Have you ever noticed a tree on top of a building under construction? It’s an old custom allegedly from Europe or the Americans. It’s called tree topping. Iron workers have used it to mark the uppermost steel member going into place and that the structure has reached it’s final height. As the final beams ascends an evergreen and a flag are attached. Usually accompanied by a ceremony. The evergreen tree symbolizes that the job went up without a loss of life and is thought to be a symbol of good luck for the future.
Carpenters in New Englandcall it “wetting the bush” this happens when the roof is framed. An evergreen (an ancient symbol of life) is nailed up to the roof frame and libations (usually alcoholic) are imbibed with toasts to the future health and happiness in the new home, etc. The Owner is expected to bring the beverage (of high quality) to share with the building crew.
In the residential construction in the southwest we have traditionally celebrated the Christmas season by affixing a Christmas tree or the plywood likeness of one to homes under construction. We at Casas del Oso Luxury Homes have been doing this for more than 20 years. The caveat being that we do this before the finish roof is installed. Unfortunately we have no pictures of our homes with a tree top so you will have to wait until next year.
Wishing you happy holidays and prosperous New Year!
Hoisting the highest beam on a commercial building – pretty scary!
Fixing the last beam into place – the building has reached its maximum height.
Traditional carpentry tree topping ceremony – a lot easier!
Carpenters set Tree on a barn structure.