Amazon's next big Prime perk? Real full-size Christmas trees

Amazon is known as a disruptor. From books to retail, it takes an industry and turns it upside down. But it’s next target is, well, unusual.

The online retailer plans to sell and ship 7-foot-tall Christmas trees to customers this holiday season, according to The Associated Press. They’ll even be eligible for Prime free shipping. Amazon said the trees – as well as wreaths and garlands – will go on sale this November. You’ll be able to choose from Douglas firs, Norfolk Island pines, and more.

A 7-foot Fraser fir, which comes from North Carolina, costs £115.

Your real tree will ship out within 10 days of being cut, and it’ll arrive in a large box that doesn’t have any water for the tree, meaning the company likely assumes the tree will successfully arrive before drying and dying. Amazon does have some experience with shipping trees; it sold small ones last year. But now, for the first time, it’s offering full-sized trees and giving you the chance to choose a convenient delivery date.

If you’re concerned with the impact on your environment, just remember that there are costs to real trees as well as artificial trees. In reality, real Christmas trees in the US are grown on farms in California, Oregon, Washington, North Carolina, and other states. They are meant to be cut down. But you need dirt, water, pesticide, herbicide, fungicide, etc – plus the gasoline required to harvest and transport them to you.

As for artificial trees, they’re made from PVC plastic, steel, and aluminium, and the packaging uses cardboard. They’re also usually made in Asia. In the end, it’s your personal preference.

But, if you choose to buy from Amazon, you should consider your local tree farm industry and wether it could be disrupted.

However, the National Christmas Tree Association told the AP that it isn’t concerned about online competition.

It believes “picking out a tree and hauling it back home” is part of the fun for families looking to get a real Christmas tree for the holidays.

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