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Crips

The blue bandannas worn by most Crip gangs. The purple bandanas worn by grape street Crip gangs. The black bandanas worn by shotgun Crip and other Crip gangs.

The Crips, originating in Los Angeles, California, are one of the oldest and most notorious African American gangs in the United States. They are involved in murders, robberies and drug dealing in the Los Angeles area. The Crips are mostly identified by the blue color worn by their members. What was once a single gang is now a loose network of "franchises" around the United States and Canada. The gang is largely composed of African Americans, but is multiracial in many cities (i.e. New York) where "satellite" Crip gangs are present. The gang has an intense rivalry with the Bloods. They are also known to feud with Chicano gangs.

History of the Crips

The Crips were founded by Raymond Washington and Stanley Williams. Williams argued that this was after the two became fed up with random violence in their neighborhood. Law enforcement officials dispute this, pointing to the incredible amount of violent crimes the gang members participated in, even in the early years.

The original name of the gang founded by Raymond Washington in 1969 at the age of 15 was the Baby Avenues, derived from a gang of older boys in the 1960s, named the Avenue Boys with their turf on Central Avenue in East Los Angeles. This evolved to Avenue Cribs and then Cribs as nicknames for the age of the members. The name Crips was first introduced in the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper in a description by crime victims of young men with canes, as if they were crippled (though there is some discussion that it may have initially been a simple spelling mistake). The name stuck.

Stanley "Tookie" Williams co-founded the gang in 1971, and started his own gang called the Westside Crips. The Crips became popular throughout southern Los Angeles as more and more youth gangs joined it; at one point they outnumbered non-Crip gangs by 3 to 1. In response, some of the besieged smaller gangs formed an alliance that later became the Bloods.

Contrary to popular misconception, Crip sets do not feud solely with Bloods, but also other Crip sets — for example, the Rollin' 60s and 83rd Street Gangster Crips ("Eight-Trey") have been rivals since 1979, and their rivalry is currently the largest in L.A.

Expansion

In the 1980s, Crips moved into crack sales, a cheaper form of the drug cocaine. It was invented by deriving a cheaper process to extract the stimulant from the coca plant. Previously the only available form was an expensive powder; leading to the traditional use of cocaine as a status symbol for the wealthy hedonist. Now cheap, the Crips could market the highly addictive recreational substance to lower income brackets.

The Crips made enormous profits from selling crack and gathered the capital to advance themselves in the illicit markets. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the Crips developed intricate networks and a respected reputation with other gangs across America and neighboring countries.

To stem violence between the Crips and Bloods, a peace treaty was recently negotiated, most notably in Watts, the treaty being largely based upon the ideals laid forth by original Crip co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams in his "Tookie Protocol For Peace". Though violence levels have been reduced somewhat after the conclusion of this peace treaty, gangland killings and warfare persist in heavily gang-controlled areas.

Gang identification

For many years, Crips were characterized by their tendency to wear blue in order to easily identify each other. One suggested origin of the selected color is traced to the school colors of Washington High School in South L.A. A particular set of Crips, the Grape Street Crips, have been known to wear purple in addition to blue. The SGCs are seperated into three sub-sets, the nine;139th street, the Foe;134th street, and the deuce;132nd street in the city of Gardena, California and have been known to wear dark-green, the city color of Gardena, in addition to blue to show that the Shotgun Crips are from Gardena. Crips also wear blue bandanas and British Knights sport shoes (using the company moniker BK, which the Crips use as a backronym meaning "Blood Killas"). They usually refer derisively to their rival, the Bloods, as "slobs."

In more recent years, however, the Crips have begun to cease the use of colors as a means of identification, since it is likely to draw attention from police. Methods such as the use of college sport team jerseys and hats are sometimes used, but in general, what set a certain gang member claims can be determined solely by their tattoos.

