The Traditional Christmas Tree
This is my site Written by Geoff on December 1, 1998 – 8:22 pm

In our home, the selection of the family Christmas Tree has been a cherished tradition going back many generations. It is not unusual for the selection process to take in most of the day and require traveling hundreds of miles. There are just some things that cannot be rushed but must be savored. I think we have had just about every type of tree imaginable, short needled, long needled, and everything between. The one common denominator they all had was they had to be big and full. One year when we were living in an upstairs apartment the tree we bought would not fit up the stairs and we had to pull it up with a rope through the front window. 

Actually the Christmas Tree dates back to Roman times. Martin Luther, in the 10th century, is credited with being the first to decorate a tree indoors. The custom of the Christmas Tree was introduced into the United States during the War of Independence by Hessian troops. Franklin Pierce introduced the traditional Christmas Tree into the White House in 1856 and the first National Tree was lighted in 1923. 

Some interesting Christmas Tree Facts are: 

  • Christmas Trees are grown in all 50 states.
  • Trees are often cut weeks before they hit the retail market.
  • Over one million acres are planted in Christmas Trees.
  • Two thousand trees are planted per acre with only an average of 750 surviving to market.
  • One of Thomas Edison’s assistants came up with the idea of Christmas lights.
  • Teddy Roosevelt banned trees from the White House as wasteful.
  • 34-36 million trees are produced annually.
  • California, Oregon, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina produce most of the trees.

The best-selling trees are the Scotch Pine, Douglas Fir, Noble Fir, Fraser Fir, Balsam Fir, Virginia Fir, and White Pine. Most of these can be found on any retail or cut your own lot farm. A nation wide listing of many of these locations can be found at Christmas Tree USA. The University of Georgia provides a good description of most trees atBugwood USA. Some good tips on selecting your tree are put out by The Illinois Christmas Tree Association 

Whatever you do, try to make selecting a tree a family event, take time and enjoy the experience. Do not be afraid to experiment with different species of trees, after all Cherry and Hawthorne trees were once very popular indoor holiday trees. We have even seen Weeping Figs and Norfolk Island Pines used as Christmas Trees. Times such as these last forever as fun times and fond memories.

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Modified: March 8, 2009 at 8:56 am UTC

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