How much is a douglas fir christmas tree


15 Best Types of Christmas Trees

Of all the Christmas traditions, there's nothing quite as magical as visiting a Christmas tree farm. On those chilly afternoons, you walk between fragrant rows of luscious pine, fir, or spruce trees. And then there it is, the one that calls to you—the one you can just see in your living room wrapped in your favorite Christmas tree ribbons and adorned with ornaments. Some might even argue picking the tree is better than decorating!

If you're like Ree Drummond and need to have the real deal each year, then you'll want to browse the different types of Christmas trees to see which works best in your home. For Ree, that's an impressive 12-foot full-bodied Noble fir. "Part of the beauty of a Christmas tree is the amazing scent that fills your house," she says. If fragrance is a top consideration for you too, you might also want to check out a Balsam Fir or White Fir, which we've noted ahead!

There's a perfect tree out there for everyone, whether you're looking for one that's low-maintenance, great for small spaces, or is simply pretty. Traditionalists will probably prefer the classic White pine or popular Douglas fir, while those who want something a little outside of the box might enjoy the Leyland cypress. Anyone who hangs cherished DIY Christmas ornaments each year should explore the White spruce with its short, stiff needles that can withstand heavy ornaments and garlands. Of course, there are always artificial Christmas trees to shop—we've included one that looks so real maybe The Pioneer Woman herself wouldn't mind.

1

Most Dramatic Christmas Tree: Grand Fir

Lowe's

Well, "grand" is certainly one word for it! It's no wonder this giant tree is native to the Pacific Northwest—it grows up to an astounding 230 feet tall! You're guaranteed to enjoy the fresh aroma of its citrus-scented needles.

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2

Newest to the Market: Canaan Fir

Douglas Sacha

Canaan firs may be a new type of Christmas tree, but they're the best of all worlds! This is a medium-sized evergreen with the heartiness of a Fraser and the needle retention and rich color of a Balsam fir. Its smell is also on the milder side for anyone with a sensitive nose.

3

Best for Smaller Spaces: Virginia Pine

Native Wildflowers Nursery

Don't have a living room with a fifteen-foot ceiling? Opt for the humble yet vibrant Virginia pine. It's known for its smaller stature and shorter branches. The needles have a fun twisted look, grow in pairs, and don't fall off easily.

4

Most Traditional Christmas Tree: White Pine

Brown's Tree Farm

You really can't beat a classic Christmas tree with that traditional look. If you want something out of a movie, go for a White pine. The tree is known for its long, soft needles (that are exceptionally mild) and impressive stature. It's the largest pine tree in the country and one of the most popular in the mid-Atlantic states.

5

Best Christmas Tree for Ornaments: White Spruce

MCCLURE’S TREE NURSERY

Why is the White spruce so great for hanging lots of ornaments? It's all in the branches, literally. The short, stiff, and strong needles will keep your heaviest decorations secure. The only drawback is its scent—when crushed, the White spruce needles are known for having an unpleasant scent, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. So, just don't crush those needles!

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6

Most Fragrant Christmas Tree: Balsam Fir

BROWN'S TREE FARM

Balsam firs have a spicy, fresh aroma that lasts throughout the holiday season. This tree's scent is so iconic, many Christmas-themed candles and home sprays are designed to smell just like it.

7

Best Low-Maintenance Christmas Tree: Scotch Pine

BROWN'S TREE FARM

If you don't want to deal with cleaning fallen needles all season, the Scotch pine might be for you. This bright green variety is known for sturdy needles that hang tight to the branches even as they dry out.

8

Most Popular Christmas Tree: Douglas Fir

Steve WisbauerGetty Images

The Douglas fir is one of the top-selling Christmas tree varieties in the U.S., thanks to its soft, sweetly scented needles and full form. It's even exported to Hawaii!

9

Easiest Christmas Tree to Transport: Fraser Fir

Getty Images

You'll love how the Fraser fir smells, but its durability is also a benefit. The species tends to hold its shape no matter how far it travels, so it's often shipped all across the country.

10

Prettiest Christmas Tree: Colorado Blue Spruce

barmaliniGetty Images

A Western species, the Colorado Blue spruce is known for its unique bluish-gray hue. Other benefits: limited shedding and an attractive symmetrical shape. Just watch out for the needles—they're sharp!

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11

Best Minimalist Christmas Tree: Noble Fir

GAP PHOTOS/RICHARD BLOOM

Minimalist decorators, this one's for you! Its near-perfect silhouette means it's an eye-catching tree, even if you don't hang many ornaments or lights. FYI: The Noble fir is Ree's personal favorite!

