Landscape Literacy

Which Type of Christmas Tree Should You Buy?

Pine trees are immediately what come to mind when most people think of Christmas trees. But a visit to a local tree farm will prove there are several varieties that grow in our area, and each one has its own unique features. Not sure which one to buy? We’ve put together some information on the most popular trees in our area to help you make the perfect choice this holiday season.

Fraser Fir

This tree is dark blue-green in color with short, soft needles. Fraser Firs tend to stand apart from other tree choices because of the silvery color to the underside of its needles. It’s a popular choice for its sturdy branches that can hold heavy ornaments. It has a familiar pine scent and generally holds its needles well. They tend to grow tall and narrow, with pockets between branches – perfect to showcase ornaments!

Fraser Fir D & A Dunlevy Landscapers
Douglas Fir

A close relative to the Fraser Fir, the Douglas Fir is also loved for its sturdy branches, good needle retention, and its fresh pine aroma. The Douglas Fir has slightly longer needles than the Fraser – ranging from an inch to and inch-and-a-half long. Douglas Firs are softer to the touch and very green in color. The Douglas Fir is also popular for its timber. Besides Christmas trees, you can find it in railroad ties, fencing, flooring, and furniture.

Douglas Fir D & A Dunlevy Landscapers
White Pine

Branches from White Pines are often used as Christmas garland. They have unique branches with long, soft needles and large, narrow pinecones. White Pines are lighter in color with a silvery-blue tint. This tree has less sturdy branches and is not very good at holding ornaments, but is often sought after by people with allergies to fragrant trees as it has a less bold scent.

White Pine D & A Dunlevy Landscapers
Concolor

While Concolors are different due to their longer needles and fuller shape, they tend to be best known for their scent. Concolors have a light citrus aroma to them. They are blue-green in color and hold their needles well. While they aren’t quite built to hold your heavy ornaments, they continually win tree-buyers over with their unique scent.

Concolor D & A Dunlevy Landscapers
Scotch Pine

This tree not only holds up heavy holiday ornaments with its sturdy branches, but it holds its needles all the way through the Christmas season. Often called “Scots,” these trees range in color from bright green to dark green, and are the most planted commercial Christmas tree in North America.

Scotch Pine D & A Dunlevy Landscapers
Blue Spruce

The Blue Spruce is more commonly planted as an ornamental tree in landscaping, but is also sold as a Christmas tree. Its dark green needles have a blue tint to them, and the tree tends to grow in a symmetrical shape. The Colorado Blue Spruce is often sold “living” with its entire root ball attached, to be planted after the holidays. The National Christmas Tree near the White House is a Colorado Blue Spruce transplanted from Virginia.

blue-spruce

 

Images thanks to the Maryland Christmas Tree Association