SAN DIEGO, Dec. 5, 2017 – For many, the day after Thanksgiving is spent looking for the perfect Christmas Tree. According to The National Tree Association, it is estimated that Americans purchase 25 to 30 million trees each year.
Christmas Tree Facts
Americans have been enjoying decorating their homes with fragrant pine trees at Christmastime for decades. Households across the country will collectively spend approximately $984 million on Christmas trees, according to Nielsen Research reports published in Visually.
Christmas trees slowly became popular in Europe during the Middle Ages, when German and Scandinavian peoples placed evergreen trees outside or inside their homes each winter in celebration of the season and the promise of a fruitful spring.
In the 1800s, German settlers brought their traditions with them to the United States.
During the Great Depression in the 1930s, it was the nursery industry that continued the popularization of Christmas trees in America. Unable to make a living from their supply of live evergreens because most Americans could not afford landscaping, creative nurserymen cut down their supply of live pine trees and began selling them for the holidays.
Not only was this creative business model, it was also important to the growing popularity of Christmas trees in America.
“O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging;
Not only green when summer’s here,
But also when ’tis cold and drear.”
(Excerpt from the “O Christmas Tree” song lyrics, written by German lyricist Ernst Anschütz)
Finding the perfect Christmas Tree
Selecting the ideal tree for any home setting requires some thought and planning.
Following are suggestions to consider prior to purchasing a live tree:
- Measure the space where the Christmas tree will stand – both height and width
- Consider what type of decorations you use, including their weight. Heavier or larger decorations will require different tree choices.
- Determine the type of tree you prefer; The Canaan fir, a cousin to the Frasier Fur, is a newer species on the lots
- Remember to check the Christmas tree for any insects, dryness or signs of deterioration
- If cutting a live tree, look for bird and squirrel nexts before cutting
- Always have the Christmas tree stem cut perpendicular at its base to ensure adequate water absorption
- Have twine or bungee cords ready to strap the tree to the car
- Take a rug, flattened cardboard box or tarp to lay on the ground when you are cutting your live tree
- Remember that good tree hydration is necessary to prevent household fires
- When a new Christmas tree arrives, make certain that the water stand is ideal for its size and that it is large enough to hold appropriate levels of enough water for the size of your tree
- Experts at Penn State say all that is necessary for the tree is plain water; do not use additives
- Remove an inch from the bottom of the tree base but do not remove bark as the bark is what absorbs the water
Family and Pet Health
Furry family members, such as cats and dogs, also require consideration. Many animals are attracted to the scent of pine and might enjoy chewing and/or climbing up the branches. Bright tree lights and dangling Christmas ornaments are also tempting to family pets.
If you have four-legged family members, do not use tinsel on your tree. The can swallow the long strands and it can be caught in their digestive system.
It is important to consider the health needs of human family members who might be prone to allergic reactions or asthma attacks. Microscopic tree mold can create havoc for those prone to allergies, potentially causing watery eyes, runny noses, sneezing and shortness of breath. Similar reactions might also occur in homes with artificial trees if allergy sufferers respond to their chemical toxicity.
Fortunately for millions of Americans, the family Christmas tree is a chance to remember relatives and friends no longer with us. Grandmother’s crocheted ornaments, or baby’s first ornaments, add to the beauty, warmth and joy of the holiday celebration.
Once Christmas celebrations end, consider contacting a community recycling center that will take the tree. Recycling centers are able to convert a dry tree into useful mulch, erosion barriers, pathways for walking trails and much more.
Mostly, enjoy sharing the Christmas holiday with family and friends who are held most dear, and celebrate the end of a year well-lived, the blessings of the holiday season and the promise of great new beginnings in the coming new year.
“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree is the presence of a happy family all wrapped in each other.”
-Burton Hills Quotes
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!