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Comparing Evergreen Varieties for Christmas Trees

Which Tree Suits Your Needs?

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Comparing Evergreen Varieties for Christmas Trees Photo: © Marie Iannotti

Our first consideration when selecting a tree for Christmas is usually aesthetics. However, some evergreens hold up throughout the season better than others. Look a little more closely at your choice of trees before necessarily choosing the fattest or most fragrant.

Here's a breakdown of popular evergreens suitable for use as cut Christmas trees:

Balsam Fir or Canaan Fir - It is usually the most reasonably priced and abundant cut tree. Dark green with a slight silvery cast, Balsams have short, flat, needles that are long lasting. Very fragrant when first cut.

 

Colorado Blue Spruce - They range in color from dark green to powdery blue, with stiff 1 to 3 inch needles. The needles can be so stiff they scratch, so be careful when handling. Good needle retention, but they will drop in a warm room.

 

Douglas Fir - A beautiful, full dark green to blue variety. It holds its needles well and is very fragrant.

 

Norway Spruce - Pretty tree with pore needle retention.

 

Scotch Pine - This is one of the most popular Christmas trees. The branches are stiff with ridged, dark green needles that hold for four weeks and don't drop when dry. As a bonus, Scotch Pine has a nice, lasting aroma.

 

White Fir or Concolor Fir - This Fir is relatively new as a Christmas tree and becoming increasingly popular. The blue-green needles are 1/2 to 1-1/2 inches long with both a nice aroma and good needle retention. A very attractive tree.

 

White Pine - White Pines are having a difficult time right now. When healthy, they will retain their blue green needles throughout the holiday season. They make a very full Christmas tree. Because they have little to no fragrance they are a good choice for people who have allergic reaction to the spicier trees.

 

White Spruce - Similar to the Colorado Blue Spruce, this pretty, bluish green native of the Northern U.S. holds it's needles well, but they have an unpleasant odor when crushed.

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