12

Best Christmas Tree for Allergies: Leyland Cypress

Dorling Kindersley ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

You don't have to miss out on having a real tree just because you have allergies. The Leyland cypress doesn't have a strong scent, shed many needles, or produce sap, making it a great choice for people who are sensitive to other types of real trees.

13

Citrusy Smelling Christmas Tree: White Fir

anmbphGetty Images

Also known as the Concolor fir, this tree variety checks all the boxes for a Christmas tree: pretty shape, nice color and good needle retention. Its most appealing feature is the strong citrus scent its needles give off when crushed, according to the MSU Extension.

14

Best Christmas Tree for Small Spaces: Black Hills Spruce

LiliboasGetty Images

A White spruce variety, the Black Hills spruce has strong branches for all your decorating needs, but it's more compact, according to the Michigan State University Extension's programming for Christmas tree growers. It's a great tree to display in a smaller room or on a table top.

15

Traditional Artificial Christmas Tree

Balsam Hill

If you want to fool your holiday guests into thinking you have a real tree, go the traditional route. Some artificial trees are designed to look just like natural tree varieties, right down to the silhouette and needle texture. To save yourself an extra step, invest in a pre-lit tree.

SHOP ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREES

10 Best Types of Christmas Trees to Choose for Your Real Tree

By

Coral Nafie

Coral Nafie

Coral Nafie is an interior design expert with over 25 years of home decorating experience. She has authored the book "The About.com Guide to Home Decorating." Her expertise covers every aspect of home decor projects, including budget makeovers and extensive renovations.

Learn more about The Spruce's Editorial Process

Updated on 12/22/20

The Spruce

If you think Christmas isn't complete without a fresh tree, then you probably gravitate towards the same variety of Christmas tree each year. Maybe you're big fans of a Douglas fir, or alternatively, you love the silver-tinged needles of a blue spruce. On the other hand, perhaps you don't know where to start at the tree lot. Picking the perfect fir can be a lot of fun, as long as you know what you're looking for. To help, we're breaking down all the characteristics of some of the most popular Christmas trees to help you suss out which suits your seasonal decor best.

Watch Now: Tips for Selecting the Best Christmas Tree

Here are 10 perfect types of Christmas trees for your ultimate holiday decorations.

The Best Places to Buy a Christmas Tree In-Store and Online

  • 01 of 10

    Fraser Fir

    ANGHI / Getty Images

    The Fraser fir is considered by many to be the perfect holiday tree. It boasts attractive one-inch needles that are silvery-green and soft to the touch, making it the ideal varietal for families with pets or young children who tend to handle their tree. Fraser fir trees also have a bit of space between their layers of firm, hearty branches, which is helpful for allowing all your favorite ornaments to stand proud and catch the eye. When hunting for the perfect Fraser fir tree, you probably won't have to look long—the varietal tends to grow in near-perfect triangles, so your pick is sure to stun from any angle. When you bring home your tree, cut a fresh slice off the trunk to allow it to absorb optimal water, and continue to feed it every day—if properly cared for, your Fraser fir tree will retain its scent and needles all season long.

  • 02 of 10

    Noble Fir

    Meindert van der Haven / Getty Images

    Noble fir trees are another beloved holiday tree species, featuring deep blue-green needles and cones that showcase trademark spikey bracts. In nature, noble fir trees are the largest varietals (sometimes reaching 260 feet tall), making them a great option if you're looking for an especially tall tree for an office building or two-story entryway. Boughs of the noble fir are often made into fresh wreaths due to its sturdy but flexible branches. Like with other firs, it's recommended that you cut a fresh slice off the trunk once you arrive home with your tree to allow it to absorb optimal water, and continue to feed it every day.

  • 03 of 10

    Colorado Blue Spruce

    rootstocks / Getty Images

    A Colorado blue spruce tree (which is the state tree of Colorado) is characterized by a nice pyramidal shape and strong limbs able to hold heavy ornaments. The blue spruce is known for its lovely blue foliage (which can also appear silvery) and thin, pointy needles. Be warned: its needles are a bit sharp, so if you have grand plans to decorate a Colorado blue spruce, you may want to wear gloves.

  • 04 of 10

    Grand Fir

    Gerardo Martinez Cons / Getty Images

    The grand fir tree has a glossy dark green color with needles that are one to two inches long. Its needles and branches are soft to the touch and not particularly firm, making it a better decorative tree than one draped with heavier ornaments. Grand fir trees are also known for their delicious fragrance, which is a combination of the traditional "Christmas tree scent" and an orange-like scent. In fact, American Indians used to utilize grand fir trees for their aromatic properties, often bringing boughs inside to use as an air freshener or burning them to ward off illness. These days, many people turn to the Grand fir to scent their home throughout their holidays.

