Picking a real Christmas Tree can be a big hassle. Going out to a farm, chopping down the tree with a hand saw, lugging it to your car, securing it to your car, and washing sap and pine needles off hands and clothes are just a few of the challenges one must face while picking the “perfect” tree. An additional challenge is deciding what kind of tree to get. On one hand, many pine tree varieties look similar and have similar properties, but, when it comes to making good Christmas Trees, some varieties have a clear edge over others. It’s important to stock up on Christmas Tree knowledge before you head out to the farm, lest you may spend hours securing a tree that will, ultimately, be unsuitable for your needs. We’ve written this Christmas Tree Guide to lend you a helping hand:
The Douglas Fir is known for its impressive pyramidal shape and dark green or blue needles. These trees are large, sturdy, and they remain vibrant for weeks after being cut. When it comes to aesthetic appeal, the Douglas Fir is widely regarded as the most beautiful and durable Christmas Tree there is. That durability is often reflected in a larger price stamp and, for those of you who plan on carrying your tree off the farm, its sharp and hardy needles can do major damage to unprotected skin! Wear gloves when handling this tree and be prepared to spend a little extra.
The Fraser is a bit less hardly than the Douglas. Its needles are softer and its branches are generally thinner. Its slender shape makes it a good choice for small rooms. The Fraser’s popularity lies in its bicolor needles—dark green on the top and silvery white on the bottom. These trees are relatively light, making them easier to lug around than other pine trees.
Scotch Pine may be the most popular Christmas Tree variety there is. These trees can grow almost anywhere and are stunning once matured. Consistently symmetrical with great needle retention, scotch pines can last for weeks after they’re cut and they look great as a decorative piece. The Scotch is less dense and hardy than the Douglas, making it easier to handle and generally less expensive.
Eastern White Pine
The White Pine is known for its soft, pillowy light green needles. It has a rich, sweet fragrance and yields attractive, long cones. The lightness of its needles makes it less than ideal for ornament hanging, but White Pine’s make a nice decorative centerpiece regardless, and their festive smell is sure to ring in the holiday spirit.
A favorite among southerners, this pine can tolerate warm, wet winter weather conditions. It has a deep rich green color, a sweet fragrance, and long sturdy needles. The needles hold well even after the tree is cut, but some say the Virginia Pine lacks density, causing it to appear barer than other trees. If you don’t mind some bold spots, a Virginia Pine is perfect for ornament and light hanging!
Now that you have a better idea about what kind of tree to get, you can focus all your energy on actually getting it. Employees at the tree farm should be able to tell you where the different varieties are located, and they can probably also lend you a saw and some gloves. Take them—you won’t regret it.