In modern times a decorated tree in ones home is strongly associated with the season of Christmas. This wasn’t always the case though, especially in the United States. Since catching on in the mid 19th century the Christmas tree has become extremely popular. This post shows the total Christmas tree farm acreage by state.
While the Christmas tree has a long tradition in Europe it was not introduced to the US until the 19th century with the arrival of German immigrants. At first the tree was not well received. Especially in the northeast where the Puritans (originally the Pilgrims) were located, the tree was viewed as a pagan symbol.
Two centuries beforehand, the Massachusetts court had ruled that any observation of Christmas (other than by mass) was a penal offense. People were fined for simply hanging decorations. This attitude spread largely through the US.
Total Christmas Tree Farm Acreage by State
Along with the arrival of German immigrants bringing their own traditions, the popular Queen Victoria of the British Empire was captured standing in front of a Christmas tree in 1846. As many East Coast Americans still held close ties with Britain, this helped to normalize the tree. Once caught on, the individual home tree skyrocketed in popularity.
A burgeoning Christmas tree market soon developed. Farmers began to strategically plant and grow popular types of trees specifically for Christmas decorations. Early on Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Michigan were the states that produced the most trees. In recent years and as of 2017, Oregon had the most farm acreage dedicated to Christmas trees.
Despite a growing population, the number of real trees sold in the US has actually declined in the past several decades. The rise of “fake” or artificial trees has severely impacted the industry. It’s estimated that nearly 75% of trees in American homes are artificial trees.