Choosing A Christmas Tree Variety
Each year there seems to be more varieties to choose from for that
perfect Christmas tree. 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. It has longer needles
at 3 to 6 inches. It has 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, 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
Other varieties are also available at tree lots or from fresh-cut
Regardless of the variety of the tree, be sure to properly water
the tree and keep it in as moist and cool of a location in the house
as possible. Avoid putting it near heat outlets. Be sure to check
the water level at least daily. The water should never drop below
the bottom of the trunk of the tree. These 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
consumer comparisons. It can be a fun outing, as well as good consumer
shopping, to go out and compare the varieties and the costs at various
farms and sales lots.
Editor’s Note: For more information on Christmas Trees and
More visit our website at www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/trees