Feather trees were first created in Germany in the 1880's or 1890's and are considered one of the first types of artificial Christmas trees. Goose, turkey and swan feathers were a plentiful commodity on the farms and easily transformed into Christmas trees. Feathers were dyed green and wired to wooden sticks and then drilled into a dowel into the shape of a typical white pine German tree. Artificial berries were attached onto the ends of some branches and wire candle holders adorned others. The branches were placed some distance apart so ornaments were easily hung and admired and lit candles would not burn other branches. The American market was first introduced to feather trees by German immigrants in Pennsylvania and Texas.
AppleJack and I have used this feather tree for many Christmas seasons. Don't look to closely--some of the red berries at the tips of the branches are missing, our cats, Miss Katie and the General, ate the berries. The tree is decorated with miniature white oak baskets, some barely measure one inch. We have been collecting the baskets for several years. The baskets are a reminder of our Appalachian heritage. This year we were fortunate enough to find more miniatures at the spring wool festival in Dickson. The sampler behind the feather tree is Stacy Nash's Christmas at Hollyberry Farm. Gulp, the design was released in 2012, it took me a few years, but I finally have a Christmas sampler to enjoy. Kinda makes me want to stitch another Christmas sampler, maybe after I finish stitching And Heaven and Nature Sing.