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Solvang Tradition
updated: Jan 13, 2014, 8:18 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

A subscriber wants to know what Edhatters think of the Solvang tradition of burning a big pile of Christmas trees?

Here is a KEYT story on it.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 484828 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 08:41 AM

If it stops people attempting to burn their own and endangering their neighbors it has to be a good thing.

 

 COMMENT 484829 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 08:44 AM

Adds to air pollution.

Can't they be run through a chipper and used for weed abatement ijn gardens?

 

 COMMENT 484830 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 08:48 AM

nothing quite like a nice big community bonfire :0}

 

 COMMENT 484834 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 08:53 AM

It's a fun event, provides some fire safety lessons for people, and in the grand scheme of air pollution, it is much less than a drop in the bucket.

 

 COMMENT 484835 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 08:54 AM

Great event.

 

 COMMENT 484837 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 08:59 AM

Does the amount of CO2 generated from the fire plus the CO2 generated by transporting the trees from northern states to Californi offset the oxygen that is created when the trees are growing?

The firefighters seem to be having a lot of fun setting individual trees on fire to show how fast they can burn.

 

 COMMENT 484839 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 09:01 AM

Fun for the whole community, good memory maker for the children. I am sure it's done with safety to the surrounding area and the people watching.

 

 COMMENT 484843 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 09:05 AM

Seriously? I wouldn't even consider burning my Christmas tree to get rid of it. There are lots of environmental friendly ways of recycling your tree. Burning trees in a drought situation is just dumb and we don't need additional pollution added to our air for the sake of entertainment.

 

 COMMENT 484845P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 09:08 AM

Charming anachronism. Become environmentally responsible and mulch them instead. The atmosphere doesn't need the smoke.

 

 COMMENT 484847 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 09:13 AM

Remember mulchers use GASOLINE and oil to their engines.

 

 COMMENT 484848 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 09:14 AM

The smoke generated is so miniscule compared to what's generated around the world every second that it wouldn't even register on a graph.

 

 COMMENT 484851 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 09:25 AM

Too funny! What's next? Requiring Mexican Restaurants to buy Carbon Offsets? Good Old Fashioned fun...there is just too little of it nowadays.

 

 COMMENT 484852P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 09:31 AM

Love this tradition. I wish we did it in SB. My home town used to do this back in the Midwest. They served cocoa and cider and it was a fun celebration.

 

 COMMENT 484853 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 09:31 AM

Oh, the anticipated hand-wringing!

With all the third-world populations racing into the 21st Century and trying to improve their standards-of-living by consuming resources and creating pollution, the Solvang burn won't amount to a single flap of the butterfly's wings.

Sad to say, but there isn't a thing any of us can do to REALLY change things.

Enjoy the present, 'cause the future really IS bleak! :)

Nope, not being a pessimist, just a realist.

 

 COMMENT 484855 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 09:40 AM

Great tradition, we used to have a Christmas tree burn at Leadbetter years ago.

 

 COMMENT 484861 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 09:57 AM

If it is a good idea with minimal pollution, I bet more communities would be doing it. The fact that they don't is probably an indication of its negative impacts.

 

 COMMENT 484862 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 09:58 AM

Our traditional tree burning is a wonderful family event, its also VERY educational to children, as well as anyone who might ever consider burning a tree on their own.

Thank you County Fire for yet another great event!

 

 COMMENT 484865 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 10:03 AM

The great "Green Industry" scam is slowly but surely getting huge. But it will never be as big as the world's #1 and most deadly scam...religion.

 

 COMMENT 484873 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 10:16 AM

In this weather, with these dry conditions, it's ridiculous.
Tradition or not, common sense should have prevailed.

 

 COMMENT 484874P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 10:16 AM

AGW = religion

 

 COMMENT 484876 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 10:21 AM

AGW = Junk science.

The Christmas Tree Bonfire is a wonderful tradition. Brings joy to many and harms no one (not even the environment.)

 

 COMMENT 484878P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 10:22 AM

non-AGW - heads in the sand.

I guess NASA believes in junk science. Pull the other leg.

 

 COMMENT 484881P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 10:30 AM

NASA = politics

 

 COMMENT 484888P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 10:39 AM

I agree with the wood chipper proposal. Why burn what can be reused/recycled back into the soil.

 

 COMMENT 484889 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 10:40 AM

Kinda sad to burn up something you paid a lot of money for and took care to decorate nicely. I bought a fake tree last year on sale for 30 bucks. Solves a lot of problems! And I get to keep on loving it!

 

 COMMENT 484890 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 10:50 AM

The CO2 from burning is the same as the CO2 it took in while growing. Most of the mass of a plant is carbon from the air.

The CO2 by transporting the trees is another matter. That's additional carbon added to the air from carbon sequestered by fossil fuels millions of years ago, when the earth was a seething greenhouse more suitable for reptiles and a few small rodents.

The claim that "Pollution generated is so miniscule" is a serious perceptual problem -- Remember 7 billion people make that claim, and it adds up.

Those that deny science do so at our children's and future generations' peril.