Origin of the name "Crips"

There have been many different explanations for the origin of the name of the gang:

  • The most well-known theories tie the current name with "crib" or "crib street" (alluding to an actual street or the young age of the members at the time of the gang's founding).
  • Crip or crib originates from the carrying of a cane or stick — Los Angeles Times 14 April 1992: "Word spread about the tough-looking young men, who some said carried canes and walked with a limp — cripples, or crips, they were called for short."
  • Mis-pronounciation of "The Crypts."
  • Some alleged backronyms for the name include:

Crips, hip-hop, and C-walk

Many popular rappers, in particular West Coast rappers, have close ties to Crips gangs in L.A. County. Snoop Dogg is a former member of the Rollin' 20 Crips in Long Beach (as are Warren G, Nate Dogg, and Goldie Loc), while WC has an affiliation with the 111 Neighborhood Crips in South Central Los Angeles. The late N.W.A member Eazy-E reportedly had ties to the Kelly Park Compton Crips. Recently signed G-Unit rapper Spider Loc is a member of the 97th Street East Coast Crips. However, there are also many rappers who are not members of Crips sets, yet take on traits of the Crip image and behavior because they hope to self-promote and sell records by doing so. Ice Cube has at times claimed to be a member of the Rollin' 100s Nhood Crips, even though he has no proven ties to this gang (aside from the fact that he is from the same area), and Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy has also claimed to be a Crip in some songs (also without any proof).

It is said that the popular hip-hop dance, the C-walk (Crip-walk), is meant to spell out one's set as an insult to rival gangs. On WC's song "The Streets" from his Ghetto Heisman album, he and Snoop Dogg rap about the C-walk's popularity in the mainstream, warning suburban teenagers and other non-gang members that it is a dance for Crips only.

Entertainers with Crip affiliations

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  • Brotha Lynch Hung (Garden Blocc 24th Street Crips) [citation needed]
  • Daz Dillinger (Rollin' 20 Crips) [citation needed]
  • Eazy-E (Kelly Park Compton Crips) [citation needed]
  • Jayo Felony (NHC 47 Blocc Crips) [citation needed]
  • MC Eiht (Tragniew Park Compton Crips) [citation needed]
  • Nate Dogg (Rollin 20 Crips) [citation needed]
  • Snoop Dogg (Rollin' 20 Crips) [citation needed]
  • Spider Loc (97th Street East Coast Crips) [citation needed]
  • Tray Deee (Insane Crips) [citation needed]
  • Warren G (Rollin' 20 Crips) [citation needed]
  • WC (111 Neighborhood Crips) [citation needed]

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On WC's song "The Streets" from his Ghetto Heisman album, he and Snoop Dogg rap about the C-walk's popularity in the mainstream, warning suburban teenagers and other non-gang members that it is a dance for Crips only. This is comparable to the Old English poem The Dream of the Rood. It is said that the popular hip-hop dance, the C-walk (Crip-walk), is meant to spell out one's set as an insult to rival gangs. Some churches use the same stripped Christmas tree as a Christian cross at Easter. Ice Cube has at times claimed to be a member of the Rollin' 100s Nhood Crips, even though he has no proven ties to this gang (aside from the fact that he is from the same area), and Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy has also claimed to be a Crip in some songs (also without any proof). Such individuals and Christian denominations are unlikely to celebrate Christmas at all, for the same reason, such as the United Church of God. However, there are also many rappers who are not members of Crips sets, yet take on traits of the Crip image and behavior because they hope to self-promote and sell records by doing so. Some Christians, again a minority, feel that since "Christmas Trees" are not biblically ordained, they should not be used.

Recently signed G-Unit rapper Spider Loc is a member of the 97th Street East Coast Crips. The only consistancies with Christmas tree customs seem to be that both are made of wood and both are decorated. The late N.W.A member Eazy-E reportedly had ties to the Kelly Park Compton Crips. They would also carry it from place to place as an object to be feared and worshipped. Snoop Dogg is a former member of the Rollin' 20 Crips in Long Beach (as are Warren G, Nate Dogg, and Goldie Loc), while WC has an affiliation with the 111 Neighborhood Crips in South Central Los Angeles. A full study of the passage shows that the people would cut down a tree and work it with a chisel to engrave an image in it. County. In other English translations of the Bible the verses more explicitly refer to the practice of making idols to be worshipped:.

Many popular rappers, in particular West Coast rappers, have close ties to Crips gangs in L.A. Interpreting those verses as a ban on Christmas trees may be more common among individuals and Christian denominations that are part of the King-James-Only Movement. There have been many different explanations for the origin of the name of the gang:. Some Christians, albeit a minority, feel that the practice of having "Christmas Trees" is prohibited by the Book of Jeremiah 10:1-5 which says,. Methods such as the use of college sport team jerseys and hats are sometimes used, but in general, what set a certain gang member claims can be determined solely by their tattoos. A recent campaign spearheaded by conservative Fox News Channel contributors Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity has resulted in a backlash from some Christian groups and individuals who feel the designation "holiday tree" is part of an alleged war on Christmas. In more recent years, however, the Crips have begun to cease the use of colors as a means of identification, since it is likely to draw attention from police. The term holiday tree has, since at least 1990 (and perhaps before), been used by some in the United States, Canada and the UK to reflect the winter holiday season instead of any specific religious holiday.

