Get Your Christmas Tree Early Short Supply?

The National Christmas Tree Association says farmers in the Pacific Northwest, will be shipping far fewer this year. The recession in 2008 drove many of them out of business or caused many to plant much fewer saplings. Since it takes eight or nine years for a tree to mature, we're seeing the effects of that now.

Headed to pick out your Christmas tree soon?

Will you go with a noble fir known for its sturdy needles? What about a bright green scotch pine with plenty of room for decorations, or a miniature Christmas tree just for the mantle? Whether you handpick the same type of Christmas tree each year or just go with the first one that stands out, the fact of the matter is that there are many tree types to choose from.

The Christmas tree becomes the focal point of your holiday decor and family traditions, so it’ll be important to narrow down your decision and find the right one. Shape, color, and scent are just a few things to consider. Here are some things you might want to consider when you look at a tree:

That perfect shape that you have in your head
The density of the branches on the trunk
The smell of the fresh needles and bark
The texture of the branches
The durability of the tree, especially if you want to leave it up for a long time

Among the best-selling Christmas trees are the Douglas, Fraser, Noble and Balsam firs, and the Scotch, Virginia and white pine trees. You might be among the growing number of people who choose a living tree. One of the most popular trees for this is the Colorado blue spruce.

Browse through the different types of Christmas trees below.

Colorado Blue Spruce
Used as an ornamental landscape tree, the Colorado Blue Spruce makes an excellent living Christmas tree. Blue-gray to silvery-gray in color, this tree grows in a natural conical shape. Although this tree is primarily grown in southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States, you can probably locate one at a local retail lot or nursery.

Arizona Cypress
This tree has a steeple shape and is pale-green to gray-green in color. This is an aromatic tree that can most often be purchased at cut-your-own Christmas tree farms along the east coast and in the south and southwest regions of the United States.

Balsam Fir
Balsam's are pyramid shaped and dark-green in color with long-lasting needles. This fragrant tree is popular in Canada and throughout the northern United States.

Douglas Fir
Pyramid shaped and dark-green or blue-green in color, this tree has a subtle sweet fragrance. One of the most popular Christmas trees in the United States. Primarily grown in the Pacific Northwest, these trees are shipped throughout the United States and internationally to some Asian markets.

Fraser Fir
Pyramid-shaped, the strong, upward-turned branches are densely covered with two-toned needles. The top side of the needle is dark-green to dark blue-green in color and the bottom side has a silvery appearance. Excellent needle retention, a pleasant aroma, and it's color make this one of the most popular Christmas tree species. Heavy ornaments and lights are easily held by this strong tree. The majority of Fraser Firs are produced in North Carolina and are shipped throughout the United States and internationally. The branches are also used to make wreaths, swags and Christmas roping.

Noble Fir
This tree is also pyramid shaped, with blue-green needles that give it a silvery appearance. The sturdy branches and long-lasting freshness make this a great Christmas tree. Like the Fraser fir, the greenery from this tree can be used to make wreaths, swags, and garland.

Eastern Redcedar
Natural cone-shaped, this tree can range in color from shiny dark-green to blue-green and even purple and are most usually available at cut-your-own Christmas tree farms or plantations. This tree can dry out quickly, so be sure to get the stump in water as soon as possible. The wood from this tree has been used in cedar chests and closets.

Leyland Cypress
This tree has an Impressive cone shape with colors that range from dark-green to gray. Although you will most often see this as an ornamental landscape plant throughout England and the southeastern United States, it has recently become popular as a Christmas tree in the southeastern United States. This is not a fragrant tree, so for those of you who don't like the "Christmas tree smell," this would be a good choice.

Virginia Pine
This pine tree is conical shaped. The soft, short needles are supported by stout woody branches, making this a good tree for ornaments. Normally dark-green in color, the needles can turn a yellowish-green in late fall, making it necessary to use a tree colorant or pigment to restore the natural color. Originally, this was the staple of the Christmas tree industry throughout the southeastern United States. This tree is available at retail lots and cut-your-own farms.

Scotch Pine
Nice conical shape. Color ranges from bright to dark green and sometimes blue-green. Sturdy branches, excellent needle retention, and lasting freshness make this a great Christmas tree. Don't worry about hanging heavy ornaments and lights on this tree.

Norway Spruce
This spruce is conical shaped. Dark green in color. This tree is not known for good needle retention, so make sure you get a fresh cut and keep it watered.

Eastern White Pine
An impressive cone shape, the soft needles on this tree are blue-green to silvery-green in color. Heavy ornaments do not work well on this tree. Sometimes the needles can turn yellow, so a tree colorant or pigment is used by the growers to restore trees to their natural color. This tree has very little fragrance and is reported to be less of an allergen than some of the more fragrant trees.

There’s no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to decorate your Christmas tree, but that means you’ll have to pick one out first. With so many different options to consider, hopefully, our guide to the different types of Christmas trees will help you narrow down your top picks. Once you have your tree at home, don’t forget to take proper care of it. You can always get a permit from your local DNR and harvest your own, on state-owned land of course. This is always a wonderful option.

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