Each year over 35 million American families will bring a natural Christmas tree into their homes to help create a warm, friendly setting for their Christmas celebration. The tradition endures year after year and legends tell of the decorated tree used in winter celebrations long before there was a Christmas. Egyptians brought green palm branches into their homes in late December as a symbol of growing things. In the Middle Ages, the feast of Adam and Eve was held on December 24th; a fir tree hung with red apples called the Paradise tree was its symbol. It is generally agreed, however, that the use of an evergreen tree as part of the Christian Christmas started 400 years ago in Germany and spread to most of the northern Europe by the 19th Century.
Usually Christmas trees begin life in a nursery where superior seed is planted and grown to two-year-old seedlings. The seedlings are taken from the nursery beds and replanted in Christmas tree plantations. While growing, Christmas trees provide many environmental benefits. They replenish the earth’s oxygen supply, serve as wildlife habitat, increase soil stability and provide a valuable and aesthetically pleasing improvement to the land. Each year the young trees are shaped or pruned. The average growing time is 8-10 years for a tree to grow into a well-shaped 6-8 foot tree depending on several factors including soil and weather conditions.
Forever Green Tree Farm has helped to renew the tradition of the entire family selecting and cutting the Christmas tree. The whole family can have great fun in the process of choosing a tree. The preferred species of tree is often handed down, generation to generation. A few simple procedures can make the selection and care of a fresh, natural Christmas tree more fun and the best value for your money.
Care For Your Real Christmas Tree
When you bring the tree home, cut one quarter inch off the base of the trunk. Keep the tree outdoors, standing in a container of water, protected from the wind and sun until you’re ready to decorate. This will help the tree retain its moisture.
Place your tree in a stand and fill it with fresh water. If you allow the water level to drop below the fresh cut, a new seal will form over the stem.
Display your tree in a cool place but out of a draft. Fireplaces, radiators, television sets and other heat sources can prematurely dry your tree.
Remember: trees are very thirsty. They may drink between 2 pints to a gallon of water a day. Use a water-bearing stand with a capacity of a gallon or more. Check the stand daily and supply fresh water as needed.
Be sure that the light cords and connections you use on your tree or in other holiday decorating are in good working order before hanging them. Never use lighted candles on your tree. Unplug lights when retiring at night or leaving your home.
After the Holiday Season
Place your tree in the garden or backyard for use as a bird feeder; orange slices, bread and suet will attract birds and brighten up the winter landscape.
A Christmas tree is biodegradable; its branches may be removed and used as mulch in the garden. The trunk can be chopped for mulch.
Fir foliage can be stripped from the branches and snipped into small pieces for stuffing into aromatic fir needle pillows.
The enduring tree symbol remains a firmly established part of our holiday customs, engaging not only our senses of sight, touch, and smell but also our sense of family, spirit and tradition. To complete the spirit and tradition of a “Family Traditional Holiday” look for holiday treats produced right here in Forever Green Tree Farm’s Holiday Shop. Our shop features wreaths and other seasonal decorations.