Selecting the perfect Christmas tree for your home can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for the entire family. Decorating and displaying a real Christmas tree is a tradition followed by generations of families. The most common Christmas tree used is a cut tree. However, some prefer using a living Christmas tree sold with roots intact so that replanting is possible after the holiday season. Once established in your landscape, that Christmas tree becomes a reminder of that special year it was displayed. If you choose to buy a living tree, make sure that the species selected will live in your climate. Also be aware that it will take special care including regular watering, reduced room temperature, and a shorter display period in a heated home to survive until it is transplanted. Here are some of the popular christmas trees:
- Balsam Fir
- Fraser Fir
- Canaan Fir
- Douglas Fir
- Grand Fir
- Noble Fir
- Norway Spruce
- Leyland Cypress
- Red Cedar
- Virginia Pine
- Eastern White Pine
- Concolor Fir
- Scot Pine
- Arizona Cypress (Blue Ice)
- Colorado Blue Spruce
- Lodgepole Pine
- American Arbovitae
- Emirald Green Thuja
- Korean Arbovitae
- Black hills spruce
- Carolina Sapphire
Balsam fir trees are known for their blue-green foliage, evergreen aroma, and the balsam blisters that appear on their bark. This species has a slow growth rate for a tree, averaging about one foot per year. Its symmetrical spire-like crown, shining dark green color, and spicy fragrance have made it a favorite Christmas tree for hundreds of years. The branches are also popular in holiday wreaths and other greenery.
Fraser Fir is a pyramid shaped tree with flat, shiny deep green needles. The foliage is dense and soft – an ideal type of christmas tree for all members of the family to decorate. The needles on Fraser Firs can sometimes be slightly squint which adds to the character of the tree. The Fraser Fir is generally a narrow tree making it ideal or splendid for smaller spaces, the tree also has a delicious balsam scent which fills the room for the entire festive period. This tree helps to reduce vacuuming time with its good needle retention.
Canaan fir is an attractive medium-sized tree that exhibits a relatively dense, pyramidal crown with a slender spire-like tip that often imparts a formal appearance. Foliage color is lustrous dark green to bluish green with silvery stomatic bands on the underside of the needles. Because of excellent needle retention, it is a sought after choice for Christmas tree production. A fine addition to your landscape whether in groups or as a single specimen.
The Douglas Fir Christmas tree (pseudotsuga menziesii) has been the most popular Christmas tree species since the 1920s. The needles on a Douglas fir radiate in all directions from the branch and have a rich, green color that is the same from the bottom to the top of the needle. The needles tend to be long, soft and flexible to the touch. It’s densely-packed branches point upward, which makes it easier to hang ornaments without the fear of them crashing to the ground. Most commercially grown Douglas fir trees are carefully trimmed into a perfect conical shape, excellent for draping with lights and other holiday cheer.
Also Read: Different Types of Arborvitae Varieties
Grand Fir is a large evergreen conifer of narrow, conical habit becoming round-topped or straggly with age. Its spreading and drooping branches are densely clad with sharp-tipped needles, shiny dark green above with two silver bands beneath. The needles exude an orange aroma when crushed. A fast grower, its gray bark is thin when young, thickening and becoming brown with age. Grand Fir makes a useful specimen tree or when carefully trimmed into a perfect conical shape, it becomes excellent for draping with lights and other holiday cheer.
Noble fir is called noble because it is the largest American fir and the largest of the true firs.This tall, narrow tree features a long, columnar trunk and conical crown with short, nearly horizontal branches. Its bark is silvery-gray and the needles are gray-green or bright blue-gray. The stiff, short branches grow almost horizontal. The crown of the young tree is conical and develops a round shape when mature. Boughs of the noble fir are often made into fresh wreaths due to its sturdy but flexible branches. The Noble fir has long been considered the “King” of Christmas trees. It is perfect for planting in the front yard and decorating with lights for Christmas.
The Picea abies, is a fast-growing evergreen better known as the Norway spruce. The tree is tall and straight and of a triangular appearance, with a pointed crown. The young bark is a coppery grey-brown and appears smooth, but is rough with papery scales. Their bright green needle-like foliage gives way to a deep blue-green color as the tree matures. This is a fast growing species and in ideal conditions you can see nearly a foot of growth each year. The Norway spruce has become ingrained in many holiday traditions and as one of the choice Christmas tree species for municipalities and cities.
The Leyland cypress forms a graceful pyramid, with dense pendulous branches and fine, feathery foliage. This foliage, on flattened branchlets, is dark green or blue-green and is small and scale-like. In contrast to some other species, a green color is retained throughout the winter. Branchlets are flattened and are held in two or more planes. Leyland Cypress makes a useful specimen tree or when carefully trimmed into a perfect conical shape, it becomes excellent for draping with lights and other holiday cheer.
Young Virginia pines have smooth bark that, with age, becomes red and scaly until it takes on a shaggy and grayish-brown color at maturity. Virginia pine is pyramidal in shape, but it gradually loses that form with maturity, becoming scrubby and rounded, which is why it’s nicknamed “scrub pine.” Many Christmas tree species have only one growth flush each year. Virginia pine is an exception and may have from two to four growth flushes during the growing season, depending upon rainfall, temperature and fertility. Virginia pines is perfect for planting in the front yard and decorating with lights for Christmas.
