Headed to pick out your Christmas tree soon?
Will you go with a noble fir known for its sturdy needles? What about a bright green scotch pine with plenty of room for decorations, or a miniature Christmas tree just for the mantle? Whether you handpick the same type of Christmas tree each year or just go with the first one that stands out, the fact of the matter is that there are many tree types from which to choose.
The Christmas tree becomes the focal point of your holiday decor and family traditions, so it’ll be important to narrow down your decision and find the right one. Shape, color and scent are just a few things to consider.
Christmas Tree Types
To help you find the perfect tree for you, we’ve put together a guide featuring the different types of Christmas trees. It’s classified based upon their most common qualities and characteristics. This season, celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with a Christmas tree that’s at the top of your list!
Browse through the different types of Christmas trees below.
Fir trees are a genus of the evergreen coniferous trees and are also a popular choice for the holiday season. The most popular fir trees used for Christmas include the noble fir, fraser fir and balsam fir. Browse the entire list below.
1. Balsam Fir
The balsam fir is an evergreen tree best known for its conical shape and dense, dark-green leaves that are flat and needle-like. The leaves of the balsam fir also tend to have hints of shining silvery-white and are commonly used for holiday wreaths and greenery. This evergreen tree not only looks good, but smells good too. Giving off that spicy Christmas scent only makes it an even more popular Christmas tree choice. This particular fir varietal is small- to medium-sized and grows to heights of up to 66 feet tall.
2. Fraser Fir
Known for its pleasant scent, the yellow-green branches of the fraser fir feature a conical shape with branches that angle slightly upward. The branches of the fraser fir are also known for being extra sturdy, making this Christmas tree a great option for heavy ornaments, Christmas garland and holiday decor. Its leaves are needle-like and spiral along the trunk of the tree, giving off a fragrant scent. The fraser fir typically grows anywhere up to 50 feet tall.
3. Canaan Fir
Known for its similarities to the fraser fir and balsam fir, the canaan fir is referred to as the hybrid of the two. Canaan fir is a medium-growing evergreen tree that features fantastic needle retention, like the fraser fir. Leaves are flat and needle-like, with a nice green color. The canaan fir is native to the mountains of West Virginia and is a newcomer to the Christmas tree market, making this particular fir varietal few and far between.
4. Douglas Fir
A douglas fir will make a statement in your home. This fir tree displays a full pyramid shape with blue or dark green leaves that have one of the richest scents of all the Christmas trees. Leaves of this evergreen are flat, soft and tend to grow in bunches. Douglas firs grow from medium-sized to extremely large anywhere up to 330 feet tall. Fun fact, the douglas fir makes up nearly half of all Christmas trees grown in the United States.
5. Grand Fir
The name of this evergreen tree really says it all. The grand fir is a large tree native to the Pacific Northwest and Northern California. These giants can grow up to 230 feet tall. The grand fir features bicolored needles with yellow-green hues and a white stripe beneath the needle. This tree produces beautiful, thick foliage and gives off that wonderful spicy Christmas tree scent.
6. Noble Fir
Noble fir is yet another one of the more popular Christmas trees and can grow up to 230 feet tall. The dense branches are evenly spaced along the trunk of this evergreen tree. Growing happily in the Pacific Northwest, the Noble fir displays needle-like leaves that tend to curve upward, making them a sturdy option for all of your holiday decorations.
7. Concolor Fir
The concolor fir is often referred to as the white fir. It’s known for its flattened, needle-like leaves that are pointed at the tip. When it’s young, the concolor fir features more blue-green colored leaves, but as it gets older the leaves turn into a duller green hue. The concolor fir can grow up to 195 feet tall.
Pine trees are evergreen conifers in the Pinus genus and are the most common coniferous tree around the world. Pine trees love their natural forest the most, but are also common options for Christmas trees.
