The 5 Types of Christmas Trees

For families who choose to put up a real Christmas tree (instead of a store bought tree), it’s about this time of year when they start the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree.  Not all Christmas Trees look the same; some have soft, flexible needles while others have firm.   Trees can even vary in color, height and width.  Depending on your your space, decorations, and other factors, there are a variety of different trees to choose from.

Here are the most common varieties of Christmas Trees:

BalsamFirFir Tree Varieties:

*   A Fraser fir tree has dark green needles 1/2 to 1 inch long with excellent needle retention and a nice scent.
*   A Douglas fir tree’s cones hang downward and the tree grows into a cone-shaped naturally.  It has 1 to 1-1/2 inch needles that are persistent with a sweet scent.  (This tree is found in nearly every tree lot in the Unites States).
*   The Balsam fir is a beautiful pyramidal tree with short, flat, long-lasting, aromatic needles.
*   The White fir has long blue-green needles that are 1/2 to 1-1/2 inches long (sometimes mistaken for a pine).  The fir has a nice shape with a pleasing aroma and good needle retention.

WhitePinePine Tree Varieties:

*   A Scotch pine tree has stiff branches, two bundled dark green needles 1 to 3 inches long that are retained for four weeks. The aroma is long-lasting and lingers through the entire season. Scotch pine does not drop needles when dry – excellent retention.
*   A Virginia pine is dark green to gray in color and the limbs are stout with woody branches.  It has only recently been used as a Christmas tree but is one of the most often purchased Christmas trees in the Southeastern United States.
*   The White pine is the largest pine in United States and the state tree of Michigan and Maine.  The tree retains needles throughout the holiday season but has little or no fragrance and not a good tree for heavy ornaments.  The tree is sought by people who suffer from allergic reactions to more fragrant trees.

COBlueSpruceSpruce Tree Varieties:

*   A Colorado Blue Spruce has dark green to powdery blue needles, 1 to 3 inches long and a pyramidal form when young. Colorado blue spruce is very often sold “living” and with an entire root ball – to be planted after the holidays.
*   A White spruce has green to bluish green needles but has poor needle retention and they have an unpleasant odor when crushed.  It is a regional favorite because it grows into the best shapes in the wild. The tree is excellent for heavy ornaments.

LeylandCypressCypress Tree Varieties:

*  The Arizona cypress has become a valued Christmas tree.  It’s a steeple shaped tree with a pale-green to gray-green color. The leaves are extremely tiny and quite plentiful. They lay close to the branchlet surface in a scale like arrangement and are about 0.1 inches long.
*  The Leyland Cypress  is dark green – gray in color and has very little aroma. Because it is not in the Pine or Fir family, it does not produce sap, so that those with an allergy to sap can still enjoy a Leyland as their Christmas Tree.

EasternRedCedar-CloseupCedar Trees:

The Eastern red cedar branches are light but compact and form a pyramidal crown as a young tree.  It’s not a true cedar but in fact a juniper.  The needles are aromatic and a dark, shiny, green color and sharp and prickly to the touch.  It’s been a traditional Christmas tree of the South.

What is your favorite variety of Christmas Tree?  Do you prefer a real farm raised tree or a reusable artificial tree?

– S.O.

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