Christmas Tree Traditions, New and Old

Arborists in Atlanta, GA Explain How the Christmas Tree Came to Be

Christmas trees tend to generate excitement for the coming holiday season, but not many people stop to wonder how the Christmas tree became so popular in the first place. What does an evergreen tree have to do with the holiday?

Here is a summary of the origins of the Christmas tree tradition, some decorating trends to try this year, and ideas for Christmas tree disposal.

How The Christmas Tree Tradition Began

In modern America, many people enjoy putting up and decorating their Christmas tree every December. Some like to get a fresh-cut natural evergreen, usually pine or fir. Others prefer to put up an artificial tree, which are available in a wide variety of styles.

The custom of the Christmas tree became popular in the United States in the early 1800s. Several U.S. cities claim to be the birthplace of the American Christmas tree, including Lancaster, PA, Windsor Locks, CT, Easton, PA, and Boston, MA. Regardless of location, the tradition is attributed to German immigrants.

The Christmas tree tradition began in Germany and Livonia during the Renaissance.  Evergreen trees were put up in the guildhalls and decorated with sweets for apprentices and children.

As travel and immigration increased throughout the 19th century, Christmas trees became popular in the homes of nobility and in royal courts. In Britain, the German-born wife of George III first displayed a Christmas tree at a small holiday party. As the custom gained popularity with the royals, it quickly gained traction with common citizens, as well. By the 1920s, Christmas trees were well-known and in-demand by people of all classes.

Tree Trimming Trends to Try This Year

Decorating the Christmas tree with the same ornaments year after year can be comforting and symbolic. But sometimes you just need a change of pace. This year, consider trying one of these tree trimmings trends:

  • Homemade: Decorate your tree only with homemade, hand-crafted ornaments. Make popcorn chains, paper stars, glitter pinecones, and crocheted snowflakes.
  • Monochrome: Use only ornaments and garlands of only one color. Go for gold or silver for a glistening, gaudy effect. Other popular options are white and red.
  • Country rustic: Be inspired by nature! Adorn your tree with burlap ribbon, carved wood ornaments, and plaid bows.
  • Uniquely colorful: In recent years, some families have moved away from traditional Christmas colors. Stores now carry holiday decor in unusual colors, such as teal, purple, pink, lime green, and bright yellow.
  • Rose gold: Rose gold became popular after its appearance in a line of a certain smartphone. It’s popularity extended to jewelry as an alternative to yellow gold or silver. Now the beautiful blush pink color is making appearances on Christmas trees, often paired with bronze.

Ideas for Christmas Tree Disposal

Many people prefer artificial Christmas trees because of the ease of storage and assembly, and sometimes even allergies. But don’t be afraid of getting a “real” Christmas tree because you are afraid it’s bad to “kill” a tree. Natural Christmas trees are better for the environment!

Christmas tree farms plant millions of new trees every year, creating habitats for birds and wildlife, and improving air quality. Natural trees also decompose quickly, unlike artificial trees, which sit in landfills indefinitely. 

To dispose of your natural Christmas tree, check your local ordinances. Most townships allow trees to be placed curbside for normal trash pickup; some may even offer mulching services. Another great option, if you have the space, is to prop up your Christmas tree (minus decorations) in your yard. The tree will stay green for several months and will provide cover for songbirds. In some areas, you could even donate your natural tree to a wild animal rescue, where large animals such as bears, lions, and tigers get a lot of enrichment from a new “toy”.

About Boutte Tree, Inc.

Boutte Tree, Inc. has been caring for the trees of Atlanta, GA since 2003. Their professional arborists are skilled in tree removal, peaceful pruning, stump grinding, planting and fertilizing, and emergency tree services. Get help from a team of arborists who are passionate about tree care (even Christmas tree care!) by calling Boutte Tree, Inc.