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I Speak for the (Christmas) Trees

A Quick Guide to Choosing Your Perfect Tree

With the coming of the holiday season, it’s likely that many of you will be making the annual pilgrimage to pick out a Christmas tree. But it’s not a simple decision. There are plenty of things to consider as you shop for your perfect Christmas tree:

How big the space is - especially the ceiling height. An 8-foot ceiling won’t mean you can get an 8-foot tree. 6-7 feet is about all you can fit, especially if you have a large top ornament.

How long you’ll keep it displayed. Needle retention is important if you plan to ride it into January. Give it a shake to test it before you decide that’s the one you’ll strap to your car.

How many ornaments you’ll use. Ornaments can be fragile yet heavy. Good branch strength is key if you tend to have heavier ornaments.

What type of look you’re going for. Everybody’s got their own view of the perfect Christmas tree. Firs, spruces, pines all have different vibes. Go what’s right for you.

Fir trees tend to have better needle retention and fragrance; spruces usually have short, stiff needles and branches. Pines tend to have far softer needles (with good retention) but can produce a lot of sap.

So what are the different Christmas tree types available in our area and what are they like? (It might be a bit more than you expect)

Douglas Fir:

These are the hardest-working members of the Christmas tree industry. More than half of all Christmas trees sold in America are Douglas firs. This is the lunchbucket crowd, the ones who roll up their branches and get things done. They have stout branches that do the heavy lifting and make sure no ornament is left behind. 

Their favorite class in high school was Wood Shop (although they hated it when the teacher kept repeating “You’re here to learn how to make something of yourself!”). If they were in a band, Douglas firs would be the drummer.

Fraser Fir:

Frasers also have strong branches that are ideal for heavy decorations. They’re also busybodies (you can almost hear them say “I’m listening…”), so don’t badmouth Santa around them. Frasers win the needle retention contest by a mile. Many consider Frasers the perfect Christmas tree, whether you agree is up to you.

Their favorite singer is Sinatra. Frasers are lactose intolerant. They just can’t stand it.

Balsam Fir:

Balsams are classic. In fact, most Christmas candles you’ll find will be based upon their scent. They tend to have tighter branches with softer needles than Frasers, so they’ll probably be more “full-figured” trees, ready to take on any ornaments you can throw at them.

Balsams also have a wicked sense of humor and tend to be quite intelligent for a conifer.

Blue Spruce:

Despite their name, Blue Spruces are apolitical. They have wonderful agents, appearing in numerous Hallmark Christmas movies and Target commercials. They’re native to Colorado, so their bluish hue always looks snow-kissed and seasonal. Blue Spruces are nearly always perfectly shaped trees. Other Christmas trees hate them for that. 

White Spruces are their colorful cousins who tend to smell funny when hugged.

Scotch Pine:

If you’re looking for a tree that just won’t shed, the Scotch Pine might be for you. This is a tree that will keep the party going, maybe until Valentine’s Day. Sure, they can be sappy, but who isn’t around the holidays? The needles are soft, the branches are stiff, and they’re great if you’re a “when was the last time anyone checked the water in the tree” type of household.

Scotch Pines prefer Marvel to DC and often claim to be a little psychic. Don’t believe them. 

Truffula Trees:

Not a thing, no matter what the Lorax might say.

If you’d like to spread some holiday spirit, post a picture of your Christmas tree on our Wayne Lifestyle Instagram page (@waynelifestylemag)