Brief Bio of the Christmas Tree:

A Christmas tree is a decorated tree, usually an evergreen conifer such as spruce, pine or fir, traditionally associated with the celebration of Christmas. The tree was traditionally decorated with edibles such as apples, nuts or other foods. In the 18th century, it began to be illuminated by candles (yikes!), which with electrification could also be replaced by Christmas lights.

The custom of the Christmas tree developed in early modern Germany with predecessors that can be traced to the 16th and possibly the 15th century, in which “devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes”. Christmas trees are hung in St. George’s Church, Sélestat since 1521. It acquired popularity beyond Germany during the second half of the 19th century. The Christmas tree has also been known as the “Yule-tree”, especially in discussions of its folkloristic origins.

Both setting up and taking down a Christmas tree are associated with specific dates. Traditionally, Christmas trees were not brought in and decorated until Christmas Eve (24 December) or, in the traditions celebrating Christmas Eve rather than the first day of Christmas, 23 December, and then removed the day after Twelfth Night (5 January); to have a tree up before or after these dates was even considered bad luck.

Did you Know?

Real Christmas Trees are biodegradable and can be easily recycled for mulch, soil erosion barriers, bird feeders, and other purposes. Wake County offers Happy Trails a Holiday Tree Recycling Program to mulch trails at Wake County Parks. You can drop off your un-decorated holiday trees at the following Wake County Convenience Centers and Parks from December 26, 2013 until January 19, 2014.

7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

  • Site 1: 10505 Old Stage Rd., Garner
  • Site 2: 6025 Old Smithfield Rd., Apex
  • Site 4: 3600 Yates Mill Pond Rd., Raleigh
  • Site 7: 9008 Deponie Dr., Raleigh
  • Site 11: 5051 Wendell Blvd., Wendell

8 a.m. until Sunset

  • Blue Jay Point County Park 3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd., Raleigh
  • Harris Lake County Park 2112 County Park Dr., New Hill
  • Lake Crabtree County Park 1400 Aviation Pkwy, Morrisville

The Town of Garner and most others in Wake County also offer curbside collection of holiday trees with your trash on your scheduled waste removal day.

*Helpful Reminder: NEVER burn your Christmas Tree in a fireplace or wood stove.