 

 COMMENT 484891P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 10:52 AM

Actually, the ash from burnt wood is an effective soil amendment. Also, not only the gas to run it, but all the carbon generated in the manufacture of the mulching machine needs to be considered.

When mulch decomposes, what happens? CO2 is released - in the long run, the result is pretty much the same as far as environmental impacts. (Unless you happen to worship at the altar of AGW, in which case you probably believe that burning a gallon of diesel to create a gallon of ethanol is somehow "saving" the environment.)

 

 COMMENT 484892 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 10:52 AM

With our water situation, drought, etc.

We should have passed on this event and been more enviro- conscious.

I also hear it is a fun event, but, couldn't help to think a wood chipper, co-co and snacks event could be just as much fun, less dangerous and keeping with the program of getting together, etc.

 

 COMMENT 484893 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 11:01 AM

How is it dangerous, it's held in a HUGE open dirt lot with nothing but green ag land close by, there's no fire hazard with this event and what on earth does the drought have to do with it? Smoke...Christmas trees burn up so fast and hot that the smoke is minimal. It's a great event...I think the op just posted the question to get the SB fogies rattled up.

 

 COMMENT 484894 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 11:01 AM

Great, love it. Also educational. Fire burns out very quickly, it's not massive by any means. No water is used, the fire is in an open area with no brush anywhere nearby. Actually provides a better soil amendment than mulch. There are far more important things to worry about than the Solvang tree burn. Thank you County Fire!

 

 COMMENT 484895 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 11:04 AM

Poor trees. It would be best for all just to leave them growing in the first place and just create alternate natural decorations-perhaps from tree trimmings like juniper branches which make great wreaths, etc. Of course it's better than those boatloads of holiday junk from China.

 

 COMMENT 484898P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 11:14 AM

If the trees were grown specifically to be cut down and used for Christmas decorations, what possible benefit will be accrued by NOT using them as intended? (Except to drive tree farmers off their land - which seems to be the real purpose of most "environmental" laws.)

 

 COMMENT 484902P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 11:30 AM

898P - wow! Most environmental laws are to stop us from fouling our nest so much that it becomes a toxic environment, like China, where the skies are more like on a dead planet. The dumbing down of the US is proceeding at warp speed.

 

 COMMENT 484905 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 11:34 AM

890 - No one is denying science. We're merely questioning sloppy, hurried science, whose conclusions have created a brand new trillion dollar industry almost overnight.

 

 COMMENT 484907P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 11:38 AM

Environmental laws, to the extent that they're enforced against the REAL "fowlers of our nest" (multinational corporations) are joke - thanks for personally embodying the dumbing down of the population though.

 

 COMMENT 484914P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 12:27 PM

Firefighters are employed arsonists.

 

 COMMENT 484916P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 12:37 PM

We are doing plenty of fowling (hunt, trap, or shoot wildfowl) and plenty of fouling (to make dirty or foul; pollute).

Yes, corporations are those that foul the worst, that is why there are environmental laws. If there were no environmental laws, we would be living in a fouled country similar to China and India.

Against, stiff opposition, environmentalist are trying to fight against pollution, fouling and general degradation. Why would that be mocked. There is a bit of logic disconnect there.

I applaud and am hugely grateful for the successes that environmental laws have had. Keep it up.

 

 COMMENT 484918 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 12:39 PM

I bet if all the cities in the County started having big tree burns, the Air Quality folks would start to get involved. As long as they keep it to one burn in a rural area, it is probably okay.

I had never heard of it before in 15 yrs in SB, but this year it got a lot of publicity.

People hate it when you start to mess with their 20-yr old traditions.

 

 COMMENT 484925 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 12:50 PM

Wish we did a burn like this in the Goodland. Fantastic tradition.

 

 COMMENT 484932 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 01:27 PM

I have a fake tree - it's fully decorated and I just toss it in the living room during the season of excess and then I put it back in storage. That's what I do - single, never home and always working person. I don't hate on people's traditions - I would go to the event if I lived in Solvang. I hope everyone had a good time this year - keep on keeping on - life is short folks.....

 

 COMMENT 484958 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 02:38 PM

What's not to hate about air pollution and starting fires during a drought?

They should be turning the trees to mulch like any self-respecting community, especially one that claims to be "agricultural".

 

 COMMENT 484964 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 03:09 PM

What is the problem with burning trees during a drought folks? It doesn't somehow use up extra water to burn a bunch of trees.

The firefighters standing there wouldn't light it up if it was likely to start the whole place on fire. Believe it or not they make sure conditions are okay to proceed.

Run them through a woodchipper as a community event? Did someone really say that? Yeah, that's exciting, safe, and quiet.

 

 COMMENT 484965 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 03:12 PM

I think its a fun and festive community event!

 

 COMMENT 484969P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 03:20 PM

If environmental laws are for big corporations, please explain why British Petroleum was allowed to spray more than 2 million gallons of highly toxic Corexit on the Gulf oil spill - the so called dispersant did NOT clean up the oil, it just made it sink so BP would not have to pay the proper amount of fines, which are based on the actual amount of oil spilled.

