feature from LDN magazine:
for the Holidays
Choosing the ideal Christmas tree
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[November 28, 2012]
In many households, the first Christmas
decoration to go up is the tree. How that goes, varies considerably.
Some families have gone the more modern route of bringing the tree
out of storage and setting up the spruce in a matter of minutes.
Then, there are still those who love the experience of going out and
hunting for the perfect Christmas tree, either pre-cut at a lot or,
for the freshest, from a local tree farm.
Each kind of tree, artificial or real, comes with its own
positives and negatives. The key to finding the perfect tree is
finding the right one to fit the family.
The first artificial Christmas trees were made in the early 1930s
by a company called Addis Brush, a toilet scrubber company. The
artificial tree has come a long way from its reputation as a
gigantic, green toilet bowl scrubber. Trees now come in a variety of
shapes, sizes and colors. Today there is any variety to suit every
taste, from the traditional Douglas fir replicas to pink sparkle
Advantages of artificial Christmas trees:
A major benefit to purchasing an artificial tree is that
it lasts longer than a real tree.
If stored properly, an artificial tree usually has a life
span of about 10 years.
There is no needle mess going in or out of the house, and
there is no need to constantly water the tree.
Artificial trees now even come pre-lit; therefore, there
is no fight with a ball of tangled lights.
Artificial trees can remain set up for an entire holiday
season and beyond. Many Christmas trees morph into an Easter
and even Halloween tree during the year.
Artificial trees are easier to maintain and can be kept
up longer for those families who enjoy a decorated tree all
The use of a real evergreen tree to celebrate the holiday season
has occurred since before the birth of Christ. Egyptians used green
date palm leaves to celebrate the winter solstice. Romans honored
the god of agriculture by decorating their homes with lights and
greenery. In the Middle Ages, Germans and Scandinavians placed
evergreen trees inside their homes to anticipate the coming of
According to legend, Martin Luther began the tradition of
decorating trees to celebrate Christmas. One Christmas Eve about the
year 1500, Luther was walking through snow-covered woods and was
struck by the beauty of a group of evergreens. The branches were
sprinkled with snow that shimmered in the moonlight. When he got
home, he set up a tree so he could bring the beauty inside.
The Christmas tree tradition was brought to the United States by
Hessian (German) troops during the American Revolution and through
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The first Christmas tree retail lot in the United States was
started in 1851 in New York. Since that time, picking out the family
Christmas tree has remained a time-honored tradition.
In Lincoln, real Christmas trees can be purchased at the Angel
Valley Tree Farm on Frorer Avenue. Owner Jeff Cooper is excited for
the tree season to begin.
Angel Valley Tree Farm offers three different kinds of trees for
customers to choose and cut down: Douglas fir, Scotch pine and white
pine. Each tree will cost $30, no matter the size. The farm also
offers pre-cut Fraser firs for between $50 and $100.
Angel Valley Tree Farm opens the day after Thanksgiving. Hours
are 3:30 p.m. until dark during the week and 9 a.m. until dark on
Saturday and Sunday.
Advantages of real Christmas trees:
Real trees are better for the environment because the
tree is a renewable resource, biodegradable and can be
For every real Christmas tree that is harvested, three or
more seedlings are planted in its place.
A real tree can evoke more of a sentimental sense of
Christmas with its evergreen aroma.
Each real tree is unique in its own way, and discovering
the perfect tree is a great way to make memories and
traditions with friends and family.
When purchasing a real tree, make sure the tree will fit
into the desired place.
Always remember to water the tree. Keeping the tree
hydrated is the key to maintaining a long, effervescent
When it comes to the real versus artificial tree debate, it all
boils down to preference. There are those families who find the hunt
for the perfect tree to be the best part of the holiday. Then, there
are those families who would just like the tree up quickly because
decorating the tree is great traditional fun.
Either kind of tree, artificial or real, is perfect because Santa
Claus will still deliver and put presents beneath it.
[By HANNAH MICHALSEN]