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Different Types of Christmas Trees

One of the highlights of Christmas is picking out just the right tree to adorn your home. Nothing says the Christmas season is here quite like the smell and look of a big, beautifully decorated Christmas tree. What type of Christmas tree should you get? You probably know that the standard types of Christmas trees are evergreens, but you may not be aware that there are many different types of evergreens out there.

When considering the different types of Christmas trees and which one will be perfect for you, there are a few factors to consider. Whether you’ve had the same tree year after year and are looking to try something new, have been unsatisfied with your past choices of trees or are getting ready for your first Christmas tree, it helps to learn all you can. The more you know about the different types of trees for Christmas, the better position you will be in to find just the right one for you and your family.

In that spirit, here is a little more information about the common types of Christmas trees and what tends to be appealing about each type.

Different Types of Christmas Trees

The five most common types of Christmas trees are fir trees, pine trees, spruce trees, cypress trees and cedar trees. Each have their own distinctive look, feel and smell.

  • Fir Trees: Christmas fir trees include the balsam fir, Canaan fir, Douglas fir, Fraser fir, grand fir, noble fir and white fir. Fir trees are pine trees with needles attached to the twigs by a suction cup-shaped base. The cones of fir trees are erect, cylindrical cones that disintegrate to release seeds. Fir trees, especially the ones listed above, are often considered great Christmas trees because of their wonderful smell and the fact that they usually do not shed too many needles when they dry out.
  • Pine Trees: Similar to fir trees, but with their own distinctive features, are pine trees. Common types for Christmas include white pine, Scotch pine and Virginia pine. Pine trees typically grow to between 50 to 150 feet tall in the wild, with thick, scaly bark. They make appealing Christmas trees in part due to the fresh smell of pine boughs. Pinecones can also be crafted into Christmas tree decorations. White pines shed few needles, but are not as aromatic, and their branches are often not sturdy enough for heavy ornaments. Scotch pines have great needle retention and have beautiful, dark green foliage with stiff branches for ornaments, qualities that make it the most common type of Christmas tree in the U.S. Virginia pines are small to medium in size and respond well to trimming. They are the most popular type of Christmas tree in the South.
  • Spruce Trees: Slightly less common but still very popular as Christmas trees are spruce trees, with the most popular species being the Colorado blue spruce, the Norway spruce and the white spruce. The Colorado blue spruce is becoming more popular as a Christmas tree due to its distinctive blue foliage and symmetry. It has a natural Christmas tree shape, so it usually does not require much shearing. The Norway spruce is a European transplant that has only recently become of interest as a Christmas tree. It is distinguishable from firs due to its more rectangular needles. They are appealing due to their attractive shape and color, but have poor needle retention compared to many other common types of Christmas trees. The white spruce has great needle retention, an interesting bluish-green color, good stiffness for hanging ornaments and a good natural shape, but can emit an unpleasant odor when its needles are crushed.
  • Cypress Trees: The Arizona cypress is a gray-green tree with a steeple shape. It has thin, reddish-brown bark and many tiny leaves. It is a popular Christmas tree due to its durability. The Leyland cypress is the most popular Christmas tree in the Southeast and a good alternative for people who are allergic to pine or fir sap. The Leyland cypress is a hybrid of a cypress and cedar tree – it does not occur naturally. The type most commonly used as a Christmas tree is the Leighton green cultivar, which has a heavy, stout appearance with dark forest green leaves.
  • Cedar Trees: The most common types of trees are eastern red cedars, which in fact are really juniper trees. They have compact branches and make a pyramidal crown. They are a dark, shiny green with reddish-brown bark. They are popular as Christmas trees because they have the right shape and are plentiful in the South and East.

Care for Christmas Trees and Other Trees

While going to a Christmas tree farm and picking out a great tree is a time-honored family tradition, an even more meaningful tradition can be growing Christmas trees on your own property. If you have trees on your property in northern Virginia and want to maintain their health and luster, get in touch with Richard’s Tree Service for a free on-site assessment and estimate. For tree care services in Virginia, Richard’s Tree Service can’t be beat. That’s because our tree services in northern Virginia features highly trained, certified arborists with a deep understanding of all kinds of trees.

Richard’s Tree Service offers unparalleled services, including trimming and pruning, tree health assessment and treatment, tree and stump removal and more. Whether it’s an evergreen Christmas tree or any other kind of tree, for top-quality care and service, contact Richard’s Tree Service today.

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