Photo by: Greg Nissen
Holiday season is upon us and one of the most important events to a family is picking out the Christmas tree. This can start as early as the weekend after Thanksgiving. Not many people know all of the options of trees that are available to them in Central Pennsylvania. Here is a list of the most popular trees sold here and a little information about each one:
Colorado Blue Spruce
The official tree of Colorado and Utah, it is gaining popularity for the Christmas tree because of its general shape and blue coloring. This tree requires very little maintenance and is the best among other spruces for holding its needles.
The needles are usually 1 to 1.5 inches on lower branches and shorter as you move up the tree. They are generally a dull bluish gray to silver gray and will give off a scent if the needles are smashed.
Commonly referred to as the Southern Balsam or Southern Balsam Fir, it has a pyramid shape with branches that curve upward but are sturdy. This gives the appearance that the tree is more compact than most, which is one of the reasons it is one of the most popular choices for Christmas trees. This fir also has a dark green-blue color, maintains needles well, and produces a pleasant scent when needles are crushed. This tree is most commonly produced in North Carolina but is easily shipped to any state.
The needles are ½ to 1 inch long with a dark green color on the upper side and a lighter color on the bottom.
Although not considered a true “fir”, it has been used as a Christmas tree in the Pacific Northwest since the 1920’s, where at that time, they were cut down from nature. Starting in the 1950’s until today, trees stopped coming from forests and are harvested from plantations.
It is arguably the most popular tree to use during the holidays and has since been shipped to all states, including Hawaii, Guam and some Asian countries. The branches have a slight sagging effect and the needles are sharply pointed. They are a dark green to blue color and 1 to 1 ½ inchest long. They are very soft to the touch and have a sweet scent when crushed.
The state tree of South Dakota, the White Spruce has a triangular shape with branches that are spread out. The coloring of this tree is green to blue-green. When used as a Christmas tree, it has better needle retention than other spruces with stiff needles which are good for hanging ornaments, a great shape, and color. However, the common nickname for the White Spruce is also the “skunk spruce” because of the bad odor the needles give off when crushed.
There is a higher volume of needles in the upper half branches and are ½ to ¾ inches long.
This is also commonly referred to as the white fir. There is a bluish green tint to the tree but as it ages, the color turns greener. Its needle retention is fair, has a pleasing shape and scent.
The needles on the Concolor fir are usually ½ to 1 ½ inches and are pointed at the tip. They also tend to be thicker and more curved on the lower branches.
This has only recently become an option for Christmas once tree plantations were formed because it has been imported and primarily found in Europe. Although it has excellent color and triangular shape, it does not retain its needles unless freshly cut from a farm and placed in the home immediately.
The needles are 4 sided and ½ to 1 inch long and sharp with blunt tips.
Although the top three most commonly bought trees are firs, hopefully you will pick whichever tree fits into your house and needs. But, no matter what tree a shopper chooses, decorating it is a tradition that is most looked forward to during the holiday season.
For additional information on Christmas Trees