10 Facts About Christmas Trees

Whether you have a preferred type of Christmas tree or not, there are many choices available for a fragrant and beautifully decorated holiday tree. No other tree holds as much significance for people in America. We admire its virtues in poems, stories and songs. A Christmas tree provides the focal point of the holiday season for many Americans. Here are some interesting facts about these very special trees.

History of the Christmas Tree Tradition

The tradition of Christmas trees in America originated with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania. It is commonly believed that the Christmas tree tradition actually began in Germany centuries ago, practiced from the Early Middle Ages until the 1800s. It is also since the 19th century that Christmas trees have been available for sale in the United States.

Which Is Better: Real or Artificial?

Although manufactured or artificial Christmas trees are now familiar to everyone, many people still prefer displaying a real Christmas tree inside or outside their homes. Not unlike other trees, Christmas trees come in different shapes and sizes, with qualities that make some varieties more popular than others. Along with other decorative items, such as wreaths and garlands, a Christmas tree – whether real or artificial – creates an unmistakably festive atmosphere for the season.

Christmas Ornaments

Beginning back in the 1800s, the former Woolworth’s department store began selling ready-made glass ornaments to adorn Christmas trees. Americans soon began to adopt the tradition of decorating Christmas trees with ornaments and other cheerful trimmings.

Selecting a Christmas Tree

Choosing the right Christmas tree is essential because these ornamental trees are often the centerpiece for family activities and holiday traditions. Given the many types of Christmas trees available, it is necessary to consider how the tree will be displayed. While a tall tree may look distinctly elegant, it is not appropriate if there aren’t people around who can reach the tree’s heights. On the other hand, a small tree may be dwarfed by other furniture in the room. It’s particularly important, therefore, to choose carefully and get a tree that has a proper height. It is also wise to select one that has strong branches to withstand the weight of heavy ornaments.

Where to Buy a Christmas Tree

Oftentimes, both real and artificial Christmas trees can be bought from the same retail stores, as local businesses and retail chain stores frequently carry both types of trees. Perhaps the best place to buy a fresh Christmas tree, however (and see a vast assortment of trees) is a Christmas tree farm. You can also buy both kinds of Christmas trees online. Both types of trees can also be obtained via retail transactions by telephone or through mail-order catalogs.

Christmas Tree Favorites

There are certain types of trees that are always favorites and traditional bestsellers. These trees include Douglas, Noble and Balsam firs, as well as Scotch and White pines. Trees like these evergreens have the most desired features related to appearance, color, freshness and fragrance, which make them favorite Christmas trees.

Christmas Tree Shapes and Sizes

Typically, the most sought-after Christmas trees have a pyramid or cone shape. A pyramid-shaped tree tends to be taller and gives a rather elegant look. The Douglas Fir, which ranks first as a Christmas tree favorite, is an example of a pyramid-shaped tree. Other examples are Balsam, Fraser and Noble firs. A cone-shaped tree tends to be shorter with thick branches, which makes them ideal for holding an abundance of ornaments and other decorations. Families with a strong tradition of making their own ornaments or placing mementos on Christmas trees may consider a cone-shaped tree. Virginia and Scotch pines, Norway spruce and Eastern White pines all have cone shapes.

Christmas Tree Colors

Another factor that makes Christmas trees so appealing is their dark-green color. While all trees have this trait in common, a closer look at their needles will reveal differences such as a bright green color or blue-green or yellowish-green hue. The needles may also produce a silvery sheen with the right lighting. Both Fraser and Noble firs have needles with a silvery sheen and their branches are also used for garlands and wreaths.

Christmas Tree Fragrance

Many people desire a fresh Christmas tree for its fragrance, which can be either quite strong or merely subtle, emanating just enough of a scent. The Douglas Fir tree is highly aromatic and it is generally the most popular Christmas tree for residential homes and public spaces. The Balsam fir is also quite fragrant. The Eastern White pine, however, doesn’t produce much of a scent.

Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Christmas trees are, in fact, a renewable resource. Tree farmers will plant a new tree whenever one gets cut down for a purchase. After the holidays, you can recycle your Christmas tree into gardening mulch.

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