Tuesday Turnip

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It's time for another whimsical Tuesday Turnip search wherein I type a random phrase and we see what kind of interesting factoids "turn-up."

Over the last couple weeks, I've seen more discarded Christmas trees left by the curb than in past years, making me wonder what's up. So, today I decided to search "Christmas trees + sold this year" unearthing the following curious tidbits from a few different sites: (not exactly what I went looking for, but, hey, the turnip is always best when the 'toids are random)

  • 30-35 million Real Christmas Trees are sold in the U.S. every year.
  • Recycled trees have been used to make sand and soil erosion barriers and been placed in ponds for fish shelter.
  • 93% of real Christmas tree consumers recycle their tree in community recycling programs, their garden or backyard.
  • The first Christmas tree retail lot in the United States was started in 1851 in New York by Mark Carr.
  • The first decorated Christmas tree was in Riga, Latvia in 1510.
  • The use of evergreen trees to celebrate the winter season occurred before the birth of Christ.
  • Christmas trees take an average of 7-10 years to mature.
  • President Coolidge started the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the White House lawn in 1923.
  • In 2002, 21% of United States households had a real tree, 48% had an artificial tree and 32% had not tree.
  • 73 million new Christmas trees will be planted this year.
  • In 1856 Franklin Pierce, the 14th President of the United States, was the first President to place a Christmas tree in the White House.
  • Thomas Edison's assistant, Edward Johnson, came up with the idea of electric lights for Christmas trees in 1882.
  • The top selling Christmas Trees are: balsam fir, Douglas-fir, Fraser fir, noble fir, Scotch pine, Virginia pine and white pine.
  • 100,000 people are employed in the Christmas tree industry.
  • Teddy Roosevelt banned the Christmas tree from the White House for environmental reasons.
  • In 2002, Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Washington, New York, and Virginia were the top Christmas tree producing states. Oregon was the leading producer of Christmas trees "“ 6.5 million in 2002.
  • More than 2,000 trees are usually planted per acre. On an average 1,000-1,500 of these trees will survive. In the North, maybe, 750 trees will remain. Almost all trees require shearing to attain the Christmas tree shape. At six to seven feet, trees are ready for harvest. It takes six to ten years of fighting heavy rain, wind, hail and drought to get a mature tree.
  • In the United States, there are more than 21, 000 Christmas tree growers.
  • In the United States, there are more than 12,000 cut-your-own farms.
  • In 1979, the National Christmas Tree was not lighted except for the top ornament. This was done in honor of the American hostages in Iran.
  • From 1887-1933 a fishing schooner called the "Christmas Ship" would tie up at the Clark Street Bridge in Chicago and sell spruce trees from Michigan to Chicagoans.
  • The tradition of an official Chicago Christmas tree was initiated in 1913 when one was first lit by Mayor Carter H. Harrison in Grant Park.
  • On average, over 2,000 Christmas trees are planted per acre.
  • In 1963, the National Christmas Tree was not lighted until December 22nd because of a national 30-day period of mourning following the assassination of President Kennedy.
  • Real Christmas trees are involved in less than one-tenth of one percent of residential fires and only when ignited by some external ignition sources.
  • In 1998 more than 32 million Real Christmas Trees were used in the U.S. Of these, only 0.00093% were ignited in home fires.
  • In 2005 the retail market value of the 32.8 million trees purchased at the average purchase price of $41.90 was $1,374 million.
  • 32.8 million Christmas trees were purchased in 2005.
  • In 1984, the National Christmas was lit on December 13th with temperatures in the 70's, making it one of the warmest tree lightings in history.
  • The first printed reference to Christmas trees appeared in Germany in 1531.

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January 15, 2008 - 1:58am
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