Each year when we arrive at the Christmas tree farm, my husband and I have the same conversation as we’re faced with the directional arrows guiding us to the various patches of Spruce, Fir and Pine. ‘Do you remember which type we got last year?’ ‘Which one is supposed to hold its needles the longest again?’ ‘Which has that nice pine smell?’ Inevitably, the kids start grumping and we quickly head off in no particular direction and randomly select the first reasonably shaped tree we find.
To help you with your tree selection, here’s a brief cheat sheet outlining the most popular types of local trees and their characteristics, based on information from the Maryland Christmas Tree Association.
White Pine: The White Pine is bluish-green in color and is the largest of the U.S. Pines. Its needles are 2.5 – 5 inches in length, soft and flexible. It has minimal aroma and is not recommended for heavy ornaments.
Fraser Fir: Dark blue-green in color, the Fraser has a pleasant pine aroma, excellent needle retention, and can handle heavy ornaments. Its needles are typically dark green on top and silvery white on the bottom.
Colorado Blue Spruce: The Colorado Blue Spruce is dark green to powdery blue, with sharp, 1 – 3 inch needles with good retention. It is generally symmetrical in shape. The Blue Spruce is often sold with a root ball - to be planted after the holidays.