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Christmas Trees for Sale - Buying & Growing Guide

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Christmas Trees for Sale – Buying & Growing Guide

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by John Haryasz | Horticulture Writer and Landscape Designer – last update on December 2, 2021

There are few trees more recognizable than the Christmas tree. While this style of tree is iconic, there are several varieties within the group. Selecting the right type depends on a number of factors, including your region’s climate, your fragrance and needle preferences, and more. An added benefit — Christmas trees make excellent privacy trees as they grow throughout the year.

How to Choose a Christmas Tree

There are five common types of Christmas trees: fir, pine, spruce, cypress, and cedar. The best option for you will depend on your region’s climate, how much fragrance you prefer, and other additional factors.

Firs are the most popular type of Christmas tree due to their sweet fragrance and strong needle retention. These trees prefer cool and moist conditions, so they may not be a viable option if you live in a hot, arid climate.

If you do live in a hotter climate, you should consider using a pine for your Christmas tree. They can be grown almost anywhere, and their needle retention is usually quite good. Pines are also an excellent option for people who find the scent of fir trees to be a little overwhelming, as their fragrance tends to be moderate. But they do produce a lot of sap — you can expect getting them inside your house for Christmas to be a messy process.

Spruces are known for their stiff branches and needles, which makes them great for holding ornaments. Varieties such as the Blue Spruce and White Spruce are also known for their striking color.

Cypresses are another type of Christmas tree that grows well in warmer climates. One downside, though, is that their branches are often too flexible for heavier ornaments.

Finally, cedars are similar to pines and cypresses in that they are commonly used for Christmas trees in regions that are too hot for firs. The Eastern Red Cedar is particularly popular in southern states, but you should be aware that they tend to dry out rather quickly — once cut, don’t expect them to last longer than three weeks.

Types of Christmas Tree


Type Growing Zones Mature Height Sun Features
Balsam fir, Abies balsamea 3-6 50-70 feet Full sun to part shade: 4-8 hours Dark green needles and great fragrance
Douglas fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii 4-6 40-80 feet Full sun: 6-8 hours Flat needles and a pyramidal to cylindrical habit
Noble fir, Abies procera 5-6 50-100 feet Full sun to part shade: 4-8 hours Neat conical shape and short needles
White fir, Abies concolor 3-7 40-70 feet Full sun to part shade: 4-8 hours Vibrant needles similar to blue spruce but soft
Eastern white pine, Pinus strobus 3-8 50-80 feet Full sun to part shade: 4-8 hours Long needles and noticeable cones
Blue spruce, Picea pungens 2-7 30-60 feet Full sun: 6-8 hours Perfect cone shape, surprisingly vibrant needles
Norway spruce, Picea abies 2-7 40-60 feet Full sun: 6-8 hours Large pyramidal form with pendulous needle clusters and cones
Deodar cedar, Cedrus deodara 7-8 40-50 feet Full sun: 6-8 hours Branches grow horizontally with drooping ends
Eastern red cedar, Juniperus virginiana 2-9 30-60 feet Full sun: 6-8 hours Attractive reddish bark, consistent foliage
Leyland cypress, Cupressus × leylandii 6-10 60-70 feet Full sun: 6-8 hours Lovely oval shape and with dense evergreen foliage

How Long Does It Take to Grow a Christmas Tree?

It’s important to note that this project requires some patience. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, the average growing time for Christmas trees is seven years. But while your Christmas trees are still growing, they can also serve as effective privacy trees, which provides several benefits. In addition to preventing neighboring properties from being able to see into your yard, privacy trees block some sound as well as block wind, making your outdoor space a more pleasant place to relax.

Caring for privacy trees is simple, as they generally only require watering and some light trimming as needed. These trees provide you with one of the easiest ways to make your yard more green and vibrant before they become your holiday tree.

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