The Wonderful World of Christmas Trees - Atlas Obscura Lists

The Wonderful World of Christmas Trees

From a particularly festive smokestack to a tannenbaum made out of tumbleweeds.

There’s no denying the joy that a Christmas tree can bring. As soon as the turkey goes cold and cranberry sauce congeals, trees seem to sprout overnight in living rooms, apartment lobbies, and town squares. While the typical fir, spruce, and pine trees certainly have their charms, there are plenty of nontraditional trees with their own versions of holiday charm.

Every year on December 7, the Mount Ingino Christmas Tree in Gubbio, Italy, comes to life. Thousands of lights stretch over the length of more than five football fields to create the shape of a Christmas tree that covers an entire mountainside. The light display has been a staple of the region since 1981. And over in San Francisco, California’s Golden Gate Park, a specimen known as Uncle John’s Tree stands proudly outside McLaren Lodge. Before he died in 1943, former park superintendent John McLaren shared his final wish: that Monterey Cypress be decorated every year. It is now the city’s official Christmas tree.

From the birthplace of the first community Christmas tree to a tumbleweed covered in decorations, here are six unique Christmas tree displays to get in the holiday spirit.