New York Times: How Christmas Tree Farms Can Help Wildlife

It may seem counterintuitive to support the annual culling of trees, but environmentalists say Christmas tree farms have ecological benefits.

A view of The Rocks after the first snowfall.

The Forest Society's Christmas tree farm at The Rocks in Bethlehem. (Photo: Colleen Eliason for White Mountains Attractions)

By Cara Buckley

A few years after the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests started a Christmas tree farm, Nigel Manley, who oversaw the operations, began noticing some interesting developments among the rows of fragrant balsam and Fraser firs lining the land.

In the spring, areas around the younger trees drew ground nesters like bobolinks — songbirds that migrate to and from South America — killdeer and woodcocks, who availed themselves of the open spaces to perform their courtship flights and rear their young. Deer hid their fawns in long grasses. Waxwings and robins nested in older trees, their young fledging many months before harvest.