They usually refer derisively to their rival, the Bloods, as "slobs.". The term comes from the appearance of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree in the TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas. Crips also wear blue bandanas and British Knights sport shoes (using the company moniker BK, which the Crips use as a backronym meaning "Blood Killas"). Some tree buyers intentionally adopt such trees, feeling sympathetic to their plights. The SGCs are seperated into three sub-sets, the nine;139th street, the Foe;134th street, and the deuce;132nd street in the city of Gardena, California and have been known to wear dark-green, the city color of Gardena, in addition to blue to show that the Shotgun Crips are from Gardena. The term Charlie Brown Christmas tree can be used to described any sad-looking, malformed little tree. A particular set of Crips, the Grape Street Crips, have been known to wear purple in addition to blue. President Jimmy Carter only lit the crowning star atop the Tree in 1979 in honor of the Americans being held hostage in Iran; in 1980, the tree was only fully lit for 417 seconds, one second for each day the hostages had been in captivity.

One suggested origin of the selected color is traced to the school colors of Washington High School in South L.A. Today, the lighting of the National Tree is part of what has become a major holiday event at the White House. For many years, Crips were characterized by their tendency to wear blue in order to easily identify each other. The United States' National Christmas Tree is lit each year south of the White House in Washington, D.C. Though violence levels have been reduced somewhat after the conclusion of this peace treaty, gangland killings and warfare persist in heavily gang-controlled areas. In some cases the trees represent special commemorative gifts, such as in Trafalgar Square in London where the City of Oslo presents a tree to the people of London as a token of appreciation for the British support of Norwegian resistance during the Second World War and in Newcastle upon Tyne, where the 15 m tall main civic Christmas tree is an annual gift from the city of Bergen, Norway in thanks for the part played by soldiers from Newcastle in liberating Bergen from Nazi occupation. To stem violence between the Crips and Bloods, a peace treaty was recently negotiated, most notably in Watts, the treaty being largely based upon the ideals laid forth by original Crip co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams in his "Tookie Protocol For Peace". In some cities festivals are organised around the decoration and display of multiple trees as charity events.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the Crips developed intricate networks and a respected reputation with other gangs across America and neighboring countries. Many cities, towns, and department stores put up public Christmas trees outdoors for everyone to enjoy, such as the Rich's Great Tree in Atlanta, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City and the large Christmas tree at Victoria Square in Adelaide. The Crips made enormous profits from selling crack and gathered the capital to advance themselves in the illicit markets. The "First Christmas Tree in America" is also claimed by Easton, Pennsylvania, where German settlers purportedly erected a Christmas tree in 1816. Now cheap, the Crips could market the highly addictive recreational substance to lower income brackets. Windsor Locks, Connecticut claims that a Hessian soldier put up a Christmas tree in 1777 while imprisoned at the Noden-Reed House, thus making it the home of the first Christmas tree in New England. Previously the only available form was an expensive powder; leading to the traditional use of cocaine as a status symbol for the wealthy hedonist. There are several cities in the United States which lay claim to that country's first Christmas tree.

It was invented by deriving a cheaper process to extract the stimulant from the coca plant. Such patriotic prints of the British royal family at Christmas celebrations helped popularise the Christmas tree in Britain and among the anglophile American upper class. In the 1980s, Crips moved into crack sales, a cheaper form of the drug cocaine. Images of the royal family with their Christmas tree at Osborne House were illustrated in English magazines, initially as a woodcut in the Illustrated London News of December 1848, and copied in the United States at Christmas 1850 (illustration, left). Contrary to popular misconception, Crip sets do not feud solely with Bloods, but also other Crip sets — for example, the Rollin' 60s and 83rd Street Gangster Crips ("Eight-Trey") have been rivals since 1979, and their rivalry is currently the largest in L.A. The generous Prince Albert also presented large numbers of trees to schools and army barracks at Christmas. In response, some of the besieged smaller gangs formed an alliance that later became the Bloods. In 1847, Prince Albert wrote: "I must now seek in the children an echo of what Ernest [his brother] and I were in the old time, of what we felt and thought; and their delight in the Christmas-trees is not less than ours used to be".

