Chicago Christmas tree Facts

By Caryl Clem:

  • Going greener during this holiday season includes recycling evergreen trees. Every park district offers tree removal options. After the splendor of various adornments amidst a scented trail of fresh pine, the bare tree returns to build back our environment. According to statistics released by the University of Illinois ,these are the advantages of purchasing a tree:
  • 93% of Christmas tree consumers recycle their trees
  • Decomposing pine provides natural habitat for fish and attracts the algae for food
  • Pines along beaches protect dunes from water/wind erosion when the pine needles hold sand and vegetation
  • Cook County, IL. Uses evergreen to rebuild wildlife habitats destroyed by developments
  • All 50 states have Christmas tree farms, our neighbor Wisconsin is in the top rank of Christmas tree production
  • Artificial trees last for centuries in a landfill
  • Wood chips are excellent mulch. Hot cider, comfort food spreads while friends share holiday memories happen at neighborhood wood chip parties.  Rent a wood chipper, follow safety precautions then take home your own supply of mulch.
  • Oxygen for 18 people is the result from one acre of evergreen trees.

Chicago had a Christmas Ship that sold spruce trees from Michigan at the Clarke Street Bridge from 1887-1933. In 1912 the ship sank disrupting business.  To honor the deceased captain of the Christmas tree ship, F.J. Jordon gave Chicago in 1913, the popular Douglas spruce for the first tree lighting ceremony.

The Rouse Simmons was a three-masted schooner famous for having sunk in a violent storm on Lake Michigan in 1912. The ship was bound for Chicago with a cargo of Christmas trees when it foundered off Two Rivers, Wisconsin, killing all on board.. The legacy of the schooner lives on in the area, with frequent ghost sightings and tourist attractions whereby its final route is traced.

  • Builder: Allen, McCelland & Co., Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Launched: August 15, 1868
  • Identification: US 110087
  • Name: Rouse Simmons
  • Herman Schuenemann – Captain Santa – Classic Sailboats
  • Published on Nov 15, 2016. This is inspiring story of “Captain Santa” who sailed a three-masted schooner on Lake Michigan 100 years ago, delivering each December thousands of Christmas trees to be sold to Chicago families straight from the deck of his ship tied up at the Clark Street pier.


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