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1. The use of evergreen trees to celebrate the winter season occurred before the birth of Christ.
2. The first decorated Christmas tree was in Riga, Latvia in 1510.
3. The first printed reference to Christmas trees appeared in Germany in 1531.
4. Approximately 100,000 people are employed full or part-time in the Christmas tree industry.
5. In the United States, there are more than 15,000 Christmas tree farms. There are approximately 350 million Christmas trees growing on U.S. farms.
6. The most popular Christmas trees are: Scotch pine, Douglas fir, noble fir, Fraser fir, balsam fir, Virginia pine and white pine.
7. Besides evergreens, other types of trees such as cherry and hawthorns were used as Christmas trees in the past.
8. In 2012, 35% of real Christmas trees sold were from chain stores or garden centers/nursery, 24% from cut and harvest farms, 15% from retail tree lots, and 15% from non-profit groups.
9. The first Christmas tree retail lot in the United States was started by Mark Carr in New York, in 1851.
10. Live Christmas trees have been sold commercially in the United States since about 1850.
11. Using small candles to light a Christmas tree dates back to the middle of the 17th century.
12. 10.9 million artificial trees were purchased in the United States in 2012.
13. Thomas Edison’s assistant, Edward Johnson, came up with the idea of electric lights for Christmas trees in 1882. Christmas tree lights were first mass-produced in 1890.
14. Today, most artificial Christmas trees are made from PVC plastic. PVC trees are fire-retardant but not fire-resistant. Eighty percent of artificial trees worldwide are manufactured in China.
15. Artificial Christmas trees were developed in Germany during the 19th century and later became popular in the United States. These “trees” were made using goose feathers that were dyed green and attached to wire branches. The wire branches were then wrapped around a central dowel rod that acted as the trunk.
16. The tradition of an official Chicago Christmas tree was initiated in 1913 when one was first lit by Mayor Carter H. Harrison in Grant Park.
17. Since 1971, the Province of Nova Scotia has presented the Boston Christmas tree to the people of Boston, in gratitude for the relief supplies received from the citizens of Boston after a ship exploded in 1917 following a collision in the Halifax, Nova Scotia Harbor. Part of the city was leveled, killing and injuring thousands.
18. Every year since 1947, the people of Oslo, Norway have given a Christmas tree to the city of Westminster, England. The gift is an expression of good will and gratitude for Britain’s help to Norway during World War II.
19. The official Christmas tree tradition at Rockefeller Center began in 1933. Since 2004 the tree has been topped with a 550-pound Swarovski Crystal star. And since 2007, the tree has been lit with 30,000 energy-efficient LED’s which are powered by solar panels.
20. 24.5 million farm-grown Christmas trees were purchased in the United States in 2012, with a real market value of $1.01 billion.
21. 93% of real Christmas tree consumers recycle their tree in community recycling programs, their garden or backyard.
22. In the United States, there are more than 4.000 Christmas tree recycling programs.
23. There are approximately 25-30 million Real Christmas Trees sold in the U.S. every year.
24. Real Trees are a renewable, recyclable resource. Artificial trees contain non-biodegradable plastics and possible metal toxins such as lead.
25. It can take as many as 15 years to grow a tree of typical height (6 – 7 feet) or as little as 4 years, but the average growing time is 7 years.
26. The top Christmas Tree producing states are Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Washington.
27. Since 1947, the tree in London’s Trafalgar Square has been a gift each year from the city of Oslo, Norway.
28. A ‘Tree of Paradise’ was also used in old mystery plays to symbolise the Garden of Eden. Apples hung on it may be the origin of tree decorations.
29. Even before the time of Christ, evergreen trees were seen in winter as a symbol of fertility.
30. Scotch pine and Virginia pine are the two most common species grown for Christmas trees in Oklahoma.
31. Real Christmas trees came eighth in a survey of the nation’s favourite smells in 2004, just behind the sea but ahead of perfume.
32. England’s first Christmas tree was brought to Windsor by Charlotte, wife of George III, in 1800…but it was the trees brought in the 1840s by Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria, that led to their popularity throughout the UK.
33. The first use of the term ‘Christmas tree’ in English was in 1835.
34. The average Christmas tree contains about 30,000 bugs and insects.
35. Manufactured Christmas tree ornaments were first sold by Woolworths in 1880.
36. The United States’ National Christmas Tree has been lit each year since 1923 on the South Lawn of the White House.
37. An angel or star might be placed at the top of the tree to represent the archangel Gabriel or the Star of Bethlehem from the Nativity.
38. The tree was traditionally decorated with edibles such as apples, nuts, or other foods. In the 18th century, it began to be illuminated by candles which were ultimately replaced by Christmas lights after the advent of electrification.
39. Today, there are a wide variety of traditional ornaments, such as garland, tinsel, and candy canes.
40. During most of the 1970s and 1980s, the largest decorated Christmas tree in the world was put up every year on the property of the National Enquirer in Lantana, Florida. This tradition grew into one of the most spectacular and celebrated events in the history of southern Florida, but was discontinued on the death of the paper’s founder in the late 1980s.