Have you ever gone to a Christmas tree lot and were bewildered by all the different types of trees you could pick from? Besides the usual dilemma of how tall, fat, or full do I want my tree? You now need to understand the pros and cons to the different tree types. Does the tree have a strong evergreen smell or not? How long will a pine stay fresh as opposed to a fir? Which trees have strong enough branches to hold up your collectible ornaments? All good questions to consider before going to the Christmas tree lot this year. This guide will help you quickly navigate the most popular types of Christmas trees, so your next quest to find a Christmas tree will be easy pickings.
If you are considering a pine tree, a Scotch Pine is the way to go. It is known for its bright green color, hardy needles, and ability to stay fresh throughout the holiday season. The Scotch Pine’s needles are about 1 inch long, and they don’t fall out when they are dry like a lot of other pines. This is perfect for anyone who wants to minimize stepping on pine needles or hates vacuuming them up every day. They are the low maintenance choice for a fresh Christmas tree. Also, it has stiff branches that are less likely to droop under the weight of your ornaments. Some cons to keep in mind are that the evergreen aroma is weaker than some of the others trees and they tend to have more crooked trunks.
The White Pine is one of the largest pines you can find in the U.S. It has longer needles (2 ½ - 5 inches long) that are typically soft and flexible with a bluish-greenish hue. They are not known for being good ornament trees, despite their high needle retention because their needles are so soft. Many people stick with tinsel, lights, and bows when decorating this tree. As far as aroma goes, it has a light evergreen sent, but may be on the weaker side compared to some of the other popular Christmas tree options. At least this Christmas tree option is easy on the wallet. Typically, White Pines are one of the cheapest on the lot.
The Virginia Pine is a small to medium size tree with thick, woody branches. It tends to be one of the more dense Christmas trees available, which is great if you prefer more foliage and a stronger tree for decorations. Their short needles and cluster-like branches make it easier for children to hang ornaments on the tree without them easily slipping off the branches.
Colorado Blue Spruce
Spruce trees are known more for their beautiful blue-gray foliage and their symmetrical branches than they are for their aroma. In fact, their needles give off an odd smell when crushed. Their needles are also sharp and roughly 1 - 1 ½ inches long. One of the benefits of the Colorado Blue Spruce is that their needles tend to stay on the tree when dry, more so than other spruces. Another advantage is that they need little shaping.
If you are hoping to get a spruce, the White Spruce is one of the best ornament trees you can find. Their needles are even shorter than the Colorado Blue Spruce at only ½ to ¾ of an inch long and their tips are blunt, making it easier for even ornament placement. Although, keep in mind that their needles also have a bad odor when crushed. This elegant tree has a blue-green color, good needle retention, and a great form with evenly spaced branches and a sturdy trunk.
The Douglas Fir is one of the most common trees you will see at Christmas. It has been one of the more popular Christmas tree options since the late 1920s. Its needles have a sweet fragrance and a softer feel to them, compared to other firs. Needle length varies from 1 to 1 ½ inches long and is more of a dark green color than the spruces. Douglas Firs have a tall cone shape and is typically the more affordable of the fir trees.
Firs are some of the most popular choices for Christmas trees; they are also some of the most expensive. A Fraser Fir is a great Christmas tree option because of its strong upward pointing branches and strong evergreen smell. In fact, it is the White House’s preferred Christmas tree. Fraiser Firs can grow up to 80 ft and are known for their even cone-shaped form. Their needles are a dark green-blue color and will keep well throughout the season if watered regularly. A unique benefit to the Fraser Fir is that it's flat, upward facing branches make it an easy tree to ship and a great tree to lay on the heavy decorations.
The Noble Fir, considered the “Cadillac of Christmas trees,” has well spaced, layered branches, with needles that turn upward. The name of this tree definitely befits its characteristics as it is one of the most beautiful tree options at Christmas. Besides its noble stature, many people prefer this tree because it has strong branches for hanging ornaments, the needles keep well, and its greenery makes for the best wreaths and garlands.