14 Christmas Tree facts you might not know
Many of us have Christmas trees in our homes over the festive period, but where does the tradition come from? Well, the Christmas tree’s interesting history most likely dates back at least two millennia. Here are 14 interesting and fun facts about Christmas trees.
1. The Nordmann Fir is considered the leader among Christmas trees.
It’s preferred above other evergreens due to its great needle retention, the softness of the needles and how it’s perfect for people with allergies.
The tree’s lack of the usual Christmas tree aroma makes it ideal for those who aren’t able to tolerate the fragrance
Other popular Christmas trees are: Scotch pine, Douglas fir, noble fir, Fraser fir, balsam fir, Virginia pine and white pine.
2. Ninety-eight percent of all Christmas trees are grown on farms.
According to the National Christmas Tree Association, about 350 million Christmas trees are currently growing on Christmas tree farms in the U.S. alone. And the BCTGA (British Christmas Trees Growing Association) estimates to sell between 6 to 8 million trees every year.
3. Christmas trees can host thousands of bugs.
The average Christmas tree contains about 30,000 bugs and insects. Wow!
Christmas trees are a home to a lot of insects and microorganisms, so when you bring one home, make sure you shake it thoroughly before bringing it inside.
4. Decorating Christmas trees with lights began with Martin Luther.
Sixteenth-century Protestant reformer Martin Luther is credited with being the first to add lighted candles to a tree.
While walking home one winter night, he was intrigued by the brilliance of stars twinkling between the evergreen trees, according to History.com. He recaptured the sight at home for his family by erecting a tree in the main room and wiring the branches with lit candles.
5. Artificial Christmas trees originated in Germany.
During the 19th century, artificial trees were developed in Germany.
They were constructed using green-dyed goose feathers that were attached to wire branches. Those branches were then wrapped around a central dowel rod that served as the tree’s trunk.
6. Christmas trees were once hung upside down.
The tradition of hanging a Christmas tree upside down from the ceiling is an old one that originated in Central and Eastern Europe, according to TheSpruce.com.
7. Many people recycle their real Christmas trees.
93% of real Christmas tree consumers recycle their tree in community recycling programs or their own garden.
There are thousands of Christmas tree recycling programs globally with the trees being turned into mulch or compost, used to make sand and soil erosion barriers and placed in ponds to provide refuge and shelter for fish.
Dead Christmas trees can also be shredded and placed on hiking paths to keep the trail marked and the ground stable.
8. A Christmas tree can take up to 15 years to reach typical height.
The typical height of a Christmas tree is about 6 or 7 feet.
It can take as little as four years to reach this height, but the average growing time is seven years.
Christmas trees take nearly a decade to grow.
9. England’s First Christmas Tree.
Englands 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.
10. The Trafalgar Square tree comes from Oslo.
Every year, since 1947, the people of Norway have given the people of London a Christmas tree. This gift is in gratitude for Britain’s support for Norway during World War II.
11. Christmas tree decorations.
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.
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.
13. Good old Woolworths.
Manufactured Christmas tree ornaments were first sold by Woolworths in 1880.
14. BEWARE: Christmas Tree Fires.
Christmas trees cause hundreds of fires every year.
Between 2013 and 2017, Christmas trees caused an average of 160 household fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Here are some Christmas safety tips from the London Fire Brigade to keep you safe this Christmas.