7 things you might not know about Christmas trees

Published 2nd Oct 2017
Updated 20 th Sep 2023

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree… It wouldn’t be December without millions of trees being cut down across the world for our own pleasure, so let’s celebrate one of the most iconic symbols of Christmas with these seven facts about Christmas trees.

They’ve been on the go since the 16th century
There are multiple theories about where and when the Christmas tree originated. However, legend has it that the 16th century German preacher Martin Luther was the first to add candles to the festive tree after being inspired by the stars glittering through the forest canopy.

The first artificial trees were made from dyed green feathers

Developed in Germany in the 19th century as a response to deforestation.

They can be big... really big
The Guinness Book of Records says that the world’s tallest cut Christmas tree was a 221 foot Douglas fir and could be found at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle USA, in December 1950.

Bugs love them

On the average Christmas tree there will be around 25,000 bugs, insects, lice and creepy crawlies according to research done by the University Museum of Bergen in Norway.

Christmas tree farms are big bucks
In the UK around eight million trees are sold and in the USA it’s around 35 million.

London gets a special tree every year

The huge Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square has been gifted to the city of London every year since 1947 by Oslo, Norway, as a thank you for Britain’s contribution during World War II.

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They are recyclable
Don’t dump your once loved festive friend onto the street, find out if your local council offers a recycling service for retired Christmas trees and if not, consider donating it to make a sand or soil erosion barrier or just plant it back into the ground and let it grow.

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