Christmas trees nature hazard claim

Daily newspaper Politiken reported today that so many chemicals are used to produce today's assembly line Christmas trees that flora, fauna and groundwater are being polluted

Christmas tree production has been an unmitigated success for the Danish forestry industry. Commercial forestry in Denmark has traditionally been operated organically, but when Christmas tree production went "industrial," tree producers were forced to begin using chemicals fertilisers and sprays to the same degree that industrial agriculture producers do.

Each year, some 12 million Christmas trees are felled in Denmark, and less than one-tenth of these remain in the country. The figure makes Denmark the world's second-largest producer of Christmas trees, with producers earning more than a billion kroner on exports of the festive greenery.

But the Danish Nature Preservation Society has cautioned that Christmas tree production has become so industrialised that it is endangering environment and groundwater alike.

"The natural forest flora is being destroyed by excessive spraying. It could take more than a hundred years for the forest floor to regenerate its natural vegetation - the anemones, for example, are just disappearing," said Michael Stoltze, a biologist with the Danish Nature Preservation Society.

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