Christmas is coming! And our Christmas trees are happily growing, under a blanket of snow! They have become the traditional focal point of our Christmas, and are an important part of American agriculture.
Christmas trees are grown in every state, planted on over 350,000 acres on 15,000 farms. More than 77 million baby trees are planted each year, at 2,000 trees per acre. Typically, three seedlings are planted for every tree harvested. They normally take 6 to 8 years to grow to “Christmas tree” size.
The Christmas tree industry employs more than 100,000 people. They transcend religion and culture. They are a sensory experience that begins with the hunt for the perfect tree. About 25 to 36 million real Christmas trees are sold each year in the U.S., through more than 13 million tree lots.
Once that perfect tree comes home, the smell of fresh-cut fir or pine fills the house. Ornaments are unpacked, heirlooms and mementos collected over the generations. The lights are plugged in on the fully adorned tree, filling the home with a scent and sight to behold!
Many Americans have lost interest in real Christmas trees. Artificial trees of various types fill many homes. Real Christmas trees outsell artificial trees two to one, and with good reason – they’re sustainable, recyclable and biodegradable! But really, people don’t think of this as their reason – they’re thinking of the ritual, the smell, the tradition which they delight in re-living each year.
-Capital Press, Dec. 25, 2015