Trees as decorations have ancient origins, and the exact source of the modern Christmas tree is debated.
The Christmas tree tradition is believed to have started in Germany around 723 when St. Boniface associated evergreens with Christian rites.
In medieval Germany, "paradise trees" symbolizing the Garden of Eden were adorned with apples, evolving into the precursor of Christmas trees.
Martin Luther added lighted candles to trees in the 16th century, contributing to the evolution of paradise trees into Christmas trees.
German-born Charlotte, wife of King George III, popularized Christmas trees in England, further endorsed by Prince Albert and Queen Victoria.
German settlers brought Christmas trees to the United States, facing initial resistance, especially from Puritans opposing the holiday's pagan roots.
In 1850, Godey's Lady's Book published an altered illustration of the British royals around a Christmas tree, boosting the tradition's U.S. popularity.
Christmas trees spread globally, but by the late 19th century, the tradition started impacting forests, leading Germans to create artificial goose-feather trees in the 1880s.
Artificial trees evolved from goose feathers to plastic, with a notable development in the 1930s when surplus toilet bowl brushes were repurposed to create bristle trees.
In 2021, 84% of Christmas trees displayed in U.S. households were artificial, reflecting changing preferences, according to the American Christmas Tree Association.