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Owning a natural Christmas tree is illegal in parts of the USA
Featured Image Credit: Siri Stafford/Isabel Pavia

Owning a natural Christmas tree is illegal in parts of the USA

Believe it or not, you cannot have a real Christmas tree in certain parts of the USA

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, you're under arrest.

It might be a centrepiece of many people's Christmas, but in certain parts of the US having an all-natural tree is actually against the law.

Bah humbug.

Natural trees remain a popular choice for many people, with some even purchasing a potted tree which can live in the garden in the summer to be brought in for the festive season.

While they are undoubtedly very aesthetically pleasing, there also some downsides.

These include the needles which will inevitably be dropped as the holiday season continues on, to be dug out of socks, jumpers, and feet.

Then of course you have to dispose of it. Even those with an open fire or wood-burning stove would be ill-advised to burn their tree immediately, as the green wood contains a lot of sap which can collect in chimneys and cause chimney fires.

Good luck getting past that, Santa.

In fact, there are some places in the US which prohibit the use of real trees.

Having a Christmas tree has become a big part of the holiday.
Isabel Pavia / Getty

One is New York. Yes, Christmas in New York is now unsullied by real trees, at least in retail stores.

While you can have one at home, you will no longer see a real tree while roundhouse-kicking a fellow Christmas shopper into the snow over the last bottle of eggnog.

But New York is not the most strict state in this regard.

That honour actually goes to Philadelphia.

If you are living in Philadelphia, and specifically in a high rise block, then you are not allowed to have a natural Christmas tree. In fact, to have a natural Christmas tree you need to be in a building that only houses one or two families.

And there is in fact a pretty good reason for this. It's because they are a fire risk.

Craig Anderson on behalf of Top Rated Law adds: “Philadelphia’s Official fire code from 1982 prohibits natural Christmas trees in some buildings.

Christmas trees can be a fire hazard.
2Mmedia / Getty

"The law was enforced as those trees are considered to be a fire hazard. A $300 fine awaits you, if you’re found to have such a tree when you shouldn’t."

The fine could be $300, but the thought of government officials tearing down your tree while weeping children look on is enough to put a dampener on anyone's festive spirit.

The practice of having a Christmas tree is thought to originate as a Northern European and German pagan tradition.

It became more widely popularised in the UK following the marriage of Queen Victoria to the German Prince Albert, with people imitating the royal household's Christmas tree.

The practice also crossed the Atlantic with German immigrants and became part of the US Christmas tradition, though it was initially opposed by puritans due its pagan roots.

Topics: News, US News, Christmas