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The History of Artificial Trees

Sep 30th 2015 at 9:04 AM

Artificial trees have been used in lieu of real Christmas trees since 1747 when the Moravian Church, comprised of German immigrants to the United States, created wooden trees with candles on them. When the Germans invented artificial goose feather trees in the nineteenth century, Americans eventually caught onto the craze. The goose feathers were attached to wire branches and wrapped around a central dowel that acted as the trunk.

Feather trees ranged in size from 2 to 98 inches. A lot of times, these trees were tipped with artificial red berries that served as candle holders. The branches were spaced widely apart so that there was less of a fire hazard. This created a lot of space for ornamentation.

In the 1930s, the Addis Brush Company, which was based in the United States, created the first brush bristle trees. They used the same machinery on the trees that they did on their toilet brushes. The trees were made from the same animal hair you could find in the brushes, but it was dyed green. The brush trees were popular for a time especially as exports to Great Britain. They were able to hold heavier ornaments and they didn't catch fire as easily as the feather trees. 

Aluminum Christmas trees became popular in the 50s. They were first made in Chicago and then in Wisconsin. They were manufactured into the 1970s but saw a decline after the airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas Special in 1965 because of the negative connotation the story put on having an aluminum tree.

Nowadays most artificial Christmas trees are made out of PVC plastic. They are fire-retardant. They also are usually pre-lit which saves a lot of time and effort when putting up a Christmas tree. Newer trees often have LED lights which save energy and are brighter at the same time.

As you can see, artificial Christmas trees are here to stay and will be around for many Christmases to come.

Why Artificial Trees Are Better than Real Christmas Trees

Some people prefer artificial Christmas trees; others prefer the tried and true real ones. There are many reasons to prefer an artificial Christmas tree. We'll go over them in this article.

You can have an artificial tree up longer.

If you are the type that likes to decorate right after Thanksgiving, you can put an artificial tree up that weekend and it will last until the Epiphany (January 6th) when most people take down their trees finally. It won't dry out or go brown on you.

Artificial trees require less care.

An artificial tree doesn't shed so you don't have to sweep up those nasty needles. You also don't need to water it. You put them up and take them down easily. No trip to the woods or the Christmas tree lot is needed. You can just go to the store and pull it out of the box.

Artificial trees are more convenient.

You get them at the store and you can easily put them together. Many Christmas trees come pre-lit so you don't have to worry about hanging up the lights which can be such a pain. Once up, you just get to watch its beauty and enjoy it in your home until you need to take it down. Then, you disassemble and put it back in its box for next year.

Artificial trees are better for the environment.


If you use artificial trees that means less real Christmas trees will be cut down. This keeps deforestation at a minimum. You will also be reducing your carbon footprint by using an artificial tree for seven years or more because the time it takes to break down in a landfill is not nearly as much as the actual trees if you use them for that long. With the way artificial trees are built, you can usually get up to 10 years on one tree alone.

See, there are so many benefits to having an artificial Christmas tree. Check out trees to find one that suits you.

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