The Crips became popular throughout southern Los Angeles as more and more youth gangs joined it; at one point they outnumbered non-Crip gangs by 3 to 1. After her marriage to her German cousin, Prince Albert, the custom became even more widespread. Stanley "Tookie" Williams co-founded the gang in 1971, and started his own gang called the Westside Crips. All the presents being placed round the trees...". The name stuck. Queen Victoria as a child was familiar with the custom, in her journal for Christmas Eve 1832, the delighted 13-year-old Princess wrote: "After dinner...we then went into the drawing-room near the dining-room...There were two large round tables on which were placed two trees hung with lights and sugar ornaments. The name Crips was first introduced in the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper in a description by crime victims of young men with canes, as if they were crippled (though there is some discussion that it may have initially been a simple spelling mistake). In Britain, the Christmas tree was introduced by King George III's German Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, but did not spread much beyond the royal family.

This evolved to Avenue Cribs and then Cribs as nicknames for the age of the members. In France, the first Christmas tree was introduced in 1840 by the duchess of Orleans. The original name of the gang founded by Raymond Washington in 1969 at the age of 15 was the Baby Avenues, derived from a gang of older boys in the 1960s, named the Avenue Boys with their turf on Central Avenue in East Los Angeles. Princess Henrietta von Nassau-Weilburg introduced the Christmas tree to Vienna in 1816, and the custom spread across Austria in the following years. Law enforcement officials dispute this, pointing to the incredible amount of violent crimes the gang members participated in, even in the early years. In the early 19th century, the custom became popular among the nobility and spread to royal courts as far as Russia. Williams argued that this was after the two became fed up with random violence in their neighborhood. It was regarded as a Protestant custom by the Catholic majority along the lower Rhine, and was spread there only by Prussian officials who were moved there in the wake of the Congress of Vienna in 1815.

The Crips were founded by Raymond Washington and Stanley Williams. The Christmas tree remained confined to the upper Rhineland for a relatively long time. . Wax candles are attested from the late 18th century. They are also known to feud with Chicano gangs. By the early 18th century, the custom had become common in towns of the upper Rhineland, but it had not yet spread to rural areas. The gang has an intense rivalry with the Bloods. One Strasbourg priest, Johann Konrad Dannerhauer, complains about the custom as distracting from the word of God.

New York) where "satellite" Crip gangs are present. During the 17th century, the custom entered family homes. The gang is largely composed of African Americans, but is multiracial in many cities (i.e. The city of Riga, Latvia claims to be home of the first holiday tree, an octagonal plaque in the town square reads "The First New Years Tree in Riga in 1510", in eight different languages. What was once a single gang is now a loose network of "franchises" around the United States and Canada. Another early reference is from Basel, where the taylor apprentices carried around town a tree decorated with apples and cheese in 1597. The Crips are mostly identified by the blue color worn by their members. It can be traced to 16th century Germany; Ingeborg Weber-Keller (Marburg professor of European ethnology) identified as the earliest reference a Bremen guild chronicle of 1570 which reports how a small fir was decorated with apples, nuts, dates, pretzels and paper flowers, and erected in the guild-house, for the benefit of the guild members' children, who collected the dainties on Christmas day.

They are involved in murders, robberies and drug dealing in the Los Angeles area. The modern custom, however, although likely related, cannot be proven to be directly descended from pagan tradition. The Crips, originating in Los Angeles, California, are one of the oldest and most notorious African American gangs in the United States. According to one legend, Saint Boniface attempted to introduce the idea of trinity to the pagan tribes using the cone-shaped evergreen trees because of their triangular appearance. WC (111 Neighborhood Crips) [citation needed]. According to Adam of Bremen, in Scandinavia the pagan kings sacrificed nine males of each species at the sacred groves every ninth year. Warren G (Rollin' 20 Crips) [citation needed]. Among early Germanic tribes the Yule tradition was celebrated by sacrificing male animals and slaves by suspending them on the branches of trees.

Tray Deee (Insane Crips) [citation needed]. Patron trees (for example, the Irminsul, Thor's Oak and the figurative Yggdrasil) held special significance for the ancient Germanic tribes, appearing throughout historic accounts as sacred symbols and objects. Spider Loc (97th Street East Coast Crips) [citation needed]. A branch of flowering Glastonbury thorn is still sent annually for the Queen's Christmas table in the United Kingdom. Snoop Dogg (Rollin' 20 Crips) [citation needed]. Medieval legends, nevertheless, tended to concentrate more on the miraculous "flowering" of trees at Christmas time. Nate Dogg (Rollin 20 Crips) [citation needed]. In Roman mosaics from what is today Tunisia, showing the mythic triumphant return from India of the Greek god of wine and male fertility, Dionysus (dubbed by some modern scholars as a life-death-rebirth deity), the god carries a tapering coniferous tree.

