Let’s say you want to get a real tree for Christmas. How picky are you to your tree? Is the lushness important to you? What aroma do you want the trees to release? Do you care about the subtle difference between dark green or teal? How tall do you want your tree? How much does it cost? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you pick out your perfect Christmas tree.
First of all, How big is your room?
The size of your room is going to be the one constant shopping for a Christmas tree. Everything else is flexible. It is a physical constraint, so first of all figure out how tall your ceiling is, and how tall you want the tree to be. Typically we want to have the tree one to two feet taller than us. Of course, taller trees usually means wider diameter at the bottom. We don’t want the tree too close to the ceiling to make your living room seem small. Also, you should keep the trees away from any sprinkler heads to maintain adequate sprinkler coverage. Don’t forget to count the tree toppers. Remember to decide on the height before you go out to shop for your tree. The same tree at the tree lot may look smaller than it actually is. Remember to bring a big enough car with you.
There are many farms and department stores that offer Christmas trees during the season. They are usually sold by length so once you know the tree height you want, you can set your budgets. There is a charity organization called Aunt Leah’s Trees. Their trees are a little more expensive, but it’s for a good cause.
Most trees used as Christmas trees fall under Fir, Pine, Spruce, Cypress, or Cedar. The ones you can find commonly in Canada are Spruce, Pine, and Fir (SPF), similar to the wood used in our wood frame construction. Tree lots usually carry about 4-5 different types of trees, so be sure to check with the farm before driving all the way out there.
We are going to delve a little deeper for some of the more popular Christmas trees in BC:
Balsam Fir has an iconic cone shaped tree with dense dark green needle-like leaves that are a little flat. There is a shiny silvery white color on the leaves that reflects the christmas lights. They have strong fragrant smell of Christmas and the strong branch to hang heavier ornaments.
Fraser Fir has needle-like yellowish green leaf. The branches grow in a spiral along the trunk to give the tree less of a mechanical look. They are known for their pleasant fragrant scent. The sturdy branches are angled slightly upward to make them a great option for heavy ornaments. Fraser fir is known as the longest lasting Christmas tree. They can last well after the New year.
Douglas Fir has needle-like leaves that are flat and soft. These dark green leaves tend to grow in bunches. The full and bushy leaves make them ideal for large open spaces. Douglas fir has one of the richest scents of all the Christmas trees. The pyramid shaped appearance give them iconic Christmas tree shape.
Grand fir is a large species fir tree. They have beautiful and thick yellowish green needle leaves with a white stripe underneath. The tree gives off that wonderful spicy scent of Christmas. Their branches are dense and curls up to distribute weight better, making decorating with heavy ornament a viable option.
Noble firs have short dark green leaves that are evenly distributed on the branch. They look very natural and dense with a strong wonderful Christmas fragrance. The branches are stiff enough to hold heavy ornaments and strings of lights because of their upward curving branches. Noble firs are the most versatile of the Christmas firs, and an all-around beautiful tree. However, they are often the most expensive trees in the lot. Noble fir is often used to make Christmas wreaths and garlands.
White pines have longer needle-like leaves that grow in bundles. These feathery bundles have a light blue-green hues. The white pine doesn’t really have a smell, which makes them a great choice for environment conscious homeowners who are sensitive to fragrances. The branches of this Christmas tree are more flexible, so it is not recommended to put heavy ornaments on them.
Scotch pine is also called the scots pine. They have dark green foliage with colors ranging from blue-green to a darker green. Scotch Pine have a medium fragrance that are not as strong as Grand fir or Noble fir, but still enough to be noticeable. The branch are strong and curve upward to assist in holding heavy ornaments. The biggest benefit for Scotch pine is their superb ability for needle retention. They don’t really shed its needle-like leaves even when dried out. This means less maintenance and clean up for you during and after Christmas.
Colorado Blue Spruce
The Colorado blue spruce has silvery blue colored leaves that look stunning under the glowing Christmas lights. These needle-like leaves are sharp and dense. They have a strong and unique fragrance. Strong branches curve upwards to make decorating easier. The Colorado blue spruce has a perfect Christmas tree shape. Their color is very unique. You cannot get from any other types, and the guests are sure to be impressed.
The White spruce is also referred to as the Canadian spruce, or the skunk spruce. The name comes from the fragrances when the leaves are crushed. These leaves are short and sturdy with a dark green color. Under the right light, the leaves have a bluish shade. The fragrance may not be acceptable for everyone, so make sure you give it a careful smell before purchasing. White spruce has thick, heavy branches that are perfect for heavier ornaments. However, the trunk can be quite soft which makes them popular for u-cut Christmas Trees.
Prep-work for tree hauling
If you don’t have a truck and like to keep the car clean, I would suggest layering the back of your car with large plastic bags before your trip to the tree lot. Most of the places you go would use tree wraps to restrict the branch upward. However the seasons for cutting trees often leaves the tree wet. These freshly cut trees also release resin. They are easy to clean when wet, but may leave a permanent layer in your car once dried
So that’s it for picking up your perfect Christmas tree. I personally like Noble fir for its leaf arrangement and the distinct Christmas fragrance, but they are a bit pricey. Which trees suits your needs the most? Don’t forget to check out our Christmas tree accessories article to find out the easiest way to setup your christmas tree after getting home from the tree lot.