Fir trees are a genus of evergreen coniferous trees that are also a favorite Christmas decoration. The noble fir, fraser fir, and balsam fir are the most popular Christmas fir trees. Each year thousands of these trees are harvested from forests around the world and sold in holiday gift shops.
Christmas trees have been used as such for several hundred years but they were not called "Christmas trees" at the time. Instead, they were known generically as holm oaks or holly trees. The term "Christmas tree" first appeared in print in 1770 when John Adams wrote about seeing a Christmas tree in Philadelphia.
The first recorded use of the word "fir" to describe a Christmas tree came from a publication in 1849. It described the trees then being imported into America from Europe and Asia as "firs for Christmas trees."
The noble fir is by far the most common Christmas tree in North America. It is widely available throughout the year and tends to be less expensive than other types of Christmas trees. The noble fir's soft needles make them ideal for decorating buildings inside and out during the holidays. They also make good firewood.
The Fraser fir is grown primarily in British Columbia and Washington and is the second most common Christmas tree in Canada.
First, most Americans consider fir trees to be the traditional Christmas tree because they have three crucial characteristics: strong aroma, short, durable needles and branches, and high needle retention. Spruces are similar to firs but have soft, thin, light green needles that fall early in the season. They can be grown in the same locations as firs.
Both fir and spruce trees are used for Christmas decorations. A fir tree is usually selected because of its fragrance. The scent is particularly desirable during the holiday season when family and friends visit or if you plan to send your tree to a recycling center.
Fir trees can be found everywhere from big-box stores to local farmers' markets in the United States. In fact, most American families use a fir tree each year because of its convenience and low cost. While it is preferable to use a fresh tree, these trees can sometimes be expensive. Recycling used trees is an environmentally friendly option if you cannot afford a new one.
Spruces are more common in parts of Canada and Europe. However, because of their similarity to firs, they are also commonly sold in America under the fir name.
The Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) is one of numerous conifer species used as Christmas trees in North America. Many kinds of genuine fir are utilized, including balsam fir (Abies balsamea) and Fraser fir (A. fraseri). Other species of tree may be used as well. The word "fir" is also used for other species of conifer, such as the larch.
Fir trees are native to the mountains of northern Asia from near the Arctic Circle south almost as far as China. They were first domesticated by Native Americans for use as fuel for large fires to clear land for farming and hunting. Today, most Christmas trees are grown commercially for this purpose.
Christmas trees have been cultivated in Europe for hundreds of years. The first record of a Christmas tree being sold in Boston dates back to 1756. The first recorded sale of a Christmas tree farm in Michigan occurred in 1872. Today, most commercial Christmas trees are produced in Washington State, Oregon, and California.
Fir trees are among the fastest-growing plants in the world. Under ideal conditions, they can grow as fast as 3 feet per day! But usually not even half of that speed is possible. The average Christmas tree will grow about 25 feet high before it is harvested for firewood or sold as pulp.
1. The Douglas fir is one of the most popular Christmas tree varieties offered in the United States. This evergreen is a popular choice in most Christmas tree lots, thanks to its complete pyramid-like form and long-lasting needles. The silky, lustrous needles that sprout on both sides of its branches give it a broader appearance!
2. The Fraser fir is another common Christmas tree variety sold in stores across the country. Similar to the Douglas fir, the Fraser fir has elongated, pyramidal shapes with smooth, silver-colored trunks and branches. However, the needles of the Fraser fir are shorter and stouter than those of the Douglas fir.
3. The Noble fir is similar to the Douglas fir in shape but with longer, narrower branches and finer, softer needles. It is commonly used for indoor trees because of its tolerance for dry conditions.
4. The Scrub pine is widely used by homeowners who want a tree that's easy to care for and safe with small children around. These trees can be found everywhere from rural areas to residential neighborhoods, since they grow fast and tolerate many different types of soil. They're also less expensive than other types of trees.
5. The Sycamore tree is famous for its large size and graceful weeping form. These trees can grow as high as 60 feet and have thick, leathery leaves that are attractive all year round.
A Christmas tree is an evergreen tree, usually a pine or fir, that is decked with lights and decorations as part of the Christmas season. Fresh-cut, potted, or artificial Christmas trees are utilized as both inside and outdoor decorations. The term "Christmas tree" may also be applied to other coniferous plants that are decorated for the holiday, such as spruce, cypress, and holly.
The first documented use of a Christmas tree was in 1651 by Charles II of England. In Germany, Sweden, and Norway, it has been traditional to decorate a living tree since at least the 18th century.
Today, most people choose a Christmas tree from a selection of commercially grown trees. Before purchasing a tree, they should check that it is not diseased or damaged. A healthy tree will have green leaves and a thick, strong trunk. The base of the tree should not be completely hollow. The tree should also not be so old that its wood is gray or dry.
To keep a Christmas tree fresh looking during the year, take out the needles each spring before they have a chance to grow back in. Trees should be cut down every 10 years for maintenance purposes; otherwise, they will become too heavy for their branches to support.