Eastern White Pine
Eastern white pine’s graceful habit and long, evergreen needles give this tree a soft look. Young trees are symmetrical and pyramidal in shape. It is considered one of the most attractive evergreens and is often planted as an ornamental tree. Although common in the landscape, eastern white pine makes an excellent specimen plant or background plant for smaller trees because of its evergreen foliage. When carefully trimmed into a perfect conical shape, it becomes excellent for draping with lights and other holiday cheer.
Also Read: Different Types of Evergreen Trees
The tree is generally a conical, upright growing evergreen with a blue cast, resembling Colorado blue spruce. As it matures it becomes rounded and often forms multiple trunks. Concolor fir needles are silvery-blue to silvery-green, and curving upward as they grow out from the stem. The bark is ashy gray and young trees maturing to dark gray-brown and deeply furrowed on mature trees. The concolor fir’s small narrow needles, shape and aroma as well as good needle retention make it an excellent Christmas tree.
The Scot pine tree is pyramidal in shape when young, but becomes flatter on top as it ages. The needles are bunched in pairs that twist together. The central trunk of the Scots pine is very long and straight, with scaly, flaking bark that is dark near the bottom, turning a rusty color toward the top. This tree is a popular Christmas tree because of its form and ability to hold onto its needles for a long time.
Smooth Arizona Cypress (Blue Ice Cypress)
Carolina Sapphire and Blue Ice are varieties of the Arizona Cypress and two of the newest species developed for Christmas trees. Smooth Arizona Cypress is a narrowly columnar evergreen conifer boasting showy, lacy, silvery gray-blue foliage in dense sprays. The waxy, scale-like needles are spirally arranged and retain their frosty blue-gray color all season. The tree grows at a moderate pace, adding a feet each year and topping out at between 40 and 50 feet. Blue Ice Cypress is perfect for planting in the front yard and decorating with lights for Christmas.
Colorado Blue Spruce
Blue spruce, also known as Colorado spruce, is a conical-shaped evergreen tree with stiff horizontal branches and short stiff needles.Blue spruce trees are widely planted due to their good growth rate, stately form and, of course, their blue foliage. Its pyramid shape, silvery-blue foliage color, and wonderful smell make it a classic choice for a Christmas tree. Then, when the holidays are over, seasoned gardeners like to use the tree’s boughs to make a shrub shelter to overwinter garden bushes.
Lodgepole pine is sometimes called black pine or tamarack pine. The branches have needlelike leaves in bunches of two that vary from yellow green to dark green and are slightly twisted, giving the tree its scientific name: contorta. Its bushy appearance and luscious long green needles, makes this pine ideal as a holiday or christmas tree. Lodgepole Pine is perfect for those looking to put their tree up early. The Lodgepole Pine have the best needle retention which makes them last longer, they can easily last right through the New Year celebrations.
Also Read: Different Types of Willow Trees
An American Arborvitae scientifically known as Thuja occidentalis stays dark green year round and holds its feathery needles throughout the winter. The distinctive narrow conical shape and dense foliage makes for a sturdy and visually appealing tree. American arbovitae makes a useful specimen tree or when carefully trimmed into a perfect conical shape, it becomes excellent for draping with lights and other holiday cheer.
Carolina Sapphire Cypress
Carolina Sapphire and Blue Ice are varieties of the Arizona Cypress and two of the newest species developed for Christmas trees. The Carolina Sapphire Cypress is a fast-growing variety and maintains a tall and compact shape naturally. The Carolina Sapphire is a clean tree that does not drop dead needles and has a strong, clean, piney aroma. The foliage is thick with a beautiful light blue-green color. This cypress has the best needle retention which makes them last longer, they can easily last right through the New Year celebrations.
Emerald Green Thujas
Emerald Green Thujas have a brighter green glow, which causes them to shine with a bright green hue in the sunlight. They have a more columnar shape, with the same width almost from the ground up before narrowing towards the top. Emerald Green Thuja makes a useful specimen tree or when carefully trimmed into a perfect conical shape, it becomes excellent for draping with lights and other holiday cheer.
Black Hill Spruce
Black hills spruce have excellent color and have a very traditional Christmas tree appearance. Its generally a large evergreen tree with a dense, ascending, lateral branches from the ground up that form a broad pyramidal to conical crown. It varies from the typical white spruce in its denser, more compact habit and slower growth rate. The thin bark is ashy gray or brown, shallowly fissured and separated into thin flaky scales. The needles are individually attached, and foliage color varies from deep green to blue green.
Korean Arbovitae is a small, evergreen tree with a conical habit. It often has trailing branchlets with flat shoots. Scale-like leaves are diamond shaped on young shoots and triangular on older shoots, bright green on top and silvery underneath. Korean Arbovitae is perfect for planting in the front yard and decorating with lights for Christmas.
- What is a Christmas Tree?: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_tree
- History of Christmas Trees: https://www.history.com/topics/christmas/history-of-christmas-trees
- Types of Christmas Trees: https://www.proflowers.com/blog/16-types-of-christmas-trees
- Christmas Trees You Need To Know About: https://www.countryliving.com/life/g29667070/types-of-christmas-trees/
- Best Types of Christmas Trees: https://www.thespruce.com/best-christmas-trees-you-can-buy-1976378
- Real Christmas Trees Guide: https://www.housebeautiful.com/uk/lifestyle/shopping/a25082305/real-christmas-tree/