Choosng a Christmas Tree Variety
Each year there seems to be more varieties to choose from for that
perfect Christmas tree, including the popular, traditional Scotch
pine. Other varieties are also becoming more prevalent, such as
Fraser fir, Douglas fir, Norway spruce, white pine, blue spruce,
and balsam fir. The varieties vary in characteristics, availability
Fraser firs have been referred to as the "Cadillac of Christmas
trees." The needles are flat, 1/2 to 1 inches, and have a rich,
dark green color with a silvery underside. It has excellent color
and needle retention characteristics. They tend to be "naturally-shaped"
Christmas trees. Although becoming somewhat more prevalent, due
to their limited production in this area and their high quality,
they may be harder to find and higher priced than other varieties.
For a "full" appearing tree, white pines are often good.
They are widely available in the Midwest. They have longer needles
at 3 to 6 inches, and generally good needle color and retention.
The spruces are gaining in popularity, too. The needles tend to
have good retention, and are shorter and stiffer than some of the
other varieties. The spruce varieties often are popular when buying
a live Christmas tree for planting in the yard after the holiday.
Remember that live trees do need some special care for successful
planting after the holidays.
The traditional favorite Scotch pine has 1 1/2 to 3 inch blue-green
needles, which have a somewhat twisted appearance. The branches
tend to be more open and stiffer than the white pine. Many people
prefer it since it often is easier to hang ornaments on its branches.
It is also often one of the most widely available and reasonably
Regardless of the variety of the tree, proper watering and keeping
the trees location in the home as moist and cool as possible
will help lengthen the tree's enjoyment and safety.
With all these choices, everyone should be able to find that "perfect
tree." Buyers may want to take a day for a holiday outing to
discover the different types of trees available and to make some
December 2000 - January 2001: Winter
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