Profile America — Friday, December 17th. Many U.S. families will go out this weekend to buy and put up their Christmas tree. While the use of evergreen trees to celebrate the winter season occurred even before the birth of Jesus, the first printed reference to a decorated tree was in Germany in 1531. Across the country, just over a fifth of households still put up and decorate a real tree, and almost half now use an artificial tree. The remaining one-third of households do not include a tree in their holiday observances. Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states, and each year’s crop is worth more than $400 million. Oregon is the leading producer, while China leads in the production of artificial trees. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <www.census.gov>.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Facts for Features, CB09.FF.23
Statistical Abstract of the United States 2010, t. 815