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The Rare Facts About the White Christmas Tree

Updated on May 28, 2015

I know that Christmas is past, this is about the different trees - not the holiday.

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A large mature east side Jeffrey Pine Pinus jeffreyi growing on volcanic table lands south of Mono Lake, Ca. Photo taken approximately one mile east north east of Deadman's Pass, off of US HWY 395. The stand is composed of pure Jeffrey Pine with diffEvergreen tree.
A large mature east side Jeffrey Pine Pinus jeffreyi growing on volcanic table lands south of Mono Lake, Ca. Photo taken approximately one mile east north east of Deadman's Pass, off of US HWY 395. The stand is composed of pure Jeffrey Pine with diff
A large mature east side Jeffrey Pine Pinus jeffreyi growing on volcanic table lands south of Mono Lake, Ca. Photo taken approximately one mile east north east of Deadman's Pass, off of US HWY 395. The stand is composed of pure Jeffrey Pine with diff | Source
Evergreen tree.
Evergreen tree. | Source

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.



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An artificial Christmas pine tree.An aluminum Christmas tree in Bellevue, Washington, USA. An artificial Christmas tree with both conventional and fiber-optic lights. Photo by Sean O'Flaherty aka Seano1
An artificial Christmas pine tree.
An artificial Christmas pine tree. | Source
An aluminum Christmas tree in Bellevue, Washington, USA.
An aluminum Christmas tree in Bellevue, Washington, USA. | Source
Source
An artificial Christmas tree with both conventional and fiber-optic lights. Photo by Sean O'Flaherty aka Seano1
An artificial Christmas tree with both conventional and fiber-optic lights. Photo by Sean O'Flaherty aka Seano1 | Source

Artificial Trees:

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?

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 Example of a very rare Albino Redwood Tree A branch from an 'albino' Sequoia sempervirens exhibiting lack of chlorophyll. An 'albino' (mutant lacking chlorophyll) redwood in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, northern California.
 Example of a very rare Albino Redwood Tree
Example of a very rare Albino Redwood Tree | Source
A branch from an 'albino' Sequoia sempervirens exhibiting lack of chlorophyll.
A branch from an 'albino' Sequoia sempervirens exhibiting lack of chlorophyll. | Source
An 'albino' (mutant lacking chlorophyll) redwood in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, northern California.
An 'albino' (mutant lacking chlorophyll) redwood in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, northern California. | Source

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.

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Chimera Redwood tree
Chimera Redwood tree
Chimera Redwood tree | Source

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.

Which tree do you buy and why? (answer why in comments)

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    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      Thank you Deb and I appreciate your reading it. I, too, grew up with real trees until we discovered that was one of the items which I was allergic to. I misplaced the small, artificial, tree which I kept in the front closet now that I am living by myself.

      I hope that you have a nice night. :-)

      Kevin

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Interesting article and most informative. I grew up with a real tree, and I can still smell the scent of it. My mother had very old ornaments and lights, ad those were some very happy memories of Christmas past.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      It was a pleasure to give the information - I learned from it too. Gee, Shyron, you must have a lot of trees filling your yard! I do not like to cut down trees either, so since I live alone now I had a short artificial tree in the front closet. It disappeared and I have to search for it.

      Thank you for your vote and share too, I appreciate them.

      Have a nice day. :-)

      Kevin

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      Kevin, thank you for the information about the Christmas trees. I don't like to cut down trees, we usually buy potted trees so that after Christmas we can plant them outside.

      Voted up, UABI and shared.

      Blessings and Hugs

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      Glad to share, thank you for reading Nithya. I was curious why they had a white artificial tree and found out about the real one.

      Have a nice day. :-)

      Kevin

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Interesting and informative, came to know about the albino tree. Thank you for sharing.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      I misunderstood Rachel, I thought that you meant both of them. I never knew there was a real one either. I thought that they just made that color for the artificial ones.

      Kevin

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 2 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Again, Yes, I've seen the artificial ones, but not the real one you show in the picture. Actually I was talking about the Albino Redwood tree. lol Now I see what you were talking about. I'm glad you finished the article.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      You never heard of it before? Did you see the artificial ones Rachel? I have seen the artificials, I never knew there was a real one.

      I was not sure how interesting this article would be. I began it months ago, it sat unfinished so I finished it.

      Thank you for your vote up and I hope that have a neat day. :-)

      Kevin

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      Thank you Larry. I am glad that you thought that it was interesting and great read.

      I hope that today is a wonderful day for you. :-)

      Kevin

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 2 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Kevin, I never heard of the white tree. I think it's beautiful and would love to see one in person. Interesting hub, thanks for sharing. Voted up.

      Blessings to you.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Interesting overview of the Christmas tree. Great read!

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      I like the smell of the real trees too Frank but unfortunately I have some allergies and even though we used to get the real ones we soon found out about the allergies. Since I have lived alone I had a small artificial in the front closet.

      Thank you for reading it and your comment about it.

      Have a nice day. :-)

      Kevin

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      I buy the real trees because I like the outdoor.. fresh smell of pine.. there simply is no substitute for the real thing.. I use to go out and chop them down at the local farms, but now I pick them up from big box stores.. a good little hub here

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      You found it. Real trees these days get recycled. I do not know how long ago that they began that.

      We used to have real trees until we became tired of keep cleaning them up after taking them down. I used to have an artificial tree about 3' in the front closet since I live alone now.

      Thank you so much for going to the trouble of looking around for this and reading it. You could have simply waited for it to be published.

      Have a nice night. :-)

      Kevin

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      So interesting; and learned something new, thank you.

      I use to always use a real tree but I haven't now for years because I could not bear looking at that tree once it was outside on the ground just waiting to be hauled away and I could not bear to let anymore die from my hands. Just like flowers, I would much rather see them in their natural state and I can do that for so much longer and take photos that last forever!

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      Thank you John. I began it sometime ago so I figured I would finish it.

      Yes. It seems that they are real, and artificial white trees were made for a reason. I had fir / pine trees in my backyard that were blown down in a rainstorm recently. They were tall though, I kept a short artificial in my front closet since I live alone. It was handy.

      Thank you for stopping by and reading this article.

      Have a nice night. :-)

      Kevin

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Nice hub Kevin. I hadn't heard of the albino trees either. I thought white artificial ones were just made that way to imitate being snow covered. It appears they are very rare so hopefully they can be protected and the defective gene developed. We usually just have an artificial tree for Christmas just for convenience reasons. We sometimes cut down a tree from our own property to use but we don't have any pine or fir trees so it may look rather strange as a Christmas tree.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      Neither did I until I wrote this Billy. When I did this I found out about the one in danger. Since I live alone I had about a 3' artificial tree - now it is not where I kept it. Strange.

      Thank you for stopping by and reading. I was surprised that there was a comment already, I just published it 5 min. ago!

      Have a nice evening. :-)

      Kevin

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I had no idea. Never heard of the albino tree. As for us, never an artificial tree....NEVER!!!!! If I can't smell it then it isn't a tree. :)