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LACONIA — Have you ever wondered why there are trees placed on top of buildings on construction sites? One may notice an evergreen or pine tree on top of a building under construction and assume that is the builder’s way of spreading holiday cheer. This is partly true during the holiday season, but the tree is actually a symbol of a long-standing building tradition called Topping-Out.

The practice is believed to have originated in 700 AD in Scandinavia. The act was thought to appease the displaced spirits living in the trees at the construction site.

In modern times, the purpose of tree placement is to send a message to viewers that the building has reached its final height. Sometimes a flag may also accompany the tree. Topping-Out is a major step in the evolution of a construction project. It celebrates site safety and offers a wish for safety and good fortune for the continuation of the project as well as for the future of the building and its occupants. It is widely seen in the United States and throughout northern Europe.

So now you know the true purpose of trees and their locations on rooftops. We hope you enjoyed this article. Happy Holidays from the whole team at Bonnette, Page & Stone Corp.