O Christmas Tree: The World's Tallest Trees

22 December 2014

From its humble 16th-Century German roots, the Christmas tree has developed into an icon of the festive season. So popular are these evergreens, many cities have long made a habit of setting up towering versions to ring in the holidays with annual lighting ceremonies.

These trees can reach dizzying heights decked out in hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights. Some are freshly cut and some are constructed of smaller living trees, but all are impressive displays of yuletide spirit. So, without further ado, here are the world's tallest, real Christmas trees for 2014.

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Dortmund, Germany

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Height: 45 metres
Type: Fir
Decorations: More than 48,000 lights and illuminated ornaments

As the home of the Christmas tree tradition, it's only fitting that the world's tallest tree is located in Germany. Standing at the centre of the Dortmund Christmas Markets, this 'real' Christmas tree is somewhat unique. It is actually made up of 1,700 smaller trees, which have been put together and topped off with a four-metre angel that weighs no less than 90 kilograms

 Dortmund's stunning Christmas tree. (image: Getty)

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Anthem, Arizona

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Height: 34 metres
Type: White Fir
Decorations: 18,000 LED lights and more than 25,000 ornaments

The honour of playing host to the largest freshly cut Christmas tree in the United States belongs to Anthem, Arizona, beating out its more famous US counterparts in Washington DC and New York by a staggering eight metres. Towering over the Outlets at Anthem mall, it took a team of 14 people two weeks to set up and decorate this impressive White Fir.

 Anthem celebrates with the US's tallest tree.

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Washington DC

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Height: 26 metres
Type: White Spruce
Decorations: 10,000 handmade ornaments

Known as 'The People's Tree', the Capitol Christmas Tree is a 26-metre White Spruce that was cut from the Chippewa National Forest in Cass Lake, Minnesota. It is less than a metre short of the tallest tree ever to grace the West Front Lawn of the White House. Along with the LED lights, there are 10,000 ornaments on the tree that were handmade by children of Minnesota in honour of the 'Land of 10,000 Lakes'.

 The Capitol Christmas Tree came from Minnesota. (image: Getty)

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New York City, New York

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Height: 25 metres
Type: Norway Spruce
Decorations: 45,000 LED lights

The Rockefeller Christmas Tree is traditionally a Norway Spruce that has been grown in someone's yard and donated to Rockefeller Center. The only decorations on the tree are lights and the Swarovski Star that sits at the top. After the holiday season, the tree is donated to different charities in the US. This year, it will be shipped back to Pennsylvania to be used by Habitat for Humanity to build homes.

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Paris, France

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Height: 25 metres
Type: Pine
Decorations: Blue and white lights and illuminated ornaments

2014 was a unique year for France's largest Christmas tree in that it came from Russia. In a historic act of diplomacy, the tree was donated by Moscow as a sign of goodwill when it was revealed that the French parish couldn't fund the cost of the tree. The tree fronts the famous Notre Dame Cathedral and is joined by Christmas markets for the festive season.

 France's largest Christmas tree stands in front of Notre Dame. (image: Getty)

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Vilnius, Lithuania

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Height: 25 metres
Type: Pine
Decorations: Four kilometres of garland with 4,000 lights

Vilnius's Christmas tree gained international attention in 2013 when CNN named it the best in the world. 2014 saw another impressive offering as the city made the switch to a 'real' Christmas tree. A 25-metre frame was constructed and filled in with pine branches that were adorned with thousands of lights. It is the tallest Christmas tree yet for Vilnius and the Baltic states.

 Vilnius lights up Christmas with the city's tallest tree to date. (image: Getty)

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Prague, Czech Republic

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Height: 22 metres
Type: Spruce
Decorations: 100,000 LED lights

Prague's Old Town Square is known for its Christmas markets, but it is also home to one of the world's tallest trees. This year it was shipped in from Nespeky in the Central Bohemian Region and decorated with 100,000 LED lights as well as a variety of ornaments that range from parcels to gingerbread. Lighting the tree is an annual tradition that draws tens of thousands of people as it marks the official opening of markets.

 Prague's Christmas tree shinning brightly over the markets. (image: Getty)

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London, England

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Height: 21 metres
Type: Norwegian Spruce
Decorations: 500 white lights

Each year, London is gifted a Christmas tree from the people of Norway in honour of Britain's support through World War II. The tree is generally over 20 metres high and is set up in Trafalgar Square. 2014 was no exception as the 21-metre tree was erected and adorned with 500 low-watt bulbs in the traditional Norwegian style.

 The traditional Norwegian tree in Trafalgar Square. (image: Getty)

Carlie Tucker

Travelling is for discovering the unexpected. From fantastic meals in ramshackle joints to stumbling upon a best kept secret, I love those fortuitous travel moments that couldn't be planned if I tried.