In this edition of the Tree Link, it would be tough to ignore a popular December tradition that celebrates trees. And anyone who pays hard-earned money for the privilege of displaying a fir, spruce, cedar, or pine tree in their home is indirectly celebrating forestry; for the purchase of a live tree (or let’s face it, a recently deceased tree) is supporting an economy that allows small landowners to keep their lands covered in trees rather than succumb to economic pressure to develop their property for other purposes.
So, if your Holiday tradition involves bringing the outdoors in, consider keeping your dollar local and purchase a tree from a resident Washington State tree farmer.
Private tree farms offer varied types of trees and different experiences for patrons to cut a “Christmas tree.” For options, use the locator tool from the National Christmas Tree Association or visit the website of the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association.
Or, for the more intrepid, the US Forest Service sells permits to harvest your own tree from one of Washington’s National Forests, including:
- Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
- Gifford Pinchot National Forest
- Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
- Olympic National Forest
- Colville National Forest
(NOTE: DNR does NOT permit cutting of holiday trees on state-owned lands)
However even if your family’s holiday plans do not include idolizing a bedazzled conifer in your living room, the history of this tradition is intriguing nonetheless.
The “Christmas Tree,” or the “Holiday Tree” as the more politically correct may refer to it, actually has it’s roots (ha ha) credited to the cultures of pre-Christian Germanic tribes who brought evergreen boughs into their homes in celebration of the winter solstice as a symbol of lasting life through the otherwise dark days of winter.
Learn more about the history of the Christmas tree in this article and short video produced by the History Channel.
Happy tree-huggin’ holidays from all of us here at Tree Link.