By Kim Glovas

By Kim Glovas

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A 4-year- research project indicates getting a fresh tree for Christmas may be better for the environment.

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Assistant Villanova biology professor Samantha Chapman says keeping carbon in the ground on Christmas tree farms is a step in the right direction to offset man-made emissions.

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“Christmas tree farmers, in particular, can do this because they don’t plow their fields. All the stuff that’s in the trees that are made mostly of carbon, that goes into the soil stays there, and doesn’t go back out into the atmosphere, and that sort of helps us prevent, or offset, some of our emissions that lead to climate change and global warming,” says Chapman.

She says cover crops which grow in between Christmas trees also prevent the carbon-rich soil from rolling down the hill.

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Most Christmas tree farms are located on hillsides. Chapman says this can actually increase the amount of carbon on these farms.