Because we should all end our weeks a little smarter than we were before, every Friday we pick a topic and tell you five facts you may not have known! Use these to impress your friends over the weekend.
Christmas trees are arguably one of the best Christmas decorations around. They’re literally a decoration you can put other decorations on! The familiar fur might have graced your home for longer than you remember, but did you ever take the time to really get to know it? Here are some pine-scented facts about the holiday staple.
The Christmas Tree Tradition is Old AF
While it’s common knowledge that the Christmas tree has its roots in the Pagan winter solstice celebration, the modern Christmas tree is still pretty old. Das tannenbaum was developed in Germany in the 1500s, when Christians would bring trees into their houses to celebrate the Holiday. The tradition spread to the rest of the world in the 19th century, first among the upper classes and then to all of us. OG Christmas trees were decorated with foodstuffs, like apples, popcorn, and even gingerbread men, so when Victorians said their trees looked good enough to eat, they meant it.
Christmas Trees Used to Come from Forests
Christmas trees once roamed free in the wild, and if you wanted your home to have a Christmas tree, you’d have to cut it down yourself. They were first commercialized around 1850, but most Christmas trees were wild up until the 1930s. Today, almost all Christmas trees are from farms and are considered a specialty crop. So the next time you grumble about having to assemble a plastic tree, remember that your great-great-grandpappy had to trek out to the woods and cut one down with his bare hands!
Christmas Trees are Grown in All 50 States
There are currently about 350 million Christmas trees growing in the U.S. and you can find a Christmas tree farm in all 50 of these United States, including Hawaii and Florida. That said, Oregon is the number one producer of Christmas trees in all of the U.S., with California, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin also among the top Christmas tree-producing states. No word on how many artificial trees the U.S. grows, though!
Christmas Trees Help Us Breathe
Christmas trees, like all plants, remove carbon dioxide from the air and produce oxygen. One acre of Christmas trees will create enough oxygen for 18 people. There are about one million acres of Christmas trees growing in the United States, so you can breathe easy knowing that Christmas trees are literally giving you life.
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Has an Intense Selection Process
The giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City, arguably one of the most famous trees in the world, is scouted year-round. David P. Murbach, manager of the gardening division at Rockefeller Center, was responsible for finding the perfect tree for 30 years before his death in 2010. He would check out the North East in a helicopter, and took the whole process seriously.”You want personality… some trees have a way of holding their branches. I don’t know what else to call it but character,” Murbach said of the process. But the even harder task is finding a tree with personality that’s not also a total diva.
What’s your favorite part of the holidays? Let us know on Twitter!