The Agritourist

The Agritourist is Oklahoma's Agritourism blog, featuring cool links, articles about local attractions and more Oklahoma Agritourism insider info.

The History of Christmas Trees

Adapted from About Real Christmas Trees written by Clarke J. Gernon, Sr., Shady Pond Tree Farm (member of National historytreesChristmas Tree Association)

Each Christmas season, millions of trees are purchased from lots and tree farms across the world. Few realize that the use of decorated trees as the centerpiece of this joyous celebration is a relatively recent tradition in America. Most historians agree that the first decorated Christmas trees appeared in the U.S. in the mid-1800s. These trees were cut from natural stands of timber that surrounded the population centers of the time. As with most human tradition, the use of decorated Christmas trees evolved over the subsequent 150-year period to the production and distribution system that we know today.


So, where did these trees come from? How did we find them? Where do they grow?

  • 1800s - The Christmas Tree was introduced in the United States by German settlers. It rapidly grew from tabletop size to floor-to-ceiling.

  • 1851 - Christmas Trees began to be sold commercially in the United States.

  • 1853 - Franklin Pierce is credited with bringing the first Christmas Tree to the White House.

  •  Late 1800s - The first glass ornaments were introduced into the United States, again from Germany. The first ones were mostly balls, but later chains of balls, toys and figures became more common.

  •   Around 1883 - Sears, Roebuck & Company began offering the first artificial Christmas trees - 33 limbs for $.50 and 55 limbs for $1.00.

    •    1900s - Due to over-harvesting, the natural supply of evergreens began to be decimated. Conservationists became alarmed, and many magazines began to encourage people to substitute an artificial "snow" covered tree, consisting of a branch of a deciduous tree wrapped in cotton.

  •   1901 - The first Christmas Tree farm was started in 1901 when W.V. McGalliard planted 25,000 Norway spruce on his farm in New Jersey.

  •     1930s - President Franklin D. Roosevelt started a Christmas tree farm on his estate in Hyde Park, New York.

  •  1966 - The National Christmas Tree Association began its time-honored tradition of having the Grand Champion grower present a Christmas tree to the First Lady for display in the Blue Room of the White House. That year, Howard Pierce of Black River Falls, Wisconsin, presented a tree to President Lyndon Johnson and First Lady Lady Bird Johnson.

  •   Today - Approximately 25-30 million real Christmas trees are sold each year in the United States. Almost all of these come from Christmas tree plantations.

Looking for more Christmas facts and history? Visit's Christmas Section.
Timeline provided by The Rocks Christmas Tree Farm, Bethlehem, NH.

Here is a list of our Christmas Tree Farms in Oklahoma:

All Pine Products
2205 S. Mustang Rd.
Yukon, OK 73099
(405) 324-1010 Or (405) 820-5666

Cal2homa Christmas Tree & Chrysanthemum Farm
Gore, OK 74435

D & L Christmas Tree And Wreaths
16140 Ne Watts Rd.
Fletcher, OK 73541
(405) 549-6994

Goddard Christmas Tree Farm
5209 E. Robinson St.
Norman, OK 73026

Janda Benda Christmas Tree Farm
26426 E. Mclemore Hollow Rd.
Stilwell, OK 74960
918-207-2404, 918-458-0834

Martinbird Tree Farm - Central
513 Ridgewood Drive
Tuttle OK 73089
(405) 381-2910

Owasso Tree And Berry Farm
11039 N. 129th East Ave
Owasso, OK 74055

Pleasant Valley Farms
22350 W. 71 St. South
Sand Springs, OK 74063

Red Barn Christmas Tree Farm
300 Hickory Bend
Mcalester, OK 74501

Santa's Forest Christmas Tree Farm
6555 W. Hwy 60
Ponca City, OK 74601
(580) 765-9441

Sorghum Mill Christmas Tree And Blackberry Farm
7121 Midwest Lane
Edmond, OK 73034
(405) 340-5488

W6 Pines Christmas Tree Farm
15600 Kent Drive
Choctaw, OK 73020

Wilkinson's Christmas Forest
Tahlequah, OK 74464
918-316-0772, 918-458-7936