonate with her thinking).

    And don’t get me started on the true meaning of Christmas! lol

  3. i agree with kim – how nice of torti to make your decision for you.
    we always had a real tree growing up – and there were many years that my parents had to tie it to the curtain rods to keep it from falling down when our cat would climb it…. the lesson here? my mom is more stubborn that a cat. :)

  4. I love the picture of her ‘delicately’ chewing on the little evergreen! Glad she made the decision for you…and while I hate needles all over the place as well (especially in the carpet), I was hoping you’d be able to go with a fresh tree this year. Just the smell makes all the hassle worth it in my opinion. But…having happy cats is pretty darn important as well!

Welcome! I always like to hear what people think of a post, it often leads to a great discussion! I am now responding to comments and questions right in the comments themselves, so other people can follow the conversation.

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