Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Christmas Tree Trivia

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to grow a Christmas tree? Or when the tradition of hauling an evergreen inside during the darkest days of winter started? As New Hampshire Christmas tree farms prepare for the upcoming holiday season, we share some Christmas tree trivia...
  • The first record of a decorated Christmas tree comes from 500 years ago! Local merchants in Latvia decorated a tree in 1510 with artificial roses and danced around it before setting fire to it. (Today, of course, Christmas tree decorations are much more varied, and we leave the tree up to admire it and celebrate the season for much longer!)
  • During the 1600s, Christmas trees were popular in Germany and were often decorated with apples.
  • Americans caught onto the tree craze in the 1800s, and by the 1850s, Christmas trees were being sold commercially in the United States. Initially, these trees were cut from forests, but in 1901, the first Christmas tree farm was started in New Jersey. Today, some 30 million farm fresh Christmas trees are sold each year in the United States.
  •  In 1853, President Franklin Pierce, who hailed from New Hampshire, brought the first White House Christmas tree to the Capital.
  • Today, Christmas trees are grown on farms in every state, translating to some 15,000 Christmas tree farms, 350,000 acres in production, 350 million trees currently growing, and more than 100,000 local jobs! (Artificial trees, conversely, are generally produced in China and other Asian countries, using harmful heavy metals and petroleum products.)
  • For every farm fresh Christmas tree harvested during the holiday season, tree growers plant 1 to 3 seedlings the following spring.
  • It takes those seedlings several years to make it to Christmas tree height – an average of seven years.
  • The most common types of Christmas trees grown by New Hampshire farmers are Balsam fir and Fraser fir.