  • 05 of 10

    Balsam Fir

    GeoStock/Getty Images

    Alongside the Fraser fir, the balsam fir is probably one of the most well-known and popular holiday tree varieties. Characterized by its beautiful soft dark-green needles, it's native to the northern-most part of the United States but is often trucked in from Canada around the holidays, where it grows plentifully. Because of its flatter needles and branches, it's also a popular varietal to use in wreaths and holiday garland. It's a good idea to keep your balsam fir (and other varieties) away from high heat in your home (like near a radiator), as that can cause the branches to dry out prematurely.

  • 06 of 10

    White Fir (Concolor Fir)

    Meindert van der Haven / Getty Images

    Known for its white (or sometimes blue-green) needles, the white fir tree (also called the concolor fir tree) is one of the hardiest varietals of holiday tree. It's inch-long needles curve outward and upward on the branch, giving the tree a distinct cone-like shape. It's also one of the more pleasantly-scented varieties, emitting a lemon smell when its branches or needles are crushed. Because the white fir can withstand a bit more neglect than other varietals, it's a great option for those who may be traveling frequently during the holiday season and therefore may be unable to water their tree on a regular schedule.

  • 07 of 10

    Eastern White Pine

    S. Rae/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    The eastern white pine tree is the most unique looking of the bunch, with whisper-thin needles that grow in bunches and can reach up to five inches in length. Branches from the eastern white pine are often used in garlands, wreaths, and centerpieces due to their long, feathery appearance. Though it's a beautiful tree, the branches of the eastern white pine can be a bit too flexible to support heavier decorations, favoring instead lightweight garlands, paper chains, or felt ornaments.

  • 08 of 10

    Douglas Fir

    dentdelion / Getty Images

    The Douglas fir is another quintessential Christmas tree with soft, shiny green needles. It's one of the densest of the bunch, and if it has been trimmed to form a perfect cone shape, it can be almost too tight to decorate properly. Still, it's a popular varietal for holiday revelers, especially due to its widespread availability and budget-friendly price point. Douglas fir trees don't last as long as other types of Christmas trees, so choose a freshly-cut tree only a few weeks out from the main event.

  • 09 of 10

    Norway Spruce

    HHelene / Getty Images

    The Norway spruce has earned itself the nickname the holiday spruce and, while widely available in much of the United States, is actually a varietal that's native to Europe. While it boasts beautiful, firm branches, it's considered very difficult to keep alive and should only be purchased a week or so before the Christmas holiday if you want to guarantee it's looking fresh as you're opening presents and singing carols. Most importantly, the Norway spruce needs to be watered very consistently, at least daily, in order to survive once cut.

  • 10 of 10

    Scotch Pine

    BPHOTO / Getty Images

    Also known as the Scots pine, this varietal initially gained popularity in Great Britain. You'll definitely want to wear gloves when cutting down and decorating your Scotch pine tree—its needles can be sharp as pins! Still, it has hearty branches and is very resistant to dropping needles, making it a great variety for shipping across the country if necessary.

Best Christmas Tree Delivery Services of 2021

Five things you didn't know about your Christmas tree

  • Stephanie Pappas
  • BBC Earth

Coniferous trees can turn into glass and houses for tarantulas, correspondent warns BBC Earth .

Every year people gather in the family circle under real or artificial evergreen trees and celebrate the New Year and Christmas. But not everyone knows about the extraordinary properties of spruce, pine and fir. In nature, evergreen conifers can withstand sudden changes in temperature, grow to amazing heights and form ecosystems in which amazing creatures take refuge. We will reveal to you a few secrets of Christmas trees and tell you about their difficult life in the struggle for survival.

1. Coniferous trees can turn into glass

Do you want a trick? Take a sprig of Siberian spruce ( Picea obovata ) or Scotch pine ( Pinus sylvestris ) and place it in a container filled with liquid nitrogen, the temperature of which is -196°C (don't forget the special protective equipment). If the plant was previously cooled to about -20°C, it will survive.

This supernatural hardiness helps conifers survive in the Siberian taiga, where winter temperatures regularly drop below -60°C. But Richard Strimbeck, a plant psychologist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, admits that science doesn't yet know exactly how they do it. Most likely, wood tissue, in fact, turns into glass.

