California Delivers on Christmas Tree, But

Happy Holidays! 25-30 million Real Christmas Trees are sold in the U.S. every year and approx. 350 million Christmas trees grow throughout the year for this holiday industry tradition that amounts to big business. While California once grew and produced nearly enough trees to meet the needs of its population, urban growth began squeezing out the farms and by 2007, the Christmas Tree farms declined by 70% in just 5 years! Today California ranks around #15-20 in Christmas Tree growth and harvests no more than 100,000 trees in a year.

At many tree lots entertainment has been added to the festivities. Train rides for toddlers, reindeer, carousels and other festive activities supply additional reasons to visit Christmas Tree lots.

California's bordering neighbor to the north, Oregon, is the top producer and annual harvester of trees, supplying around 7 million cut trees each year to the nation. Californians who are real tree aficionados like to go to their favorite tree lots and get reports on when their Oregon tree was cut and shipped by train. Many will wait till a certain date of shipment arrives, and each year, Southern Californian tree suppliers pray for no Santa Ana winds. The winds are hot & dry, and quickly age the fresh-cut trees, diminishing their shelf life.

While 80% of artificial trees worldwide are manufactured in China, all grown trees in the U.S. are planted and grown by farmers. For every Real Christmas Tree harvested, 1 to 3 seedlings are planted the following spring. It can take as many as 15 years to grow a tree of typical height (6 - 7 feet) or as little as 4 years, but the average growing time is 7 years.

Here are some interesting Christmas Tree facts & stats:

* The top Christmas Tree producing states are Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Washington.
* The most common Christmas Tree species are: balsam fir, Douglas-fir, Fraser fir, noble fir, Scotch pine, Virginia pine and white pine.
* The average cost of a cut tree ranges from $20 -150.
* The use of evergreen trees to celebrate the winter season occurred before the birth of Christ.
* The first decorated Christmas was in Riga, Latvia in 1510.
* The first Christmas tree retail lot in the United States was started in 1851 in New York by Mark Carr.
* In 1900, large stores started to erect big illuminated Christmas trees.

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