Episode 86: The History and Aroma of Christmas Trees


It’s not really Christmas without a Christmas tree. Casey gives a very brief history of Christmas trees and introduces us to the tree that was selected in 2019 for the Idaho State Capitol Building. The tree is a Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens), which historically has had many other uses apart from being used as a Christmas tree.

via wikimedia commons

Daniel explains the chemistry behind the familiar smell of Christmas trees. A number of compounds in a family of compounds called terpenes are the major players. Learn more about the aroma here.


This episode aired on Radio Boise in December 2019 and featured music by Toy Zoo.

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