MC Eiht (Tragniew Park Compton Crips) [citation needed]. The Christmas tree is often explained as a Christianization of the ancient pagan idea that the evergreen tree represents a celebration of the renewal of life. Jayo Felony (NHC 47 Blocc Crips) [citation needed]. After the holidays, dead trees can be put to other uses:. Eazy-E (Kelly Park Compton Crips) [citation needed]. These tips will ensure the tree will stay fresh for several weeks. Daz Dillinger (Rollin' 20 Crips) [citation needed]. This tradition seems to be limited mostly to the United States.

Brotha Lynch Hung (Garden Blocc 24th Street Crips) [citation needed]. Flocking can be done with a professional sprayer at a tree lot (or the manufacturer if it is artificial), or at home from a spray can, and either can be rather messy. Some alleged backronyms for the name include:. Typically it would be sprayed all over the tree from the sides, which produced a look different from real snow, which settles in clumps atop branches. Mis-pronounciation of "The Crypts.". In the 1980s some trees were sprayed with fluffy white flocking to simulate snow. Crip or crib originates from the carrying of a cane or stick — Los Angeles Times 14 April 1992: "Word spread about the tough-looking young men, who some said carried canes and walked with a limp — cripples, or crips, they were called for short.". A plain mat of fabric or plastic may also be placed under the stand and skirt to protect the floor from scratches or water.

The most well-known theories tie the current name with "crib" or "crib street" (alluding to an actual street or the young age of the members at the time of the gang's founding). Generally, the difference between a mat and skirt is simply that a mat is placed under the tree stand, while a skirt is placed over it, having a hole in the middle for the trunk, with a slot cut to the outside edge so that it can be placed around the tree (beneath the branches) easily. As Christmas presents arrive, they are generally placed underneath the tree on the tree skirt (depending on tradition, all Christmas gifts, or those too large to be hung on the tree, as in "presents on the tree" of the song "White Christmas"). A nativity scene, model train, or Christmas village may be placed on the mat or skirt. What began as ordinary cloth has now often become much more ornate, some having embroidery or being put together like a quilt.

Even when dripless candles, electric lights and artificial trees have been used, a skirt is still usually used as a decorative feature: among other things, it hides the tree stand, which may be unsightly but which is an important safety feature of home trees. Since candles were used to light trees until electric bulbs came about, a mat (UK) or "skirt" (US) was often placed on the floor below the tree to protect it by catching the dripping candle wax, and also to collect any needles that fall. Many people also decorate outdoor trees with food that birds and other wildlife will enjoy, such as garlands made from unsalted popcorn or cranberries, orange halves, and seed-covered suet cakes. Conversely, trees decorated by professional designers for department stores and other institutions will usually have a "theme"; a set of predominant colours, multiple instances of each type of ornament, and larger decorations that may be more complicated to set up correctly.

Individuals' decorations vary wildly, typically being an eclectic mix of family traditions and personal tastes; even a small unattractive ornament, if passed down from a parent or grandparent, may come to carry considerable emotional value and be given pride of place on the tree. Baubles are another extremely common decoration, and usually consist of a fairly small hollow glass or plastic sphere coated with a thin metallic layer to make them reflective, and then with a further coating of a thin pigmented polymer in order to provide colouration. Strands of tinsel may be hung in groups from longer branches to simulate icicles, though this trend has gradually fallen off since the late 1970s. Lighting with candles or electric lights (fairy lights) is commonly done, and a tree topper completes the ensemble.

Delicate mould-blown and painted coloured glass Christmas ornaments were a specialty of Czech glass factories from the late 19th century, and have since become a large industry, complete with famous-name designers. Tinsel and several types of garland or ribbon are commonly used to decorate a Christmas tree. Organically grown Christmas trees are available in some markets, and as with many other crops, are widely held to be better for the environment. In some cases management of Christmas tree crops can result in poor habitat since it involves heavy input of pesticides and herbicides.

