Tips for your Christmas tree: Oh Christmas tree: This is how you grow green in the living room |

Every year we haul home nearly 30 million Christmas trees. We explain where the tradition with the Christmas tree comes from and how you can enjoy your Christmas tree as much and as long as possible. And of course, what you should pay attention to when buying, setting up, decorating and disposing of it. Oh Christmas Tree!

Story: The Christmas tree tradition

Evergreen plants embody life force. With the green on and in the house, the ancient Egyptians and later the Romans wanted to protect themselves from evil forces. The first reports of decorated Christmas trees come from the 16th century. A Christmas tree in Stockstadt in the district of Aschaffenburg has already been documented for 1527.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Christmas tree custom spread in Germany, primarily among the wealthier classes. Now the Christian symbolism was in the foreground: the evergreen should illustrate the everlasting love of God, the light Christ. In the Franco-German War of 1870/71, the aristocratic military leaders had Christmas trees set up in the shelters and hospitals on Christmas Eve. The soldiers brought the custom home with them. Towards the end of the 19th century, the Christmas tree was in all its layers. The Christmas tree is now the symbol of Christmas all over the world.

Statistics: The Germans and their Christmas tree

Pull every year according to Statista more than 29 million Christmas trees into German households. There has been a very clear favorite since the 1990s: 75 percent of all Christmas trees bought were the green ones again in 2020 The Norwegian tooth. 15 percent were blue spruce. Silver firs and other spruces together made up ten percent.

For some years now, Christmas tree producers have been making another trend: Germans are increasingly giving preference smaller Christmas trees. “That could be due to the fact that there is less and less living space and more single households than there was a few years ago,” speculates Saskia Bl├╝mel, managing director of the Federal Association of Christmas Tree Manufacturers. the average tree size is 1.50 to 1.75 meters, earlier more large trees were sold. “It is important for the customer that the tree is slim and takes up little space.”

Around ten years a tree grows until it is felled as a Christmas tree. The biggest Christmas tree growing areas are located in the Sauerland in North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein. Every year around two thirds of German Christmas trees come from these three federal states. To meet the need, will be several million trees imported, primarily from Denmark.

Environmentally friendly: Christmas tree eco? Logical!

Around 30 million Christmas trees are bought in Germany. Each year. They have to come from somewhere. Many come from large plantations, for example from Denmark or Finland, have been treated with pesticides and have to be transported far to Germany. Others come from Germany, but are not free from chemicals either. According to the Federal Nature Conservation Association, the German Christmas tree plantations occupy around 50,000 hectares – an area on which food can no longer be grown and for which forests have even been cleared in some cases.

The Federal Information Center for Agriculture recommends looking for certificates for conventional Christmas trees. If they are grown in a certified manner, stricter rules apply to the use of pesticides. Environmentalists advocate using a regional organic product for the Christmas tree as well. The most environmentally friendly are the conifers, which grow naturally in a nearby forest, arise during forest maintenance and have to be removed anyway. They are then free of fertilizers and pesticides.

TIP: You can find out from the local forestry office whether their own Christmas trees are marketed there and which private forest owners offer Christmas trees.

Decorate: The perfect Christmas tree decorations

How the Christmas tree is decorated is of course a matter of taste. Perhaps you will find yourself in our typology of Christmas tree decorators. By far the most popular Christmas tree decorations in Germany are according to Statista Christmas tree balls and fairy lights.

We have collected a few more tips for you to decorate:
When it comes to fairy lights or candles, the Federal Environment Agency recommends the former with LED lights. “Firstly, they last longer and, secondly, they don’t eat as much electricity,” says Laura Schoen from the Federal Environment Agency. At night, the environmental expert advocates switching off the lighting. Real candles do not need any electricity, but when they burn they produce nitrogen oxides and soot – “both of which are potentially harmful to health”. Another big disadvantage: real candles are extremely dangerous.

When it comes to Christmas tree hangings, the expert strongly advises avoiding the heavy tinfoil tinsel. It contains poisonous lead. “There are also nice alternatives: jewelry made of straw, glass or wood, or, for example, homemade paper stars.” All of these pieces of jewelry have the advantage that you can reuse them over many years. Christmas tree decorations can also be natural and edible: Cookies, nuts and apples look great on the tree.

It is not only Christmas tree growers who argue that a tree with a beautifully grown tip should not be artificially attached.

Safety: Advent, Advent, the Christmas tree is on fire

A fact that fire brigades and insurance companies can confirm: At the end of the year there are more fires than usual. Fires in December cause tens of millions of euros in damage every year. The risk of fire increases in the course of Advent because the Christmas trees get drier over time. Christmas trees with real candles hold a particularly high risk of catching fire. Within a few seconds the whole tree is on fire. The essential oils in the needles almost make it explode. A Christmas tree burned down completely after just two minutes.

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