HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS TREE
Christmas tree is an evergreen coniferous tree that is normally decorated and kept at the house of people during Christmas Eve. Way back in 15th century Christmas trees were sold in Alsace that is a part of France. The Christmas tree custom was introduced in the United States during the war of independence by Hessian troops. Christmas trees have been sold in the United States since 18h century.
The custom of decorating the Christmas trees was introduced in Virginia during 18th century. Mark Carr is credited with opening the first retail Christmas tree lot in New York. Nearly two thousand trees can be planted per acre and around one lakh people are employed in the Christmas tree industry. One acre of Christmas trees has the ability to fulfill the oxygen requirement of eighteen people. Christmas trees take almost seven to ten years to mature.
TYPES OF CHRISTMAS TREES
The best selling Christmas trees are Douglas fir, Balsam fir, Fraser fir, Noble fir, Scots pine, Virginia pine, White pine and.
Deodara cedar .These are short trees with bluish green needles.
Eastern red cedar - These are short trees with shiny green color leaves. These trees usually last for about two to three weeks.
Leland cypress - These trees have feathery appearance and upright branches. This is good for people who are allergic towards other types of Christmas trees.
Balsam fir - These are short trees with dark green and long needles.
Douglas fir - These trees with good fragrance have bluish green needles
Fraser fir - These trees have flat dark green needles and pyramid shape branches.
Grand fir - These trees have shiny dark green needles and are one to one and half inches long
Noble fir - These trees have stiff branches and bluish green needles. These trees are usually one inch long and have silvery appearance.
Nordmann fir - These trees have flat dark green needles and are popular in United Kingdom.
White fir - These trees have blue green needles and possess good fragrance. These trees have good needle retention and hence can live up to 350 years in nature.
Virginia pine - These trees have dark green leaves and are one and half inches to
three inches long. These trees have strong branches and hence can be decorated with heavy objects or ornaments.
White pine - These trees have soft bluish green needles and are two to five inches long. These trees have good needle retention throughout the holiday season. These trees have little fragrance and are less allergic when compared to other trees.
The other types of Christmas trees are silver fir, Norway spruce, Serbian spruce, red fir, stone pine, blue spruce, eastern juniper, Leyland cypress, Norfolk island pine, afghan pine, Austrian pine, red pine, ponderosa pine, black hills spruce, Carolina sapphire, Norway spruce and white spruce.
Factors to be consider before buying a chirstmas tree
1) Choose a fresh tree with healthy green look, good fragrance and flexible needles.
2) Avoid Trees with broken branch and damaged bark
3) Choose the tree based on where it will be placed. If the tree is placed in front of a window then all the four sides of the tree should look good. A tree with two good sides is okay for corner.
4) Make sure that there is enough space between the end portion and the lowest branch as cutting an extra inch off the base portion aids in good water absorption.
5) Choose a tree with straight base so that it will easily fit into the stand
6) Purchase a Christmas tree directly from a farm, as the trees purchased from retail lots will not be as fresh as the trees purchased from the farm.
7) Use a stand having big water reservoir so that the reservoir can be refilled at regular intervals. Make sure to refill water at regular intervals, as a fresh cut tree will absorb lot of water.
8) Make sure that the tree is kept at a location that is away from heat sources and flame.
9) Measure the height and width of the tree before it is bought
TIPS TO KEEP CHRISTMAS TREE FRESH THROUGHOUT THE SEASON
1) Set the tree immediately in water once the base portion is cut. The water level should always be kept above the base of the tree. If the base dries out then the tree will also dry out very soon.
2) It is possible to prolong the life of the Christmas tree by placing the base portion in water mixed with light corn syrup and liquid bleach
3) Use miniature lights as they produce less heat and check the lights for worn electrical cords. Christmas trees are usually baled to protect the branches during transportation.
ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREES
Artificial Christmas trees have also gained popularity as they are convenient to use and less expensive than natural trees.
Artificial trees can be easily disassembled and stored in a compact form. Artificial trees are best alternative to people who are allergic to natural Christmas trees. Artificial trees are usually made of goose feathers, poly vinyl chloride sheets, animal hair, plastic bristles and enameled steel wires
Many people are very particular about real Christmas tree though artificial trees are popular in the market. Real trees are better than the artificial trees for the environment. Artificial trees are normally made of Poly vinyl chloride, which is a toxic material. However real trees prevent soil erosion removes dust from the atmosphere and increases the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere. The recycled trees are used to make soil erosion barriers and fish shelters.
Ribbons, electric lights, garlands, ornaments, small color balls and stars can be used to decorate Christmas trees. Decorate the tree with lights and then with garlands or other ornaments. The Christmas tree can be placed in the backyard so that it can serve as a good bird feeder. This is considered as the best alternative to discarding the tree. Few Christians believe that the book of Jeremiah prohibits the usage of Christmas trees.