"Glass" in this case refers to a solid body that does not have a crystalline structure - much like window glass, only consisting not of quartz, but of water molecules, sugars and proteins.

Image copyright, NPL

Image caption,

Conifers are incredibly hardy

"When the molecules are in this glassy state, they can't move and therefore can't react to anything," Strimbeck explains. During the initial cooling, the metabolism of trees, in fact, stops, so extreme temperatures do not cause any harm to the cells. As winter approaches, trees also draw water from their cells into the surrounding tissues to prevent swollen ice crystals from rupturing the cell walls.

The process of preparation for cold weather is called "lignification". Trees seem to know when to start preparing by seasonal changes in light and temperature cycles, but exactly how this mechanism works is still a mystery, Strimbeck says.

2. Tarantulas live in coniferous trees

Far to the south of Siberia, at the other end of the earth, spruces live in close symbiosis with tarantulas.

In the Southern Appalachian mountain range, located in the southeastern United States, on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, in spruce forests growing at an altitude of 1,645 meters above sea level, live one of the smallest tarantulas in the world - Microhexura montivaga .

These brown spiders are only a quarter of a centimeter long. Tiny creatures are considered an endangered species and are not easy to find - they settle only on some peaks and live in very small flocks. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, on one of the mountains in North Carolina, they are found only where the rock comes to the surface, and even on a nearby boulder.

image copyrightUS Fish and Wildlife Service

Image caption,

Rare spider of the genus Microhexure

Rocky, mossy surfaces on which these tarantulas live must be quite cool and damp - such places are found under Fraser firs ( Abies fraseri ) and red spruces ( Picea rubens ). Excess solar heat dries out the soil, making it unsuitable for spiders, and excess water washes away their tubular cobwebs, which they weave in tiny gaps between stones and layers of moss.

3. Conifers are among the tallest

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Most of the Christmas trees that lean against the ceiling of our living rooms are no more than ten years old. But if you create all the necessary conditions for them and give them enough time, they can grow unusually high.

So, the world's tallest Douglas fir, grown in Coose County in the state of Oregon in the northwestern United States, rises above the soft forest floor to a height of 99.7 meters. This is the tallest coniferous tree in the world, not counting the evergreen sequoia. The tallest sequoia grows in Redwood National Park in California (USA) - it is called "Hyperion" and rises above its counterparts, reaching 115.55 meters.

In fact, trees can't grow much taller, according to a 2004 study published in the British science weekly Nature. The authors report that at a height of 122-130 meters, due to the gravity of the earth, it becomes too difficult for the tree to push water through the fabrics even further up.

Photo copyright, Don Graham CC by 2.0

Photo caption,

Giant pines

Strimback, who was not involved in the study, says that even the structure of the tree shows how hard the work is: the cells of the needles at the top of the very tall there are fewer trees than in the needles below (plant cells increase in size partly due to water pressure).

4. Coniferous trees create their own ecosystems

A tree whose height is equal to the length of a football field is a whole independent world.

"Viewed from the top of the tree, it's like a biome in its own right," says Brian French, tree climber and co-founder of Giant Climbing, a non-profit organization in Oregon, USA, whose goal is to measure and preserve the oldest and large trees. Together with his climbing and organizing partner Will Kumjian, French regularly climbs the tallest evergreen trees on the US West Coast, including the same Douglas fir that holds the title of world height champion.

Going up, they seem to pass through different layers of wildlife. Some of the tallest trees don't start branches until 30 to 60 meters, French says, requiring the use of crossbows or giant slingshots to secure ropes and climb them. At the foot of the tree, the damp forest floor springs, but at the top it is cool and dry due to the almost incessant wind.

"Sometimes the nature there seems harsh and even inhospitable," says Kumjian.

Photo author, NPL

Photo caption,

In nature, lichens actively grow on spruce trees

But inhospitable does not mean lifeless. Hollows and branches of gigantic evergreen trees shelter birds, including the endangered spotted owl, and mammals such as flying squirrels and red-backed tree voles, which can live for generations in one tree without ever setting foot on the ground. Lichens, which feel at ease only on old overgrown trees, become a winter food base for flying squirrels. In 2008, members of Giants Conquest even discovered two clouded salamanders living in a hollow Douglas fir 76 meters above the ground.

Younger and shorter trees cannot replace these powerful old dwellings. "It takes hundreds of years for these old big trees and their associated ecosystems to form," says French.

