Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Tree Amsterdam Avenue and 83rd Street Upper West Side NYC

This photo taken by sookietex on Manhattan's Upper West Side at 83rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue December 18th 2009

The fir is undoubtedly the Christmas tree par excellence, especially in the northwestern and Lake States, on account of its long, horizontally spreading, springy branches, and its deep green and fragrant foliage which persists longer than that of almost any other evergreen. In the northeastern and Lake States it is the balsam fir (Abies balsamca) that furnishes the bulk of the Christmas tree trade; in the South it is the Fraser fir (Abies frascri) which figures as a Christmas tree but less frequently than other more accessible conifers, since the fir is confined exclusively to the tops of mountains throughout North Carolina and Tennessee. In Colorado and other Rocky Mountain States, fir, though abundant, is difficult of access and is used only sporadically, giving its place to lodgepole pine. Douglas fir. and occasionally to Engelmann spruce. On the Pacific Coast it is principally the white fir (Abies con color ) that is used as a Christmas tree.

The spruces vie with the firs in popularity as Christmas trees, but as a rule in the South and West they grow at high altitudes which makes them also difficult to get at, and are therefore substituted hy less suitable but more accessible conifers. Black spruce is the tree most seen in New York and Philadelphia. Throughout the States of Illinois and Ohio nurserymen supply the local demand with nursery grown Norway spruce.

The pines are in great demand for Christmas trees when fir and spruce are not available, or are only to be had at a high price. Throughout Maryland, Virginia, and in Washington the scrub pine (Pinus virginiana) finds a way into many homes for use in this capacity; while in southern Wyoming the lodge pole pine is almost the only species available for Christmas trees.

The center of the Christmas tree industry lies in the big cities of the East. New York City and the New England States consumes nearly half of all the output. Nowhere does a Christmas tree furnish such enjoyment as in the North where its green foliage is so suggestive of summer during the black days of winter—and especially in big cities where evergreen trees can be seen only in the parks.

Maine. New Hampshire, the Berkshire Hills in Massachusetts, the Adirondacks and the Catskills in New York are the sources of supply for New York, Philadelphia and Boston, and even for Haitimore and Washington. The swamps of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota furnish the markets of Chicago, St. Paul, and Minneapolis.

TEXT CREDIT: The Guide to Nature, Volume 10

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