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Christmas trees

Here's a few tips to consider when looking for that perfect tree:


Basically there are short-needled spruces and firs and long-needled pines. Of greater concern than needle length is their needle-holding ability. Something like a hemlock is totally unsuitable because the needles start dropping as soon as the tree is cut. Spruces will lose their needles more readily than pines, when drying out.


A fresh tree will look healthy and green, with few browning needles. The needles will feel pliable and when broken and squeezed, they will exude pitch. A simple test for freshness is rubbing your hand along a branch to see if needles fall off.


Most evergreens don’t grow into perfect conical Christmas trees. Growers shear the trees each year to maintain a nice shape and to encourage branches to fill out. A full tree is beautiful on its own, but if you have a lot of ornaments, a tree with shorter branches might be a better fit. Ornaments get lost in lush trees, like the firs. Also keep in mind branch sturdiness. Many pines make tempting choices because of their long needles, but the branches will bend under the weight of even smaller ornaments.

Trees frequently used in various parts of the country for Christmas trees include:

Arizona Cypress

Balsam Fir

Colorado Blue Spruce

Canaan Fir

Concolor Fir (White Fir)


Eastern Redcedar

Eastern White Pine

Fraser Fir

Grand Fir

Leyland Cypress

Noble Fir

Norway Spruce

Scotch Pine

Virginia Pine

White Spruce

History of the Christmas Tree

Caring for Cut Christmas Trees


Specimen trees ideal for the American Landscape