Professor Emeritus McCormack quoted in BDN article on fake versus real Christmas trees

Maxwell McCormack, professor emeritus in the University of Maine School of Forest Resources, spoke with the Bangor Daily News for the article, “Fake Christmas trees are increasingly popular. What does that mean for Maine tree farms?” According to a 2014 analysis conducted by an artificial Christmas tree company based in California, Mainers spent an above-average amount of state GDP on artificial Christmas trees when compared to other states. However, the USDA Census of Agriculture estimated there were about 387 Christmas tree farms in Maine totaling 5,694 acres in 2012, up from 307 farms totaling 4,349 acres in 2007. A study carried out by a trade group that represents artificial trees documented the environmental impacts of artificial and natural trees, according to the article. Critics of the study said its parameters for evaluating the environmental impact of fake trees were too narrow, without enough consideration for the preservation of wildlife, habitat and farmland, the article states. “You maintain your landscape, and you remove the product to maintain the viewscape,” McCormack said of harvesting Christmas trees. He explained that Christmas tree farms also promote soil health and provide habitat for nesting birds. “There are other things going on out here that people don’t realize,” he added.