It's Christmas in just over a week, and if you're anything like us, you're just starting to think about maybe going to buy a Christmas tree.
To whet your appetites for all things evergreen, our friends at Statista have made us this attractive chart showing where the tallest trees in the world are located. The data is a little inconsistent – some are the record height for that city, while others are a height consistently hit every year – but all have in common the fact they're made of Christmas tree materials.
If those last three words confused you, let us elaborate. Some of the trees on the list below are traditional trees, grown out of the ground, all in one go. But some are built by Christmas tree builders (yes, this is a job) by riveting together lots of bits of other Christmas trees. This, according to the people who decide these things, still qualifies as a tree. Go figure.
The tallest tree of all, in Dortmund, Germany, is a prime example of this more creative approach to tall trees. At around 46m or 150 feet tall every year, it is enormous, the King Kong of Christmas trees:
The tree weighs around 40,000 kg, takes four weeks to construct (a job done in recent years by the Weise construction company) and is coated in 48,000 electric lights. It forms the centrepiece of Dortmund's Christmas market, which draws thousands of tourists and kind of explains why the relatively small German city invests in a 40 tonne Christmas tree every year.
At the other end of the scale is the White House's National Christmas Tree, transported down every year from Alaska and usually standing between 30 and 40 feet high. This is an honest-to-God tree, unaugmented by bits of other trees. It is, however, surrounded by smaller versions, which in turn represent the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the five territories:
London's tree, standing at 65.6 feet in Trafalgar Square, has been gifted every year since 1947 by the people of Oslo as a gesture of thanks for Britain's support during the Second World War. This year's model, however, has been criticised for being a "bit wonky", and had to be straightened after it was erected:
Perhaps as a result of these attacks, the tree has established a pushy and emotionally needy Twitter presence which inserts itself into any conversation about the tree, Trafalgar Square, or anything remotely related to itself.