Nature Conservancy of Canada combats invasive species with free Christmas trees

Published: December 13, 2017

Blue spruce harvest Photo courtesy of THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nature Conservancy of Canada

For the second year in a row, the Nature Conservancy of Canada is chopping down and giving away blue spruce trees for free in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The spruce, which is not native to Canada, is considered a threat to natural habitats. However, it makes a lovely Christmas tree.

“Blue spruce are really common Christmas trees, we have them here in Alberta but they’re not actually native species to our area. In fact, nowhere in Canada are Colorado blue spruce native trees,” NCCs Alberta communications co-ordinator,¬†Cary Richards, told the CBC.

The NCC held two events last weekend near Red Deer and Saskatoon, one of which was at a former Christmas tree farm the organization inherited. People were invited to chop down their own tree in Saskatchewan, while Albertans could pick up a pre-chopped tree.

Last year, 70 people showed up to collect trees in Alberta and the NCC ran out quickly. This year, they let people know they should come early if they wanted their perfect tree.

The price of Christmas trees has skyrocketed in recent years and initiatives like this and the free tree giveaway in Saskatchewan’s Prince Albert National Park help to ease the financial costs of the holidays for Canadian families.

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