Live trees are typically grown as a crop and replanted in rotation after cutting, often providing suitable habitat for wildlife. Real trees also help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere while growing. Real trees are used only for a short time, but can be recycled and used as mulch or used to prevent erosion [2]. Artificial trees can be used for many years, but are usually non-recyclable, ending up in landfills.

Polyethylene trees are less toxic, though more expensive, than PVC trees [1]. For instance, the bark of a real tree can be used to surface an artificial trunk. A small amount of real-tree material is used in some artificial trees. Some trees have a warning that dust or leaves from the tree should not be eaten or inhaled.

Artificial trees are usually made out of PVC, a toxic material which is often stabilised with lead. There is some debate as to whether artificial or real trees are better for the environment. Real potted ones are often sold like this, and artificial ones often come with a "root ball" but only sometimes with decorations. A long-standing and simple gimmick is conifer seedlings sold with cheap decorations attached by soft pipe cleaners.

Past gimmicks include small talking or singing trees, and trees which blow "snow" (actually small styrofoam beads) over themselves, collecting them in a decorative cardboard bin at the bottom and blowing them back up to the top through a tube hidden next to the trunk. Retailers also claimed that the trees were popular because they allowed larger presents to be placed beneath the trees. Customers then wanted to replicate the inverted tree. They were originally sold as decorations for merchants that allowed customers to get closer to ornaments being sold.

In 2005 inverted trees became popular. Some are instead lit partly or completely by fibre optics, with the light in the base, and a rotating colour wheel causing various colours to shimmer across the tree. Since the late 1990s, many indoor artificial trees come pre-strung with lights. Some skyscrapers will tell certain offices to leave their lights on (and others off) at night during December, creating a Christmas tree pattern.

A few hotels and other buildings, both public and private, will string lights up from the roof to the top of a small tower on top of the building, so that at night it appears as a lit Christmas tree, often using green or other coloured lights. These lights are usually white, but often are green, red, red/green, blue/white, blue, or multicoloured, and sometimes with a small controller to fade colours back and forth. lawns in the 2000s, along with 1990s spiral ones that hang from a central pole, both styles being lighted with standard miniature lights. Outdoor branched trees made out of heavy white-enameled steel wires have become more popular on U.S.

Other artificial trees which look nothing like a conifer except for the triangular or conical shape, are also used as tabletop decorations, such as a stack of ornaments. More recent tinsel trees can be used fairly safely with lights. They were instead lit by a spotlight or floodlight, often with a motorised rotating color wheel in front of it. They were aluminium-coated paper, meaning that they also posed a great fire hazard if lights were put directly on them (warnings to this effect are still issued with most christmas tree lights).

The first trees which were not green were the metallic trees of the 1950s and 1960s. Around 2003, some trees with molded-plastic branches started selling in the U.S.. Better trees also have more branch tips, the number usually listed on the box. Most of the better trees have branches hinged to the pole, though the less-expensive ones generally still come separately.

Many trees now come in "slim" versions, to fit in smaller spaces. These trees have become a little more realistic every year, with a few deluxe trees containing multiple branch styles. Many also have very short brown "needles" wound in with the longer green ones, to imitate the branch itself or the bases that each group of pine (but not other conifer) needles grows from. Those first trees looked like long-needled pine trees, but later trees use flat PVC sheets to make the needles.

Each row of branches is a different size, colour coded at the base with paint or stickers for ease of assembly. The bases of the branches were then twisted together to form a large branch, which was then inserted by the user into a wooden pole (now metal with plastic rings) for a trunk. They were made the same way, using animal hair (mainly pig bristles) and later plastic bristles, dyed pine-green colour, inserted between twisted wires that form the branches. The first modern artificial Christmas trees were produced by companies which made brushes.

in 1913, in the Sears, Roebuck and Company catalog. The first feather trees came to the U.S. Originating in Germany in the 19th century to prevent further deforestation, these "minimalist" trees show off small ornaments very well. The first artificial trees were tabletop feather trees, made from green-dyed goose feathers wound onto sticks drilled into a larger one, like the branches on a tree.

They may also be necessary for people who have an allergy to conifers, and are increasingly popular in office settings. Artificial trees are sometimes even a necessity in some rented homes (especially apartment flats), due to the potential fire danger from a dried-out real tree, leading to their prohibition by some landlords. In the U.S., about 70% of trees are now artificial. At the end of the Christmas season artificial trees can be diassembled and stored compactly, but some artificial-tree owners simply store the whole decorated tree covered in a large bag, ready for the next year.

