Christmas Tree World > Real Trees
Most Popular Christmas Trees
The Frasier Fir is very similar to the Balsam Fir, and scientists think the two trees could have belonged to the same species at some point. Other common names for the Frasier are the “southern balsam” or “southern balsam fir”. It is a uniformly pyramid shaped tree, often with upward turned branches. The needles are dark green, flat, .5” to 1” long, darker on the top and lighter on the bottom. The cones are 2 to 2.5” long and needles have good retention. The Frasier fir naturally grows above 4,500’ in the Southern Appalachian Mountains and is a very popular Christmas tree.
The Balsam Fir is dark green, with a pyramid shaped top and a “slender spire like tip”. It is very similar to the Frasier Fir. The needles on the Balsam are flat and blunt at the end, with dark green on the upper portion of the needle and lighter on the lower portion. Its cones are 2 to 3.5” long, and the tree is known to reach an age of 200 years. The Balsam Fir has a very nice Christmas tree smell and retains needles well. It naturally grows from sea level to 5000’, from Pennsylvania into Canada. The Balsam is another very popular tree for Christmas.
The Douglas Fir is not actually related to real “fir” trees. The branches tend to droop down and spread apart, and the needles are dark green or blue green and 1 to 1.5” long. They’re also soft, and tend to spread out in all directions. In addition, the needles of the Douglas Fir have a very nice smell when crushed. Cones are typically 3” long, and the trees grow naturally from Central California to Alaska. They can live up to an amazing 1000 years! The Douglas Fir is very popular as a Christmas tree for all of the above reasons.
The Noble Fir has blue-green needles with a somewhat silver appearance, around 1” long and slightly twisted upward. Its cones can be over 5” long and trees can grow up to 200’ tall! The Noble Fir naturally occurs in Northern California, Oregon, and Washington. It has very sturdy branches and lives for a long period out of the ground. Again, this is a very popular as a Christmas tree. The foliage from this tree is also commonly used in wreaths and garlands.
The Scotch Pine generally has dark green needles, but can also have light green and bluish tints. Its needles are typically 1 to 3” long, and the branches are usually very strong. The Scotch Pine has extremely long needle retention, which makes it an ideal tree for Christmas. Unlike the trees above, the Scotch Pine is native to Europe and Asia, but has been grown in the Eastern US for centuries. It is now the most common Christmas tree used in the US.