Garden Musings

Fun Facts about Christmas Trees

I think all Christmas trees are beautiful regardless if they are:

  • chosen during a family outing to the tree farm or selected on the way home from work at a tree lot;
  • so tall they tickle vaulted ceilings or so small, they sit demurely on tabletops;
  • stylishly decorated according to latest color trends or decked out with years of children’s handmade treasures; or
  • filled to the gills (or branch tips) with ornaments so the trees themselves are hidden or adorned minimally so the branching of trees is revealed.

The Christmas tree has played a significant role in holiday traditions for centuries. Here are some fun facts about our beloved Christmas tree.

The first decorated Christmas tree was in Riga, Latvia in 1510.

Lighting Christmas trees using small candles began in the 1600’s.

Most Americans cut their trees from forests in the 19th century. Today, 98% are grown on Christmas tree farms.

Live Christmas trees have been sold commercially in the U.S. since the 1850’s. The first Christmas tree lot was in New York in 1851.

In 1856, Franklin Pierce was the first President to have a Christmas tree in the White House.

In the past, Christmas trees were decorated with apples, nuts and other food. The first manufactured ornaments were sold by Woolworths in 1880.

Electric lights were first mass produced in 1890. They were the brainchild of Edward Johnson, an assistant to Thomas Edison, who introduced the first tree with electric lights in 1882.

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Today, there are nearly 15,000 Christmas tree farms in the U.S. There are as many as 350 million trees currently growing on those farms.

Although, there are Christmas trees grown in all fifty states, the top-producing states include Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Washington, New York and Virginia.

The most commonly grown varieties of trees are balsam, Douglas fir, Fraser fir, blue spruce, Scotch pine and white pine.

It can take from 7 to 10 years before a Christmas tree is ready to harvest.

Between 25 and 30 million live Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. every year. For every Christmas tree harvested, two or three seedlings are planted the following spring.

Have you all decorated your Christmas trees yet? Share some photos – it is fun to see all the different ways people decorate. Celebrate with me!

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