Like I said, environmental laws generally only hurt little mom and pop operations like Christmas tree farms. Just look at the fracking controversy - there is absolutely no doubt that fracking contaminates ground water, yet absolutely nothing meaningful is being done to protect the public from big oil.

 

 COMMENT 484970 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 03:22 PM

How about some family time with each other? Much better than a lousy bon fire. Show your children responsibility by acting community minded and not acting selfish. And don't cry when you can't have your stupid fire. Remember, don't litter and do not allow your children to do so.

 

 COMMENT 484981 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 03:45 PM

I bet the same people who think this is a great tradition and are so quick to dismiss the negative effects on air quality are the very same people who complain about unions, wages for public workers and firefighters' retirement benefits.

How many firefighters were out there? The KEYT story says the tradition was "started by volunteer firefighters", but it doesn't sound like the firefighters doing it now are volunteering their time. Does anyone know? It also said they had to stay out there all night to watch the embers, which along with the potential overtime really undermines the whole "there's absolutely no fire danger" angle.

 

 COMMENT 485009P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 05:37 PM

Lompoc used to have an annual mass Christmas tree burn. Can anyone guess what ended it? It wasn't concern for the environment... the truth is that one year some wiseacre went and lit the pile on fire a day or 2 early - I've never seen a bunch of so called professionals get their panties so wadded up just because they didn't get to be the stars of the show!

Anyhow, the ONLY reason Lompoc dropped its "traditional" C tree burn is ruffled feathers. (Of course "safety" is the official reason, just like safety is the reason that Lompoc residents weren't allowed to have fireworks for years - only "trained" arsonists employed by the LFD were smart enough to be trusted to light things on fire or blow them up without causing serious harm;-)

 

 COMMENT 485012P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 05:40 PM

The County Fire Department should have a volunteer team. That would make their budget go further and be great community involvement, more so than their CERT program.

 

 COMMENT 485026 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 07:28 PM

When I was a kid in Goleta there was an x-mas burn every year in the lemon orchard next to Fairview school.Some of you folks live there and so goes tradition.Psuedo enviros from big cities know nothing about nature and it shows in this thread.

 

 COMMENT 485035 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 07:48 PM

981 - so if the firefighters weren't out there at the tree burn, but were at the firehouse where they normally would be, they wouldn't get paid?

They'd be unhappy to hear that and would probably quit.

 

 COMMENT 485052P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 09:11 PM

I say it's really bad for the air quality & our environment.

I have never understood why the City of Solvang does this year after year other than "it's tradition!" Hog wash!

Why not collect all the trees & mulch them like the majority of communities around the U.S?

As I say, STOP THE BURN.

 

 COMMENT 485056P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-13 11:32 PM

Anyone wonder if burns such as this one serve to "inflame" the passions of local arsonists? Hmm. Yeah. I think holding this burn during the drought is not such a keen idea.

 

 DOWNDOG agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-14 05:58 AM

Posts like this hurt my brain.

 

 COMMENT 485063 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-14 06:56 AM

I thought all Christmas trees end up in the ocean causing the "The Great Pacific Christmas Tree Patch" the size of North America which is why I am doing my part and drive a Prius!

 

 COMMENT 485094 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-14 08:36 AM

It's hard to find current information on this, but best consensus I found was that something like 150 acres of rainforest are being burned PER MINUTE!

The Solvang Tree Burn of a couple hundred trees once a year is not even a blip on the radar in terms of air quality or CO2 emissions. If you're all so concerned about air quality, do something to help stop deforestation instead of grousing about a little bonfire.

 

 COMMENT 485108 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-14 08:56 AM

One of my best memories is the xmas tree burn at Ledbetter. I'm glad no one was chipping them then. It wouldn't have been the same !

 

 COMMENT 485240 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-14 01:15 PM

The general argument here is that there are much bigger problems to worry about, so why stop the burn?

That is the same attitude that has a lot of us driving large cars, trucks, and SUVs with terrible gas mileage. Each person contributes a little to the global warming problem, but in aggregate that's a lot of wasted gas and CO2 added to the atmosphere. 1,000,000 cars times times 10,000 miles per year divided by saving 10 mpg is 1,000,000,000 gallons of gas. Does anyone here think that saving that amount gas should be ignored?

If we all lived a little more responsibly, we could start getting a handle on some of these problems.

 

 AUNTIE S. agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-14 07:40 PM

There seem to be so many anti-fun folks on Edhat these days. C'mon folks lighten up and stop being such serious greenies. I'm an environmentalist too but take your serious hats off from time to time and just have fun.

 

 COMMENT 486724 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-18 10:20 AM

I think I should apply for a ten million dollar grant to study the effects of a Christmas tree bonfires (oops sorry, "Holiday tree" bonfires) on global warming. I promise to tythe twenty percent of the grant money to the liberal/green/sustainable politicians who will sponsor my appropriation. Maybe I could even start a corporation called Inconvenient Snow Jobs, Inc. and sell communities like Solvang "carbon credits" for their Holiday tree burnings.

 

32% of comments on this page were made by Edhat Community Members.

 

 

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