Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Trees

Hopefully by now your Christmas tree is up and decorated. If you have a ‘real’ Christmas tree you are one of 33 million that will have bought one this year in the USA at a retail value of $1.4 billion (average price of $42/tree). There are 21,000 mostly small growers of Christmas trees in the country on about 500,000 acres, with OR, NC, MI, PA, WI and WA leading the way. Twenty-two percent of the trees are cut-your-own with the remaining 78% being pre-cut. All 50 states produce the renewable, recyclable resource.

The first place to sell Christmas trees was in 1851 in New York City. One of the most famous merchants of the trees was a fishing schooner called the “Christmas Ship” which would sail each year from MI to Chicago to sell trees at the Clark Street Bridge from 1887 to 1933. Thomas Edison was the first person to put on Christmas lights in 1882, but it took about a decade for them to become prevalent.

The White House Christmas Tree started in 1856, but it was President Coolidge in 1923 who started the Lighting Ceremony. Theodore Roosevelt was the only president who didn’t have a Christmas tree, viewing them as environmentally unsound. In 1963, the National Christmas Tree wasn’t lighted until December 22nd because of the 30-day period of mourning for assassinated President Kennedy. The 1979 tree was not lighted except for the top ornament, in honor of the American hostages in Iran.

In 2007, over 70 million new Christmas trees will be planted, with about 1 in 3 making it into a home in about 7 years. Every acre of Christmas trees provides enough oxygen for the daily requirements of 18 people. And, with 93% of Christmas trees ending up being recycled, it is one of the most environmentally friendly products consumed in the USA today.

While, you might not have wanted to know that much information about Christmas trees, I do hope that you have a wonderful Holiday, Christmas and New Years. I will be back blogging with you in early 2007. Have a good one!

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