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The Rare Facts About the White Christmas Tree
I know that Christmas is past, this is about the different trees - not the holiday.
It was a long-time tradition to use live, green, pine or evergreen trees at Christmas time. People use to go to the trouble of cutting them down themselves and finding a way of bringing them back from the cut-down site to their home. Back in the pioneer days they would pick up their axe and go to the forest to chop down trees for Christmas. [Yes, there were pioneer days. Do you remember the American Civil War? I mean the one about slavery between the North and South…I am getting off of the subject here.] They would take however long to chop the trees and usually tie the trunk of the tree to a tilted wooden trailer to have a burro or a couple of horses haul it back home.
Then it was made slightly easier for the people when the trees began to be sold at sites. At these ‘sites’ the people would look around and pick out a tree they liked and only worry about getting the tree home from there – without chopping it down. Unfortunately, the sale owners soon had others come to them who liked the same tree(s) just sold. As time went by and they began to manufacture trees they first made the traditional green trees for years.
In the nineteenth century, from Germany, came the first artificial trees. They were still green and they tried a new method – using goose feathers.
There were artificial trees made of wood, these were usually made at home. In other words one of the self-made trees.
In 1958 there was also the aluminum Christmas tree from Chicago and then Wisconsin. They sold pretty much through the ‘70s, but I believe they reached their peak in the mid-‘60s. Then we had plastic, were not fire-resistant; instead of Germany they came from China. Most were PVC to be fire-retardant but not resistant. Next popular was the prelit tree which met safety standards but was not recyclable. There have been other types of artificial trees through the years.
One of the reasons which some people started buying
the artificial trees when they came out is that they (the people) were allergic to the live trees. Certain people did not want to clean up after a live tree each year while others did not want to bother hauling it off somewhere. The artificial tree they could put back in the box and tuck away in the closet until the following year.
There is the fiber optic tree. The entire tree is made of fiber optic cable - it is made all of lights. There were others such as those mad from cardboard, glass, ceramic and some were tabltop decos. The list goes on.
So what started the white artificial tree?
The Albino Redwood Tree:
There is a living white (rare) tree which grows this way because of the fact that it cannot produce ‘pigments’ called chlorophyll [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorophyll].
They are unable to live if there are not any normal redwoods nearby. They must grow near enough so that they can ‘join hands’ (or rather roots). This way the Albino tree is able to acquire its nourishment from the tree that it depends on.
They grow to about 66 ft. (20 m.) which normal green Redwoods cannot since they are unable to splice their roots. They may have been from New York, Canada, Alaska, Hawaii; red skin, white skin or any other color; as long as they were Native Americans the trees were important to them. They were so important that the people kept records of them. There was a territory in northern California called Pomo Territory. The people who lived in this territory used the trees in what I believe were their cleansing ceremonies.
*For those not familiar to albinism in biology (there is more than one explanation): It is a trait dating from birth of natural coloring of animal/plant tissue which erases all colors but white.
The Chimeric Redwood Tree:
There is another redwood tree which has a combination of not only normal but also albino ligaments. It is called the Chimera* Redwood Tree. There are less than twelve, (about ten), of these but only one is known to produce both male and female cones. It is named the Cotati redwood because it is in the town of Cotati in Northern California. The tree had candy-striped branches and cones which came in two colors – a mix of white and green needles. This was due to a genetic mutation in the tree.
When this was written, there was a dispute going on to save this tree from being cut up with tools. This tree was endangered by the progress of a commuter rail. After which they moved the tree to another site. Once they commence their digging on the rail line the tree is arranged to be yanked - roots and all – or else the tree would collapse onto the tracks. It was carefully dug free and raised onto a flatbed by a crane, by the SMART officials, and then moved to a planting field on the other side of the tracks.
The SMART (Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit) officials said words similar to, "Remove the tree to meet Federal Railroad Administration safty rules for safe train operations."
The tree has no protection from state/federal laws, someone said. This entire task was supported by 1/4% sales tax of two counties.
(For more info. go to reuters.com and http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/08/08/rare-albino-redwood-cotati-replanted-moved-from-railroad-tracks/ . [link])
*For those who are not familiar with a Chimera: It is related to a mouse.