Quicklist: Types of Christmas Trees
- Balsam Fir Tree
- Fraser Fir Tree
- Canaan Fir Tree
- Douglas Fir Tree
- Grand Fir Tree
- Noble Fir Tree
- Concolor Fir
- White Pine Tree
- Scotch Pine Tree
- Virginia Pine Tree
- Blue Spruce Tree
- Norway Spruce Tree
- White Spruce Tree
- Arizona Cypress Tree
- Leyland Cypress Tree
- Red Cedar Tree
The holidays are coming up quickly and soon our house is going to be filled with family members and close friends. Last year, we traveled to spend the holiday season with extended family. One of my children commented on the unique look of the tree in the house we visited. A huge Blue spruce filled the corner of the living room, loaded with decorations and surrounded by presents ready for Christmas morning.
This year, I decided to look at multiple types of trees before making a decision and was overwhelmed by all of the choices. Our Christmas Tree guide surveys all of the different types available, categorized by species and suitability for ornamental decoration.
If I’m forced to pick, my favorite is the Blue spruce.
Types of Christmas Trees by Species
There are multiple species that can be used as Christmas trees. All of them have their distinguishing qualities. Some trees have needles that fall off faster than others. Others might be valued for their seasonal color. Sometimes, a miniature tree is better in a space. Regardless, it is important for you to understand some of the basics regarding the different Christmas trees so you can make the right decision.
1. Balsam Fir Tree
The Balsam Fir tree is one of the most popular species used for Christmas trees. It has a beautiful, conical shape along with dense, dark-green leaves, which are flat and resemble needles. In addition, the leaves have a hints of silvery-white that look great in Christmas wreaths and bouquets. It also has a spicy scent that we associate with this time of year. The branches on this tree are strong, making it great for decorating.
2. Fraser Fir Tree
The Fraser Fir is another common choice for those looking for a high-quality Christmas tree. The tree has a strong, pleasant scent along with yellow-green branches. The branches angle slightly upward, making them perfect for keeping ornaments in place. The leaves look like needles and spiral across the base of the tree.
3. Canaan Fir Tree
The Canaan Fir is known for its similarities to both the Balsam and Fraser Fir. It has a richer green color than the Fraser, however, the fragrance is not quite as strong. The leaves on this free are flat and shaped like needles. The Canaan Fir comes from the mountains of West Virginia and is relatively new to the Christmas tree market. Like the Fraser Fir, its branches are strong enough to hold multiple types of ornaments.
4. Douglas Fir Tree
Anyone who is looking to make a strong statement with their Christmas tree will want to go with the Douglas Fir. This tree has a beautiful, iconic, pyramid shape with dark green leaves that are sure to stand out from the crowd. The tree also emits a powerful fragrance that is one of the richest among Christmas trees. The leaves on this evergreen plant are soft and flat. In the wild, the Douglas Fir can grow to heights of over 300 feet. Almost half of the Christmas trees grown in the United States come from this species. The branches, like the other fir trees, are very strong.
5. Grand Fir Tree
The Grand Fir has been aptly named. This tall tree can grow to heights of more than 230 feet and is native to the Pacific Northwest and Northern California. The tree has a yellow-green appearance with needles that often contain both colors. The color makes it a unique choice among Christmas trees. Some of the needles even have a beautiful white stripe on them. The Grand Fir has thick foliage that emits a powerful, spicy Christmas tree scent. The branches are also strong enough to hold a variety of decorations.
6. Noble Fir Tree
This evergreen tree is known for having branches that are thick, yet evenly spaced. The Noble Fir is also from the Pacific Northwest, making it a popular choice in that region. The needles and branches tend to curve upward making them perfect for holding heavy Christmas ornaments without breaking. This tree also has a beautiful scent that is highly associated with the Christmas season.
7. Concolor Fir
The Concolor Fir is also known as the White Fir. This is due to its blue-green color that has a slightly lighter appearance than other trees on our list. The needles are flat and pointed at the tip. As this tree gets older, the color tends to progress from blue to green. The branches on this tree are sturdy and will withstand the weight of Christmas ornaments.
8. White Pine Tree
The White Pine tree is the largest pine variety in the United States and can grow up to heights of 230 feet. It has needles that tend to grow in clusters or bundles. The tree has a blue-green hue and the branches are pointed at the tips. The branches on this tree are flexible and will not hold heavy ornaments.
9. Scotch Pine Tree
The Scotch Pine tree, Scotland’s national tree. is a popular Christmas option. The tree has a dark green color along with sturdy branches that can hold multiple Christmas ornaments. The needles, which tend to grow in clusters, progress from a blue-green in the fall to a dark-green color during the winter. The tree is known for its long needle retention, meaning that there is far less to clean up when the Christmas season ends.
10. Virginia Pine Tree
The Virginia Pine tree is one of the easiest to identify with its short needles that twist and grow in pairs. The tree features branches that are relatively short, yet also dense. It has a bright green color and a mild fragrance. Those who are looking for a tree with shorter branches should take a look at this option.
11. Blue Spruce Tree
The Blue Spruce, also called the Colorado Blue Spruce, is known for its unique color. The branches have a silver-blue color that glistens in the sun. The needles tend to curve upward at the end. Native to the Rocky Mountains, the branches grow in a dense manner and are ideal for decorations.
12. Norway Spruce Tree
The Norway Spruce is a beautiful, evergreen tree with leaves that are shaped like needles. The leaves are pointed at the end. The tree does not have great needle retention. Watering regularly will allow the tree to maintain its appearance throughout the Christmas season.
