As one comment at Shorpy indicated, this tree wasn't "scrawny" in 1955 - this was a standard configuration in the era before trees were groomed in the field by mechanical pruners. The current generation of trees are remarkably dense and attractive, but the ornaments tend to rest on the branches rather than hang from them.
(From December 2008. Reposted because a tree that I transplanted into our woods 6-7 years ago is now this same size and has about this shape. In semi-shady woods I think vertical growth is more advantageous than thickening for young trees that want to capture more of the available light. I place a string of solar-powered Christmas lights on the tree "for the critters" (enough sunlight penetrates the woods in winter to power the setup, but the solar collector can't be stuck in the ground - it has to be a couple feet up to avoid being covered by snow).
Reposted again from 2011 to add the following:
The predictable reasons for the changes are discussed at the Washington Post.
Depends where you live, of course. Partly because different species of tree are used in different parts of the world, and partly because some people buy trees that are professionally pruned while others use trees that grow wild.ReplyDelete
Here's a photo of our Christmas tree from 2006: http://outerhoard.files.wordpress.com/2006/12/xmastree-whole.JPG
And here's an old blog post about making a home-made star to go on top of the tree: http://outerhoard.wordpress.com/2008/12/23/a-new-star-for-christmas/
I was a kid in Calgary, Alberta, in the late 50's and early 60's. Our friend's tree in Vancouver looked that way and I always felt sorry for him, but really it was his parents' choice of tree type. Our trees were very full, though I'm sure they weren't perfectly conical.ReplyDelete
My favorite tree was a sad looking spruce my sister and picked the year my mother died. It was so scrawny and pathetic looking that we both started to laugh, and couldn't stop laughing. The salesman was chagrined to have such a tree on his lot and tried to steer us to better looking trees; but by then, we had decided to take the poor little tree. (I don't think the salesman understood why we would choose a tree we were laughing at.)ReplyDelete
Of course, once home and fully decorated it was gorgeous! A true Charlie Brown Christmas tree.
As a FYI, from living next door to a Christmas tree farm; non-mass market trees are pruned by hand. Only the lazy farmers use the automated stuff, which is hard on the tree. Watch the following video at 6:50 for an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qElwfYNmy6QReplyDelete
rip, that's a very informative video. I didn't know you could prune leaders, and it also taught me some other things as well. I'm going to blog it in case someone else needs the info.ReplyDelete