Balsam, Douglas, Fraser fir and Scotch pine, oh my! No matter what kind of tree you pick, the Christmas tree holds a special and important place as a Christmas tradition. The Christmas tree custom is traced to the 16th century in Germany. Its’ popularity reached beyond Germany during the second half of the 19th century. Christmas trees began selling commercially in the United States around 1850. In the recent past, Christmas trees were decorated with candles, apples, nuts and marzipan cookies, rather than the electric lights and ornaments used today. The most popular live Christmas tree varieties are Scotch Pine, Douglas, Noble, Fraser and Balsam Fir, Virginia Pine and White Pine.

Christmas tree varieties have unique qualities, making them ideal for use inside the home during the holidays. Each variety has special characteristics to fit the needs of the tree owner. Want a fragrant tree? Try a Balsam or Concolor fir for a wonderful scent. How about a tree that easily holds its’ needles and heavy ornaments? Try a Scotch pine for excellent needle retention. Have allergies? The White Pine is a good choice for people prone to allergies.

Christmas tree farms provide a great benefit to our environment. The trees may be cut down and utilized in homes for the holidays, but prior to this they provide essential oxygen to our air, are a sink for carbon dioxide, provide habitat for a variety of animals and thousands of jobs throughout the world. Many of the varieties that are used as Christmas trees are also native and common evergreens in our forests and landscapes. Illinois is home to many popular Christmas tree varieties and numerous tree farms. Click here to investigate the possibilities right here in our state. This is another great way to help support small business and local economies.

As you’re decorating and enjoying the Christmas tree this holiday, don’t forget about the long and wonderful history and tradition it possesses, which is passed from generation to generation. Cherish the Christmas tree for the memories it will create and its importance in the environment.

Click here for more information on the Christmas tree.

Have a Christmas tree tradition you would like to share? Leave a comment!

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