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What is the Best Christmas Tree to Buy?

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The best Christmas tree species is probably a highly subjective argument. After all, so many people choose their Christmas decorations based on traditions and their experiences. For instance, my aunt spoke highly of blue spruces for Christmas trees; I thought they had to be the best. Little did I know when I bought my first one as an adult that it would leave me bleeding from sharp needles.

Overall, you can divide Christmas trees into multiple categories. Each category will hold its own list of excellent species. You can choose your tree based on appearance (perfectly pyramidal), smell, ease of decoration, ability to retain needles, and price (most likely driven by natural habitat).

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There are several species that will appear near the top of all or some of these lists, depending on your location. However, you may be yearning for the best tree in one category. Below, we will break down each category and list the top three species.

Top Tree Species for the Perfect Christmas Shape

Top Tree Species for the Perfect Christmas Shape
  1. Noble Fir
  2. Balsam Fir
  3. Fraser Fir

The noble fir is the perfect Christmas tree. It holds a perfectly pyramidal shape with evenly spaced branches. With such a beautiful appearance, it is a highly sought-after species. In fact, some consider the noble fir to be the “King” of all Christmas trees.

Altogether, noble firs grow slowly compared to other species. They only grow one foot per year. That being said, tree farmers need to put more time and money into their growth. This investment can affect the price of these beautiful trees. If left to grow uncut, the noble fir will reach 100 feet in its natural habitat with a 30-foot spread.

The needles of the noble fir are 1.5 inches long and bluish-green in color. Additionally, the needles are rounded on the end, making them easy to handle. Finally, the bark is smooth and gray in the early years and a scaly, dark brown in maturity.

The noble fir grows in the Pacific Northwest. Most of the trees grow in Oregon, but some grooves reach into California. This tree species needs a high-altitude to thrive. Ultimately, growing along the West Coast supplies much of California and nearby states with a native Christmas tree.


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All the trees mentioned in the article come from 4 genus of trees, we have articles on each where you can learn more


Top Tree Species for the Best Christmas Smell

Top Tree Species for the Best Christmas Smell
  1. Balsam Fir
  2. Monterey Pine
  3. Fraser Fir

One of the most popular species for Christmas trees is the balsam fir. Every winter, thousands of balsam firs flood the market in the Northeast United States. Overall, the balsam firs thrive across much of the eastern United States.

Many people love the balsam fir because of its fragrance. The smell is spicy and very reminiscent of Christmas. Altogether, the fragrance is strong but not overpowering. Certainly, the balsam fir will fill your home with the Christmas spirit.

Many crafters use the branches of the balsam fir to build wreaths and garlands. The fragrance still holds strong with these decorations.

It is an excellent choice for shape as well. However, it grows even slower than the noble fir. It will retain its needles well after cutting. It is one of the best choices for your next Christmas tree because it checks many boxes. That is especially true for the price. With so many on the market, it is one of the cheaper Christmas trees to purchase.

To learn more about Christmas trees with the best fragrance, Read More.

Top Tree Species for Ease of Decorating

Top Tree Species for Ease of Decorating
  1. White Spruce
  2. Fraser Fir
  3. Norway Spruce

The white spruce thrives in northern climates. Generally speaking, the white spruce is a Canadian species. However, some grooves spread into the Northern United States. The white spruce is a popular Christmas tree. It grows at a medium rate and can support the northern markets.

The branches of the white spruce point upwards. This feature is perfect for decorating for the Christmas season. Strong, sturdy branches will easily support your heavy ornaments. Moreover, the white spruce grows thick and has full branches. You can fill this tree with all your memories and other decorative choices.

In the early years, the white spruce holds a pyramidal shape, but age does change that. Spruces do not retain their needles well. In fact, spruces and pines tend to only keep their needles for a couple of weeks.

Truly, the white spruce will give your home a unique feel. There are not many trees like the white spruce.

Top Tree Species for Needle Retention

Top Tree Species for Needle Retention
  1. Scots Pine
  2. Balsam Fir
  3. Colorado Blue Spruce

The Scots pine is a wonderfully soft evergreen for your Christmas decorations. The needles hold a dark green color. It holds a loose pyramidal shape. Overall, the branches are evenly spaced, but this species is not nearly as full as the other trees on our list.

Moreover, the branches fall away from the trunk. They may not support some of your heavier ornaments. However, the red-orange bark exposed underneath is a beautiful sight.

Overall, the Scots pine may be your best choice for needle retention. As everyone knows, chasing after fallen needles all December is a terrible chore. Choosing a species that will retain its needles will ease this burden.

Even when your Scots pine dries out, the tree will retain the needles. With this characteristic, the Scots pine is one of the most popular choices during the Christmas season. The Scots pine is native to Europe and Northern Asia. However, it grows across much of the United States as well.

Top Tree Species for Price

Top Tree Species for Price
  1. Fraser Fir
  2. Balsam Fir
  3. Douglas Fir

The Fraser fir is another popular species on our list. It grows across much of the United States and rivals the balsam fir with appearances on our lists. This tree holds a beautiful pyramidal shape with a unique needle growth pattern. In fact, the needles grow in a spiral from the stem of the branch.

The needles are incredibly soft. Despite this softness, the branches are strong enough for decorating. Additionally, the branches grow slightly upward. The Fraser fir grows naturally in Virginia and North Carolina. However, they grow well across the Eastern United States and are a top choice for tree farmers.

These trees are easy to plant and grow. With so much popularity, they are inexpensive to purchase. Another feature of this species is its ability to transport. That being said, farmers can ship Fraser firs to markets with limited choices. Even with transport, the Fraser fir is one of the cheapest options.

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