Linda Sarhan has been a freelance writer and researcher for 20+ years and has a B.A. in English and creative writing.
According to the National Christmas Tree Association, there are about 25–30 million live Christmas trees sold each and every Christmas season. Even still, there are around 350 million trees being grown around the United States on Christmas tree farms. But which trees are more popular than others?
Firs are some of the most popular choices for live Christmas trees. They are strong and airy which are perfect for people who have collected tons of ornaments over the years. Firs are also more expensive than the other variety of trees used for Christmas. There are several fir trees to choose from.
Fraser Firs are the most popular type of tree used when it comes to a live Christmas tree. In fact, it is a favorite typically used at the White House. It grows up to 80-feet and typically has a cone shape. The diameter on this tree is roughly 1.5 feet. Strong branches which point upward and flat, dark green needles perfect for heavier ornaments. The scent of the tree is very pleasant and if kept well watered, it will keep that aroma throughout your home
Douglas Firs have been quite popular in the Northwest since the 1920s. The tree is a thick cone shape with dark green or dark blue-green needles. The branches are very strong and therefore great to adorn heavier ornament. However if the tree has been sheared for the perfect cone shape, it is suggested you bring an ornament with you to test the strength of the tips. It is also the less expensive tree in the line of firs used during the Christmas season.
Canaan Fir is a relatively new tree that has become popular over the years. It is more popularly used in Virginia, West Virginia, Maine and Eastern Canada. It has a wonder aroma and is quite the sturdy tree lasting more than four to five weeks. In fact, it is the most popular tree in the Ohio area. It has twice as many needles as a traditional Balsam Fir. Needle shedding is very minimal. Although not as strong as a Scotch Pine, you can still use semi-heavy ornaments. Again, consider bringing an ornament to test its strength.
Noble Firs are sometimes referred to as "the Cadillac of Christmas trees". It has strong branches and space to display your ornaments. It has dark green upturned needles which are great for hanging ornaments. Branches tend to have the layered look which is great for decorating the perfect tree.
Grand Firs are beautiful trees originating in the Pacific Northwest. Their needles are dark green with silver undersides and flat. It has a strong sweet aroma. This is a very large tree in height as well as width, so make sure you have a space big enough to display this type of fir.
Concolor Fir, also known as the White Fir, is common in the western region of the United States. It has strong branches with long needles that are bluish-green in color. It has a strong citrus type scent.
Pine trees tend to have branches that grow closer together so if you are looking for a denser look in a Christmas tree, pine may be the perfect tree for you. This is great if you plan to use plenty of lights. Compared to other tree types, the needles are soft and flexible. Pine trees are also great for those who are on a tight budget because they tend to cost less.
Eastern White Pine
Eastern White Pine tends to attract more people because of its softer texture. It is also cheaper than most firs. The aroma is good and will keep your home smelling great throughout the Christmas holidays. However, this is not a tree for heavy ornaments. In fact, many people use this tree to decorate with just lights, tinsel, and bows. Another downside is that the Eastern White Pine sheds. The needles toward the trunk will turn a brownish-yellow. This is normal but you may need to do some up keep removing them to keep your Christmas tree looking beautiful despite watering it frequently.
Scotch Pine is a good choice in the Midwest. It has stiff branches that will be more likely to hold up during the duration of the Christmas season. In fact, it was one of the more popular choices in early Christmas trees. Unfortunately the trunks are more crooked and the aroma of the tree is rather weak. Also, the needles have more of a prickly feel.
Virginia Pine is a wonderful tree if you prefer the denser look to your Christmas tree. The needles on this pine are relatively short and grow in clusters. They also shed easily so there will be some up keep to this tree. This is also a tree popularly used in the south. This is a small to medium size tree which is perfect for the average home.
Spruce trees are beautiful, sturdy, and great for heavy ornaments. However, many people who prefer spruce trees know this isn't a tree to buy early in the season. It is best to wait until the middle of December because of how much the needles drop. Spruce trees are also a tree that requires very little trimming and shaping.
Norway Spruce is a favorite of the Rockefeller Center. It is quite the large tree and perfect for decorating with only lights and a tree topper. These trees are generally dark green with a more triangular shape to them. Unfortunately this tree is not one to keep its needles. It does suffer from frequent shedding.
Colorado Blue Spruce
Colorado Blue Spruce is considered the state tree not only for Colorado but for Utah as well. It has a beautiful bluish-gray appearance with needles that are sharper than most Christmas trees. It has a coned shape to it and needs little shaping.
Other Tree Options
There are other less popular trees that are commonly used as Christmas trees. Although these trees aren't the first to come to mind, they are actually worth checking out when considering a Christmas tree for your home.
Leyland Cypress is best for those who are typically allergic to live Christmas trees in the home. It is known as the hypo-allergenic tree. Another great thing about the Leyland Cypress is it does not drop needles therefore it isn't as high maintenance.
Eastern Red Cedar
Eastern Red Cedar is a bit deceiving in its name. It isn't actually a cedar tree at all. It is actually a part of the Juniper family of trees. The Eastern Red Cedar comes in a variety of colors including a dark bluish-green to a silvery gray. The aroma from this tree is absolutely amazing. Many people plant these trees in their yards. This is a great way to also have a Christmas tree display on your property. They are slow growing but can reach heights of forty feet.
No matter which type of tree you prefer, that is exactly what it comes down to personal preference. Only you know what type of decorating you wish to do to your tree and the space you have in your home. Maybe you prefer a different look to a tree compared to your neighbor. Regardless, any of these types of trees will look beautiful this Christmas season.
© 2014 Linda Sarhan
peachy from Home Sweet Home on December 12, 2015:
OIC, there are so many selections of trees!
Nithya Venkat from Dubai on December 13, 2014:
A great selection go Christmas trees, very useful and informative. Thank you for sharing.