Whether a centerpiece tree is real or artificial, it can bring style and enjoyment to the tabletop, by simply adding a touch of color and interest to the table décor; or it can complement the season throughout the year. Create something of beauty, grandeur, fun, humor, history or whatever other theme may suit the occasion--or simply your preference.
A bonsai tree in a ceramic container makes a graceful centerpiece. Bonsai, or the art of growing miniature trees, is identified with Japan, but in fact evolved in China over 1,000 years ago. The Japanese favor species like pines and maples for bonsai. During the 12th century, bonsai was an art form exclusive to the elite, but gradually became popularized.
Besides the traditional form of bonsai, which features just the miniature tree, there are also variations. Bon-kei incorporates additions like miniature buildings, people and rockery, and sai-kei features miniature landscapes.
In Chinese homes and businesses, a peach blossom tree (Prunus persica) that flowers during the lunar new year is a very good omen for the year to come, symbolizing prosperity. The peach blossom tree has delicate pink blossoms. It is sold in flower markets in the weeks leading up to the lunar new year in January or February, which is the most important festival in the Chinese calendar.
The peach blossom tree comes in a number of sizes, but there is always something to suit the needs of every home or office display. It is among the most expensive of lunar new year trees, but also among the most beautiful and prized centerpieces.
A potted plant of mandarin oranges (Citrus reticulata) is a colorful, auspicious centerpiece. Mandarin orange trees are extremely popular with Chinese communities in Asia and worldwide during the lunar new year, because their bright-orange fruit are called "kut" or "gut," which in Cantonese sounds like "luck."
Placing one or more pots of mandarin oranges in the home, and on the coffee table or dining table, is thought to attract "dai kut" or "great fortune," for the new year. The mandarin orange tree is native to Southeast Asia, but its cultivation today is very much worldwide. In the United States, it is cultivated commercially in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas.
Trees For All Seasons
A pretty silvertone or goldtone metal tree can be a lovely centerpiece too. It also has the flexibility to change with each holiday and season. For example, those who celebrate Christmas can decorate it with ornaments representing the 12 Days of Christmas, miniature musical instruments, exotic bird ornaments or any other theme that would interest the party guests. The Fourth of July and Halloween are other holidays when a metal tree can be decorated. Finally, a shopping tip: Look for the perfect tree at the after-Christmas sales in late December, and decorate it to celebrate a happy new year.