All About Christmas Trees
BRIEF HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS TREES
The evergreen fir tree has traditionally been used to celebrate winter festivals (pagan and Christian) for thousands of years. Pagans used branches of it to decorate their homes during the winter solstice, as it made them think of the spring to come. The Romans used Fir Trees to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia. Christians use it as a sign of everlasting life with God.
Nobody is really sure when Fir trees were first used as Christmas trees. It probably started about began 1000 years ago in Northern Europe. Many early Christmas Trees seem to have been hung upside down from the ceiling using chains (hung from chandeliers/lighting hooks).
In Germany, the first Christmas Trees were decorated with edible things, such as gingerbread and gold covered apples. Then glass makers made special small ornaments similar to some of the decorations used today. In 1605 an unknown German wrote: "At Christmas they set up fir trees in the parlours of Strasbourg and hang thereon roses cut out of many-coloured paper, apples, wafers, gold foil, sweets, etc."
The idea for the first artificial Christmas tree was conceived in Germany in the 1880's. A response to the continued deforestation of the country, artificial trees made with goose feathers dyed green were introduced. The goose feather Christmas trees made their way to the United States and were popular during the 1920's.In 1930 the U.S.-based Addis Brush Company created the first artificial Christmas tree made from brush bristles. The company used the same machinery that it used to manufacture toilet brushes. The trees were made from the same animal-hair bristles used in the brushes, save they were dyed green. For a time, the brush trees were immensely popular, with large numbers exported to Great Britain, where the trees also became popular. These brush trees offered advantages over the earlier feather trees. They could accept heavier ornamentation, and were not nearly as flammable.
Artificial Christmas trees took a turn in the 1950's when the first aluminum tree was introduced in Chicago. These shiny silver colored trees consisted of foil branches and aluminum needles attached to a central pole. These trees required painstaking assembly and were hugely popular well into the 1970's.
MANUFACTURING OF ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREES
Artificial Christmas trees are made of plastic, PVC specifically, that ensures the long life and durability of the trees. The chemical properties associated with plastics such as PVC provide a useful life of 20 years or more. As a result, artificial trees do not clog up the waste stream or recycling facilities on an annual basis. (REFERENCE:http://www.christmastreeassociation.org/)
The quality of artificial trees is often determined by the quantity of the branch tips and design of the foliage. In most cases, having more branch "tips" is preferred because an abundance of needles creates a full look for the tree.
The tree production starts with flat strips of PVC which are fed through machines to bond layers together, which refers to the ply. This is then fed through circular blades which slice or shred the PVC to create the needles.
These lengths are then twisted around a metal wire and pulled through a coil which separates the needles and makes them bushy. These branches are then cut into lengths and sewn together with polypropylene twine to make the branches which are attached to the metal trunks.