ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Friday, November 25 marks the official start to the Christmas season and many may be out looking to find the perfect Christmas Tree.

When deciding between a real versus an artificial tree, tree farm owners say that getting a real tree can actually be the more sustainable choice.

Some may think that cutting down a real tree is not good for the environment, but it can actually be beneficial in many ways.

“A real tree is a renewable, sustainable, biodegradable option,” Wilburt’s Christmas Tree Farm General Manager Tim Wilburt said.

Wilburt says since artificial trees are often made in factories out of plastic, that they can actually increase our carbon footprint. If you’re looking for a more sustainable alternative, there are many ways that real trees can be used even after the holidays are over.

“At the end of the season there’s many local recycling programs for Christmas trees. They can be used for mulch firewood, or bird habitats after you’re done using them inside your home,” Wilburt said.

In the seven to ten years Christmas trees take to grow, they release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide into the air; essentially acting like a man-made forest. The tradition many families take part in during the holiday season helps local farms like this reserve a safe space for young trees to grow and encourages them to continuously replant more trees year after year.

“For every one tree that is harvested this season in the spring next year we’ll be planting two to three trees to take its place which again further reduces our carbon footprint,” Wilburt said.

For many families the choice is an easy one when picking out a holiday tree, and there are pros and cons to both. Artificial trees can be more convenient and a better choice for those with allergies, while others prefer the adventure and experience of picking out a real one, and of course that real tree scent.

As far as caring for your real tree goes, Wilburt says it’s relatively low maintenance.

The farm recommends having a fresh cut at the bottom of your tree, and to use warm water to prevent sap from covering the bottom of the stump — keeping it nice and fresh all season long.