The lighting of the Christmas, or holiday, tree is one of the most anticipated and festive events for communities across the nation. Outside of parades honoring veterans or fireworks displays on July 4, few events bring communities together during the year as the lighting of the local Christmas tree.
It is an opportunity for children to experience the wonder of the season and perhaps see Santa Claus. The tree-lighting event is also a time for neighbors to become reacquainted over a cup of hot chocolate or coffee. Even though in recent years the displaying of the Christmas tree on public property has prompted constitutional issues involving the separation of church and state, the tree itself has become a symbol of civic pride, and it brings communities together.
24/7 Wall St. has compiled a list of the tallest Christmas tree in every state. We tapped sources such as media reports, state and city chambers of commerce, forestry commissions, the National Christmas Tree Association, and Christmas tree associations in various states to assemble the list. Since many of the tallest trees have yet to be raised for this holiday season, we used the best available information from last year for the list. Many of the tree-lighting traditions use natural trees such as Scotch pine, Douglas fir, Fraser fir, Balsam fir, and white pine. Other localities have opted for artificial trees, and 24/7 Wall St. has included those as well. Heights for trees in some states are estimates.
We can thank Edward H. Johnson, a colleague of Thomas Edison, for first electrically illuminating a Christmas tree at his home in New York City in 1882. Electricity allowed Christmas trees to glow for days, and soon they began to appear in town squares and eventually malls across the country. That tradition has led to such celebrated tree-lighting extravaganzas as the annual ceremony at Rockefeller Center, which began during the Great Depression and is televised every year.
One of the more poignant tree-lighting ceremonies occurs in Boston. The Christmas tree there is a gift from the province of Nova Scotia, Canada in gratitude for Boston’s help following the 1917 explosion of an ammunition ship that devastated the city of Halifax and killed almost 2,000 people.
Even if you don’t know the lyrics of “O Tannenbaum,” grab a hot chocolate, pull on your scarf, and enjoy 24/7 Wall St.’s list of the tallest Christmas tree in every state.