The Value of Christmas Trees

"...there is no reason why the joy associated with the Christmas evergreen may not be a means of arousing in the minds of children an appreciation of the beauty and usefulness of trees; and keen appreciation of the beauty and usefulness of trees is a long stop toward the will to plant and care for them (Arthur Sowder, US Forest Service, 1949)."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Honoring John Fraser

Today marks the 200th anniversary of the death of John Fraser, the man for whom the Fraser fir is named.

I hope you were able to read the article I wrote for LIMBS&NEEDLES about John Fraser. He was a remarkable man, exploring this country and its rich plant life when it was nothing but wilderness.

He wasn't the exacting botanist that Michaux and others were. He didn't leave any notes. Some said that he  explored and collected solely for financial gain, and for that reason should be looked down on. But in my opinion, he found a way to make a living doing what he loved. Like the Fraser fir which tenaciously survived on the highest mountains following the last glaciers, John Fraser didn't require anyone's approval. He was self taught, self motivated, and carved out his own name and niche. His legacy is the perfect symbol for the North Carolina Christmas tree growers that followed him scores of years later, who were also self taught, self motivated, and carved out an industry where people said it couldn't be done. Now the Fraser fir is recognized all around the world as one of this planet's best Christmas trees, and it still proudly bears the name of the man who first brought it down off the mountain.

So thank you, John Fraser. Your tree is still well loved and we trust it will be well into the future.

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