Nationally, about 30 million real trees are sold for Christmas annually. They are grown on farms and plantations in Florida and in almost every other U.S. state and Canada.
Christmas tree harvesting does not upset the ecology, according to the Florida Christmas Tree Association. More than 85 million trees were planted this spring by Christmas tree growers to replace the millions harvested this year. The rule of thumb is to plant two or three trees for every one cut.
To prevent fires, trees should be moist when brought home and kept moist by adding water through the base of the trunk.
Candles are also a concern around the holidays; almost "home decorations fires" are caused by candles.
The tradition of real trees in homes for the holidays dates back to 1500 A.D. The first Christmas trees were decorated with roses cut from paper, apples, wafers, sugar candies and candles. Later, cookies shaped as angels, hearts and animals replaced the wafers.
Natural Christmas trees are used in commercial decoration as well, and in all types of indoor and outdoor displays. Even the White House has a number of natural Christmas trees.
The preferred species of tree is often passed down from generation to generation. In Florida, red cedar, Virginia pine, sand pine, spruce pine, Arizona cypress and Leyland cypress are grown specifically for use as Christmas trees.