Choosing to go with a real Christmas tree is not a difficult decision. After all, a real tree is a local, environmentally friendly product steeped in holiday tradition. The tougher choice is often deciding which kind of real Christmas tree is right for you and your family.
Your local tree farmers provide several different choices, with options to meet every family’s unique needs. Here are some popular varieties grown right here in Wisconsin:
- Balsam firs are among the most popular Christmas trees thanks in large part to their intoxicating, deep fragrance. They’re also desirable because they’re durable, and their short, flat needles are soft and won’t prick your hand as you’re stringing lights and hanging ornaments on the branches. It’s best to use lightweight ornaments on these softer branches. The Balsam Fir is a native Wisconsin tree with short, soft needles and a lovely green color that fills a room due to the fullness of the foliage.
- Fraser firs are another popular choice for those who want to fill their home with the smell of Christmas. This fragrant tree is another durable variety with short, soft, flat needles that don’t shed easily. Frasers also have strong branches that curve slightly upward, perfect for holding ornaments. The needles are dark green on top and silvery underneath, making for a unique, slightly frosted color. Frasers also have impressive staying power—when properly cared for, it’s not uncommon for a Fraser to last as long as six weeks.
- Spruce trees grow well in colder climates such as Wisconsin. This tree has a distinctive blue-green color. The needles are short, stiff and sharp, and they protrude from all sides of the twigs, so you’ll want to be careful when you hang the ornaments. It’s worth the extra care though; spruce branches are strong and sturdy, able to hold up ornaments of all sizes, and spruces are easily cultured into a beautiful pyramid shape, perfect for your living room!
- If you really want to add some nostalgia to your holiday, you might want to consider an Eastern white pine. These trees helped make Wisconsin famous during the logging days of old. White Pines have long, blue-green needles with a hint of white, in bundles of five. Once decorated, a white pine has a unique, delicate look, with the boughs weeping gracefully under the pull of the ornaments. White pines also have a lovely conical shape that stands straight up, and they retain their needles through the holiday season.
- If you’re into bushy trees, you might want a Scotch pine. These are full trees with long, stiff, flat needles that twist and spread. This tree rarely sheds its needles and has excellent water retention when it’s cut. A Scotch pine’s sturdy branches curve upward, making it a great tree variety for holding ornaments of all kinds. The needles can be sharp though, so wear gloves when decorating.