Christmas trees are easily among the most familiar symbols of the holiday season. Seen in cities and homes across the nation, Christmas trees are typically evergreen adorned with lights and sparkly decorations. But some America cities prefer a tree that connects with its local culture. Unsurprisingly, not all of these trees are evergreen or even plastic green. Here are just five of the most unusual Christmas trees in America.
Barrel Tree – Lynchburg, Tennessee
An annual holiday tradition, this city’s most famous business has Christmas trees made with whiskey barrels. That business is Jack Daniels, world famous for its black label Tennessee whiskey. In its 10th year, Barrel trees are part of the Jack Daniels fundraiser, Operation Ride Home, that helps bring troops back home for the holidays. The tradition has become so popular that barrel trees can now be seen in eight other cities. Among these other cities are Boston, Cleveland, Nashville and Las Vegas. People can bid on the top barrel of each of the trees, with the proceeds going to Operation Ride Home. Additionally, customers can make a donation directly online.
Lobster Trap Christmas Tree – Gloucester, Massachusetts
Known as America’s oldest fishing seaport, Gloucester boasts a Christmas tree with a nautical twist. Gloucester’s spectacular tree is made from 300 lobster traps and colorful hand painted buoys. On Main Street next to the police station, the lobster trap tree does not have a walk-through section this year due to the coronavirus. However, Gloucester continues to host live events like the third annual Deck the Docks festival through January 1. Residents and visitors can also enjoy the first annual Winter Lights Celebration through January 1.
Sand Tree – West Palm Beach, Florida
Standing 35 feet tall, the Sand Tree in West Palm Beach is the world’s largest Christmas tree that’s completely made of sand. Known as “Sandi”, the Sand Tree weighs more than 700 tons and complete with festive lights and glitter. Accompanying Sandi are music and light shows that run every 15 minutes. The dazzling Sand Tree is viewable at the Waterfront Commons Great Lawn near the Green Market. Residents and visitors should also see the Snowfall in Rosemary Square and 100-foot tree in Delray Beach.
Ski Tree – Telluride, Colorado
The Christmas tree in one of America’s top ski destinations comes as no surprise. Telluride’s holiday tree is far from the grandest or tallest. But instead, it’s made of old snow skis and clearly like no other. Set in downtown Telluride, the 17-foot tall Ski Tree brings residents a sense of comfort during this holiday season. Unfortunately, all holiday events have been canceled this year due to COVID-19. However winter activities like ice skating remain open and hotels are operating a 50 percent capacity. Live webcams of the ski slopes and downtown area are available online through the official tourism site, Visit Telluride.
Tumbleweed Christmas Tree – Chandler Arizona
The Greater Phoenix area is filled with impressive Christmas trees, particularly at the many luxury resorts. But the suburb of Chandler has a unique tree that’s more emblematic of its desert climate. An annual holiday tradition since 1957, the Tumbleweed Tree is made of approximately 1,000 native tumbleweeds. This unusual tree is also sprayed with white paint and decorated with 1,200 holiday lights. Located outside the Chandler Museum, the Tumbleweed Tree can be viewed through January 10. Other unique trees are at the Arizona Biltmore, Fairmont Princess and the 70-foot tree at Outlets at Anthem, tallest in Arizona.
About The Author:
Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS Local from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS Local websites, including CBS New York, CBS Los Angeles, CBS Chicago and CBS San Francisco. During his peak years with CBS, he reportedly had a digital audience reach of 489 million and more than 5.5 million monthly visitors. His other stories have also appeared in the Daily Meal, Examiner.com, CBS Radio, Engadget and Radio.com. He is a Media Fellow of Stanford University, U.S. Army veteran and lifelong resident of Santa Cruz County, California.