Trees come in a number of colours and "species", and some come pre-decorated with coloured lights. Artificial trees are very popular, particularly in the U.S., where despite their lack of realism (both in looks and scent), they are considered more convenient and (if used for several years) less expensive than real trees. In the UK, The British Christmas Tree Growers Association represents the interests of all those who grow Christmas trees in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In the past, Christmas trees were often harvested from wild forests, but now almost all are commercially grown on tree farms.

The shearing also damages the highly attractive natural symmetry of unsheared trees. European tradition prefers the open aspect of naturally-grown, unsheared trees, while in North America (outside much of the Rockies) there is a preference for close-sheared trees with denser foliage, but less space to hang decorations. Others are produced in a container and sometimes as topiary for a porch or patio. These trees must be kept inside only for a few days, as the warmth will bring them out of dormancy, leaving them little protection when put back outside into the midwinter cold in most areas.

However, the combination of root loss on digging, and the indoor environment of high temperature and low humidity is very detrimental to the tree's health, and the survival rate of these trees is low. Some trees are sold live with roots and soil, often from a nursery, to be planted later outdoors and enjoyed (and often decorated) for years or decades. Norfolk Island pine is sometimes used, particularly in the Oceania region, and in Australia some species of the genera Casuarina and Allocasuarina are also occasionally used as Christmas trees. The long-needled Eastern White Pine is also used there.

Virginia Pine is still available on some tree farms in the southeastern United States, however it has poor winter colour and sharp needles. Less-traditional conifers are sometimes used, such as Giant Sequoia, Leyland Cypress and Eastern Juniper. Several other species are used to a lesser extent. and in North America:.

Commonly used species in northern Europe (including the UK) are:. The best species for use are species of fir (Abies), which have the major benefit of not shedding the needles when they dry out, as well as good foliage colour and scent; but species in other genera are also used. Both natural and artificial trees are used as Christmas trees. In Germany, the Catholic people takes their Christmas trees down by the 2nd of February.

In Europe, private Christmas trees are not usually put up until at least the middle of December and are usually taken down by the 6th of January. In more northern climates and into Canada, the tree (if not too dry) and other decorations are left up well into January. homes is to put the tree up right after Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday in November) and to take it down right after the New Year. The most common tradition in U.S.

Modern commercialisation of Christmas has however resulted in trees being put up much earlier; in shops often as early as late October. Traditionally, Christmas trees were not brought in and decorated until Christmas Eve (24 December), and then removed the day after twelfth night (i.e., 6 January); to have a tree up before or after these dates was even considered bad luck. . It is normally an evergreen coniferous tree that is brought into a home or used in the open, and is decorated with Christmas lights and colourful ornaments during the days around Christmas.

A Christmas tree is one of the most popular traditions associated with the celebration of Christmas. In coastal areas, trees can be used to protect sand dunes from erosion. Trees can be cut into small pieces and use for mulch or composted; some cities offer this service to their residents. Use the tree as a bean or pea support pole.

Use needles in a sachet. Use your tree as a bird feeder, hanging suet balls or other food from the branches. Place your tree away from heat sources, including radiators and windows that get a lot of direct sunlight. Only use plain water; research shows that additives such as sugar, cola and aspirin do more harm than good.

Check it daily. Make sure your tree has a sturdy Christmas tree stand that holds 4-6 litres of water. This allows the tree to continue taking up water, by removing the resin-soaked wood at the original cut. Just before placing it in the stand, cut 2-3 centimeters off the trunk.

Before taking your tree inside, gently bang the tree on its stump several times to dislodge any loose needles. If possible, the night before decorating, bring the tree into a partially heated area to allow it to adjust gradually to temperature changes. If decoration is not planned immediately, store the tree in a cool environment protected from the sun and wind. When transporting the tree, protect it from wind and road salts by covering it with plastic.

Stone Pine Pinus pinea (as small table-top trees). Scots Pine Pinus sylvestris. Douglas-fir Pseudotsuga menziesii. Red Fir Abies magnifica.

Noble Fir Abies procera. Fraser Fir Abies fraseri. Balsam Fir Abies balsamea. Scots Pine Pinus sylvestris.

Serbian Spruce Picea omorika. Norway Spruce Picea abies (generally the cheapest). Noble Fir Abies procera. Nordmann Fir Abies nordmanniana (as in the photo).

Silver Fir Abies alba (the original species).

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