13. White Spruce Tree
The White Spruce, also known as the Canadian Spruce, has blue-green needles that are both short and sturdy. The branches will withstand the weight of Christmas decorations. With proper care, the tree will hold its needles well.
14. Arizona Cypress Tree
The Arizona Cypress, native to the Southwest U.S., will grow to a height of about 60 feet in the wild. The leaves have a blue-gray appearance and grow in a conical shape. The branches are relatively strong and will withstand the weight of Christmas decorations.
15. Leyland Cypress Tree
The Leyland Cypress Tree is unique among other Christmas tree options. The tree has leaves that resemble feathers with a green-gray color. The leaves grow upward, making the tree look like a pyramid. Even though the leaves feel like feathers, the upward trajectory of the branches gives them enough heft to hold Christmas tree ornaments.
16. Red Cedar Tree
The Red Cedar tree has dense branches that come together and form a pyramid shape. The leaves have an upward trajectory and are strong enough to hold Christmas tree ornaments. The tree is often called the Aromatic Cedar because of its strong, spicy fragrance.
Christmas Tree Decoration Styles
Now that the Christmas tree itself has been selected, it is time to decorate and design. There are multiple ways that someone can design their Christmas tree and this should be viewed on the opportunity to place a bit of personal style and flair on the holiday season. With this in mind, there are several ways that people can design their Christmas tree.
1. White Light Tree
Most people opt for several colors but another Christmas tree decorating strategy is to go with an all-white tree (not to be confused with a white “winter wonderland” tree as shown below).
2. The “Lit Up Like a Christmas Tree” Tree
If you love an overly decorated tree (or your kids do, like ours), the you can go all out to where you don’t even see the tree anymore.
3. The Classic Christmas Tree
The classic Christmas tree is about as straightforward as it gets. In this style,you hang a variety of lights and ornaments on the tree. There are multiple colors and styles of lights ranging from white lights to colored lights and even lights that alternate in a pattern. The ornaments come in many types and styles ranging from pictures of the family to classic Christmas ornaments and everything in between. Just be careful to keep these ornaments high off the ground if there are pets in the home.
4. The Christmas Card Tree
One of the unique ways that someone can decorate their Christmas tree is to use the cards they receive. Christmas is the time of year when people get buried in Christmas cards. Take these cards and turn them into Christmas tree decorations.
5. The Ribbon Garland Christmas Tree
While ornaments and lights are popular, some people don’t like to overload on the glitz and glamour. Some might be looking for a Christmas tree that matches the rest of the décor in the room. This is where the ribbon garland tree can come in handy. Take ribbon garland and wrap the tree in red, green, and gold. Combine this with a variety of other Christmas ornaments and the tree is complete. There are multiple styles of garland ranging from single color to striped, plaid, and even polka-dotted. There are still plenty of unique options for a garland tree.
6. The Candy Cane Christmas Tree
This Christmas tree is covered in a variety of candy. First, the tree is wrapped in lights or garland. Then, the gaps are filled in with a variety of candy. Think about using candy canes, lollipops, or other types of classic candy to decorate the tree.
7. The Winter Wonderland Christmas Tree
Unless you get your hands on some spray-on snow, to get this type of Christmas tree, you’ll likely have to go the artificial route.
This is another popular Christmas tree decorating style. Make the tree the focal point of the room by placing some white cotton or a white rug underneath the tree. Then, hang a variety of ornaments from the tree such as snowmen, snowflakes, mittens, and more!
8. The Blue Christmas Tree
There’s something tranquil and pristine about a blue-oriented Christmas tree.
Where to Buy Live Christmas Trees
According to the National Christmas Tree Association, there are 25 to 30 million live Christmas trees sold in the US, every year. There are approximately 15,000 tree farms, employing more than 100,000 people in the States. The average length of time to grow a tree for the commercial market is seven years. For every tree harvested, one to three new seedlings are planted. For more information visit realchristmastrees.org.
Home Depot is probably one of the best-known suppliers of real Christmas trees that aren’t overly expensive and still pretty good outside or indoors. You can expect to pay anything between $50 and $200 for a decent tree, but the species and height will affect the price. Be sure to get there early because the stock will go quickly, especially as Christmas draws nearer.
If you’re looking for a beautiful live Fraser fir tree for Christmas, that’s exactly what you’ll get at Wayfair. Although they have other trees as well, their selection mostly consists of these popular trees.
The trees are guaranteed to be durable and are freshly cut from a tree farm. The trees can be pre-ordered and delivered right to your doorstep.
If you need a freshly cut Christmas tree, Hammacher Schlemmer is offering Fraser firs of between four and eight feet for $129 to $199, not including the truck fee. The tree is cut the day it is shipped, so you can be assured that your Christmas tree will be healthy and gorgeous.
Lowe’s is one of the best places to shop for live Christmas trees since they have affordable prices and an impressive variety of species, including Fraser fir, Noble fir and Douglas fir. The company ensures their stock is always full, so you should be able to get the tree of your Christmas dreams quite easily.
Nationwide, Walmart offers free tree delivery (in most cases), as well as light-hanging services. Although most trees can be a bit on the short side, you should be able to find a six- or seven-foot tree between all the options. Species available include Fraser fir, Douglas fir, Black Hill spruce, Blue spruce and Scotch pine.
Williams Sonoma features Fraser fir trees grown on a family-owned farm in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
Sizes range between three and nine feet. Trees are shipped within 48 hours of harvesting.