The first printed reference to a Christmas tree was in 1531 in Germany.

The first person to decorate a Christmas tree was reportedly the Protestant reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546). According to legend, he was so moved by the beauty of the stars shining between the branches of a fir tree; he brought home an evergreen tree and decorated it with candles to share the image with his children.

The earliest known Christmas tree decorations were apples. At Christmastime, medieval actors would use apples to decorate paradise trees (usually fir trees) during “Paradise Plays,” which were plays depicting Adam and Eve’s creation and fall.

Christmas trees have been sold in the U.S. since 1850.

America’s official national Christmas tree is located in King’s Canyon National Park in California. The tree, a giant sequoia called the “General Grant Tree”, is over 90 meters (300 feet) high, and was made the official Christmas tree in 1925.

According to the Guinness world records, the tallest Christmas tree ever cut was a 221-foot Douglas fir that was displayed in 1950 at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle, Washington.

Artificial Christmas trees have outsold real ones since 1991.

The Germans made the first artificial Christmas trees out of dyed goose feathers.

Christmas trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold.

In Poland, spiders or spider webs are common Christmas trees decorations because according to legend, a spider wove a blanket for Baby Jesus. In fact, Polish people consider spiders to be symbols of goodness and prosperity at Christmas.

There are approximately 21,000 Christmas tree farms in the United States. In 2008, nearly 45 million Christmas trees were planted, adding to the existing 400 million trees.

Evergreens (from the Old English word aefie meaning “always” and gowan meaning “to grow”) have been symbols of eternal life and rebirth since ancient times. The pagan use and worship of evergreen boughs and trees has evolved into the Christianized Christmas tree.

Approximately 30-35 million real (living) Christmas trees are sold each year in the U.S.