8. White Pine
The white pine features needles that grown in fascicles or bundles. With bluish-green hues and pointed tips, the branches of this Christmas tree are flexible and give off little to no aroma. This pine tree is not recommended for heavy ornaments or large decorations because the branches are not as strong. Fun fact, the white pine is the largest pine in the United States. Mature trees can live up to 400 years and grow to heights of about 230 feet tall.
9. Scotch Pine
Also referred to as the scots pine, this pine tree is another common Christmas tree option. Dark green foliage and sturdy branches equip the scotch pine: perfect for plenty of Christmas lights and decorations. This pine tree can grow anywhere up to 115 feet tall. The needles range in color from blue-green to a darker green in the winter months and grow in fascicles or bunches of two. The scotch pine is also known for its long term needle retention, meaning less clean up for you when Christmas ends. Fun fact, it’s also the national tree of Scotland.
10. Virginia Pine
The Virginia pine can be easily identified due to its short and twisted needles that grow in pairs. This particular pine tree features short branches with dense foliage that respond well to trimming. The Virginia pine is known as a small to medium-sized tree that can grow anywhere up to about 70 feet tall.
Spruce trees are in the Picea genus which includes over 35 species. These particular types of trees tend to grow in the cooler climates and are common selections for the holiday season.
11. Blue Spruce
The blue spruce, also known as the Colorado blue spruce, is loved for its waxy gray-blue needles that tend to curve upwards. Native to the Rocky Mountains of the United States, this spruce tree features dense foliage that grows in a conical shape anywhere up to 75 feet tall. The blue spruce is said to have “the perfect Christmas tree shape.” Fun fact, the blue spruce is the state tree of Colorado.
12. Norway Spruce
The Norway spruce is a fast-growing evergreen coniferous tree that can be found anywhere up to 180 feet tall. Its leaves are needle-like and feature a dark green hue with pointed tips. Although common in the United States, the Norway spruce is most notably a species of spruce that is native to Europe. Needle retention of the Norway spruce is poor, so it’s important to take proper care of your tree and water it correctly.
13. White Spruce
The white spruce is also commonly referred to as the Canadian spruce, the skunk spruce, the western white spruce and a handful of other names. This particular spruce species is a large tree that grows to heights of up to 130 feet tall. With needle-like leaves that are short and sturdy in a blue-green color, this spruce is a viable option for all of your lights and ornaments.
Cypress trees grow in a tall narrow shape and are most commonly used as shrubbery or privacy trees. If you’re looking for a unique Christmas tree this year, Cypress might be your best option. Browse the different types below.
14. Arizona Cypress
As the name implies, the Arizona cypress is native to the Southwestern United States. It is a medium-sized evergreen tree that can grow up to 60 feet tall. Leaves of this particular cypress are a bluish-gray color on branches that grow in a conical shape.
15. Leyland Cypress
The leyland cypress has feathery leaves that are greenish-gray in color and grow upward, giving the tree a pyramid-like shape. This particular cypress does not give off any aroma, so if you’re looking for a Christmas tree with a delightful scent, the leyland cypress might not be the one for you. On the plus side, the lack of fragrance can be great for those with allergies. This fast-growing tree will grow up to heights of 70 feet tall.
Cedar trees are large coniferous evergreens with many different types. Cedar trees are most commonly landscaping trees, seen lining streets and parks. Although, if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind Christmas tree, a cedar is a viable option.
16. Red Cedar
Also commonly referred to as the Eastern red cedar, pencil cedar and aromatic cedar. Branches of the this particular cedar are dense and form a pyramid-like shape. The leaves jet upwards and are a dark, shiny green color. Although the eastern red cedars are slow-growing, they have been recorded at heights of over 40 feet tall. Fun fact, this cedar tree is most commonly used as a Christmas tree in Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
There’s no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to decorate your Christmas tree, but that means you’ll have to pick one out first. With so many different options to consider, hopefully our guide to the different types of Christmas trees will help you narrow down your top picks. Once you have your tree at home, don’t forget to take proper care of it. Our detailed guide to Christmas tree care will help you assure that your tree stays healthy all season. It’s time to get to decorating and celebrate!