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
and price. 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 possibly higher priced than other
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
tree farms. 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.
December 2004 - January 2005: Choosing
a Christmas Tree Variety | Diseases and Insects
of Shrubs and Small Trees | Catalogs are
Arriving, Plan Your Spring Garden Now | Keeping
Holiday Plants | Prevent Ice and Snow Damage
to Trees and Shrubs