5. In the future, coniferous trees may suffer from climate change

Coniferous trees adapt well to the environment and can grow outside their natural habitat. Thus, the Fraser fir, which is found in nature only on the highest peaks of the American Southern Appalachians, has become one of the most popular trees in North America, which are dressed up for Christmas. Now this species is grown even in the states of Michigan and Oregon, thousands of kilometers from the Appalachians, and recently it began to be bred in the UK.

However, scientists are concerned about how climate change could affect evergreens. If the winter isn't cold enough, some tree species may simply not get the signals they need to "wake up" in time for the spring, Streamback said.

In addition, the temperature can affect the growth of trees. A team of scientists led by Howard Neufeld of the Appalachian University of North Carolina (USA) is investigating this hypothesis on coniferous trees. By measuring their height in forestry farms located at different altitudes, Neufeld and his colleagues hope to determine how rising and falling temperatures affect tree physiology. For example, in older needles, the process of photosynthesis, through which sunlight is converted into energy, is less active. As Neufeld explains, temperature changes can affect the rate at which needles age.

Image copyright, NPL

Image caption,

What is the future of coniferous trees?

Too hot weather can also damage spruces, pines and their relatives, because these trees are simply not adapted to life in warm countries. At around -2.8°C, photosynthesis slows down and water loss through evaporation accelerates, Neufeld says.

Neufeld is convinced that this study has important implications for understanding the physiology of our beloved evergreen trees. Perhaps with its help it will be possible to save this main decoration of the New Year holidays, if the foresters prepare in time for the upcoming climate changes.

"At least we will be able to give foresters information about the relationship between tree development and altitude," the scientist explained.

Read the original of this article in English is available on the website BBC Earth .

Pure water is better for the Christmas tree

Science

"Guaranteed Ways" to keep the Christmas tree green as long as possible, and the needles on its branches, exists, if not as much as the trees in the forest, then certainly no less than the needles on a standard Christmas tree.

Recommendations usually begin with quite reasonable suggestions not to choose fir trees that have dried up for a long time, eaten by pests or frankly sick and provide him with access to moisture.

But when it comes to "secret additives" in the water, which is supposed to feed the tree, the human imagination begins to slowly overcome the human mind.

According to the canons of worldly wisdom, it is supposed to pour water into a bucket of sand or a bucket under a tripod, into which you need to add any of the following ingredients - salt, sugar, vegetable oil, glycerin, citric acid, gelatin and drunk tea. You can add one thing to the water, all the secret components at once or in any other combination. The list is, of course, far from complete.

Aspirin also remains an invariable component of all such cocktails, which suddenly becomes an antibiotic that can protect the unfortunate tree from fungi and bacteria. Some, instead of aspirin, which will find a better use the next morning after heavy libations, offer to treat the Christmas tree with alcohol, as if it is not enough in the air, which the needles will breathe all New Year's Eve. Alcohol, in their opinion, can be poured into water, or it can be sprinkled on needles.

At the same time, a dried Christmas tree not only covers the carpet with needles and significantly loses to a fresh one in the aesthetic component, but is also a serious risk factor in terms of fire safety. To ignite a fresh Christmas tree, it must first be dried. Dry can catch fire even from one random spark.

Therefore, it is precisely the preservation of moisture in Christmas tree branches and needles that should remain the main goal of all kinds of manipulations with the New Year tree. This goal can be achieved in two ways - providing the tree with water and preventing its evaporation. And if the majority of the inhabitants of our country prefer the first option, then in the West all kinds of compositions have long been in use, which are supposed to spray New Year's beauties.

However, as it turns out, they don't work either. And even more than that - sometimes they increase the risk of fire by drying the needles.

American botanists Gary Chestagner and Eric Heinsley from Washington State and North Carolina State Universities investigated two of the most popular "fire-fighting" additives on the American market - SafeTree and RapidCool FRX, which can sometimes be found on the shelves of Russian supermarkets. They tested the additives on the most popular varieties of Christmas trees in the United States - Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and Fraser fir (Abies fraseri).

As it turned out, neither of the additives did not slow down the drying rate of the trees. Moreover, the Douglas fir from this fire-fighting agent has lost a significant part of the moisture, which has only become more flammable. Results of studies are published in the American Horticultural Society's peer-reviewed journal HortScience.

But keeping the branches in water (as well as spraying) made it possible not only not to lose moisture, but even to increase its content compared to the moisture content of freshly cut branches. Which, of course, immediately affected the fire resistance.

So there is nothing better than ordinary water to keep the Christmas tree fresh. In particular, avoid commercial products that often dry out the wood instead of retaining moisture, increasing the chance of fire. Well, in general, try to be more careful with the Christmas tree.

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