We have had requests to provide some recommendations about our favorite varieties that are traditionally used as Christmas Trees. We cannot specify the best tree for you because it is very much a matter of taste, but here are a few we like:
Fraser fir was named after John Fraser a botanist who explored the Appalachian Mountains in the late 1700′s. It is characterized by a uniform pyramid-shape and needles that are dark blue-green on the upper side and silvery-white on the underside. This color contrast gives a particular look of depth that compliments your decorations. The branches are strong and upward turned which also makes decorating easy. Needle retention is good and the Fraser Fir has a pleasant scent.
The Noble Fir can grow to be 200 feet in height. Although the one you take home will be significantly smaller, it will still convey strength and power in its appearance. It has a symmetrical shape and excellent needle retention. The needles are dark green with two fine white stripes on the underside. Although much more dense than a Subalpine Fir, The branches are generally spaced well for decoration.
The Nordman Fir is native to the Caucasus Mountains in the Republic of Georgia and is Europe’s favorite Christmas tree. Its needles are green and glossy and lay a bit flatter than the Fraser or Noble Firs. Because the Nordman is not quite as symmetrical as the other firs we mentioned, it tends to have more character.
The Subalpine fir is much less dense than the other varieties mentioned here and therefore are excellent for hanging large ornaments. They have a long, narrow crown and short stiff branches. The needles turn upward and are blue-green in color. Because they are less dense, they tend to be lighter than some of the other varieties and perhaps easier to transport home and set up.
Whatever type of tree you select, here are some care tips you may want to note:
This is a very important step in allowing your tree to draw water. Just prior to positioning your tree at home (no more than a half hour before being placed in water), cut one inch off the base of the trunk. This insures the passageways that draw water up into your tree are open.
Make sure you select a tree stand that is appropriate for the height and weight of your tree. The water reservoir should allow several inches of the trunk to stand in water. Make sure your tree is secure in its stand before adding lights or ornaments.
As soon as your tree has been positioned and secured into its stand, fill the reservoir with water. The tree will initially use a large amount of water. Make sure the reservoir always remains full of fresh water. Never allow the water level to fall below the cut end of the trunk.
The cooler your tree is kept, the longer it will stay fresh. Cool temperatures slow down the rate of water loss from your tree. Remember to close, or redirect any heater vents around your tree.