10 Types of Live Christmas Trees – And Which One Is Best for Your Family

Tis’ the season of picking out Christmas Trees. Typically the center of holiday decorations, picking out the perfect Christmas tree can be stressful and confusing. So before you step onto a Christmas lot its best to do a little research to find out which Christmas tree is best suited for you and your family’s needs. Read on to get the scoop on 10 different types of live Christmas trees including firs, pines, spruces, and cypress’.

Fir Christmas Trees:

1. Balsam Fir.

This fir comes with a classic, strong Christmas tree scent. Its dark green needles form an overall perfectly symmetrical pyramid shape. With a Balsam Fir, you won’t have to worry about needles dropping throughout the season. However; its flexible branches will droop under the weight of heavy ornaments.

 Balsam Fir

Balsam Fir

2. Douglas Fir.

Easily found anywhere Christmas trees are sold, this tree sports beautiful light green needles. These needles are soft to the touch and rarely drop off the tree when properly hydrated. Along with its short and compact appearance, Douglas Firs give off a sweet smell. Unfortunately, it does not hold heavy ornaments well so if you choose this tree opt for lightweight decorations.

 Douglas Fir

Douglas Fir

3. Fraser Fir.

This dark green tree has sturdy branches that easily support heavy ornaments. It provides a wonderful scent and will hold its needles throughout the holiday season. It has a dense, compact appearance which can be a con for some people.

Fraser Fir

Fraser Fir

Pine Christmas Trees:

4. White Pine.

This bluish-green pyramid shaped pine has good needle retention but will show signs of wilt if not watered on a regular basis. Because of the tree’s soft, flexible needles it does not support heavy ornaments well. Although this tree has the familiar pine smell, the scent will be faint compared to other pines.

White Pine

White Pine

5. Scotch Pine.

As one of the most popular Christmas trees, this tree’s pine scent will last all season long. Its needle retention is exceptional making it a great choice for people that don’t want to vacuum up needles all season long. Scotch Pines tend to be a bright green and have an appealing pyramid shape. Its stiff branches make it a great candidate for a lot of lights and heavy ornaments.Scotch Pine

Scotch Pine


6. Virginia Pine.

Popular in the south, this dark green tree is extremely dense and full. Its strong limbs make hanging heavy ornaments an easy task; however, avoid hanging ornaments near the tips of needles. Virginia Pines have a pleasant pine fragrance and excellent needle retention.Virginia Pine


Virginia Pine

Spruce Christmas Trees:

7. Colorado Blue Spruce.

Bluish-gray in color this tree gives off very little odor unless needles are crushed. Be careful not to crush needles otherwise your tree will give off an unpleasant smell. This blue spruce has good symmetry, attractive blue foliage, and good needle retention. Stiff branches make them a good option for heavy ornaments. This tree’s needles are sharp which makes this tree difficult to handle and possibly dangerous if you have small children.

Colorado Blue Spruce

Colorado Blue Spruce

8. Norway Spruce.

Said to be one of the first American Christmas trees, this cone-shaped tree sports gorgeous forest-green needles. Its strong branches make it a perfect choice for heavy ornaments; however, needle retention is poor. Norway Spruces give off a pleasant but mild scent. Norway SpruceWhite Spruce

9. White Spruce.

Excellent for ornaments, the white spruce sports short, stiff needles. The bluish-green color and natural shape make for an impressive display. There won’t be much scent with this type of Christmas tree; however, be careful when handling the tree because when crushed the needles give off an unpleasant odor. As for needle retention, the white spruce holds its needles much better than other types of spruces.white spruce

White Spruce

Cypress Christmas Trees:

10. Leyland Cypress.

A popular choice in the Southeast, Leyland cypress’ feature soft dark green-gray branches. It sports a full pyramid shape but its branches are not suitable for the heaviest ornaments. Leyland Cypress’ have excellent needle retention; however, they require large quantities of water. Expect to water your Cypress multiple times a day. This tree also has very little aroma and does not produce sap, making it a great choice for people sensitive to smells or allergic to sap.

Leyland Cypress

Leyland Cypress


Have a favorite type of Christmas tree that’s not mentioned here? Share it with us in the comments!

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Samantha Huff

Samantha Huff is the marketing coordinator at RTEC Treecare. She enjoys learning about the technical aspects of trees and the insects and diseases that prey on them. She hopes that these articles can help homeowners gain control of their tree and shrub maintenance by being aware of the signs and symptoms of unhealthy trees.

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