Christmas Tree Types
With a beautiful, almost spruce like appearance, these
Noble Firs have soft blue-green needles on evenly spaced strong branches
perfect for heavy ornaments. They keep really well and have a very pleasant
mild fir scent.
These firs come all the way from the high altitudes of the west
coast, one of the only spots where the climate is conducive for these trees to
Noble Fir is a high elevation tree grown only in the
Pacific Northwest of North America. Christmas trees grown higher
in the mountains receive a good solid frost before harvest, and
that is how the trees become fully dormant. This is the key determining
factor for improved needle retention and keeping the tree fresh.
Noble Fir performs well under a wide variety of conditions in both
cold and warm environments. Since 1983, Santa & Sons has shipped
Noble Fir Christmas trees throughout the United States and more
recently, internationally as well.
Fir come in a variety of styles and they present the ornaments and
Christmas lights in a very natural way. Decorated at home they are
The Concolor Fir, also known as the White Fir is native to the western United States.
The needles are small and narrow and occur in rows. On upper branches, needles tend to be thicker and more curved than those on lower branches. Needles are usually 1/2 to 1 1/2 inch long, pointed or notched at the tip, bluish-green in color. Typically, they are flat, without stalks.
As a Christmas tree, white fir has good foliage color, a pleasing natural shape and aroma, and good needle retention. Of all the types of trees we carry, the Concolor Fir has the best needle retention - even moreso than the Fraser and Douglas, which are both ranked highly.
Pinch one of the needles between your fingernails and you'll notice a delightful citrus scent. This is the characteristic that earned this tree the nickname "the Citrus Christmas Tree".
In many respects, Fraser fir and balsam fir are quite similar, although the geographic ranges of the two species do not overlap. Some scientists even suggest that because of the many similarities, the two species were once a single species which has since evolved into the present-day forms.
Fraser fir was named for John Fraser (1750-1811), a Scot botanist who explored the southern Appalachian Mountains in the late 18th century.
Fraser fir is a uniformly pyramid-shaped tree. Needles are flattened, dark-green with a medial groove on the upper side and two broad silvery-white bands on the lower surface. Needles are 1/2 to one inch long, have a broad circular base, and are usually dark green on the upper surface and lighter on the lower surface. On lower branches, leaves are two-ranked (occurring in two opposite rows). On upper twigs, leaves tend to curl upward forming a more "U-shaped" appearance.
The combination of form, needle retention, dark blue-green color, pleasant scent and excellent shipping characteristics has led to Fraser fir being a most popular Christmas tree species.
First described in 1768, the balsam fir exhibits a relatively dense, dark-green, pyramidal crown with a slender spire-like tip. The scientific name "balsamea" is an ancient word for the balsam tree, so named because of the many resinous blisters found in the bark.
On lower branches needles generally occur as two-ranked (two rows along sides of the branch), 3/4 - 1 1/2 inches long, spreading and not crowded. On older branches, the needles tend to be shorter and curved upward so as to cover the upper sides of the twigs. Individual needles are somewhat flat and may be blunt or notched at the end. Needles have a broad circular base and are usually dark green on the upper surface, lighter on the lower surface. Two silvery bands of stomata (pores) are found on the lower surface.
As a Christmas tree, balsam fir has several desirable properties. It has a dark-green appearance, long-lasting needles, and attractive form. It also retains its pleasing fragrance.
Douglas-fir is not a true fir and has been a taxonomic nightmare for those trying to settle on a genus name. After changing names on numerous occasions the present scientific name Pseudotsuga menziesii now uniquely belongs to Douglas-fir.
This wide ranging species has branches which are spreading to drooping. The needles are dark green or blue green, 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, soft to the touch and radiate out in all directions from the branch. They have a sweet fragrance when crushed.
It grows to more than 200 feet tall in its native habitat in the West.
The Douglas-fir has been the major Christmas tree species since the 1920's, mostly because of a uniform pyramidal shape when young, it is also a preferred Christmas tree.
Beginning with the British colonists, the eastern white pine (or white pine) has proven to be one of the most important and most desirable species of North America. It is a truly magnificent tree attaining a height of 80 feet or more at maturity with a diameter of two to three feet.
White pine is considered to be the largest pine in the United States. In colonial times, white pines above 24 inches in diameter were reserved for England to be used as ships masts. These trees were identified by blazing a broad arrow on the trunk. Because of the colonists general dislike of British rule, this "broad arrow" policy was one more source of friction between the two. It is the state tree of Michigan and Maine.
Needles are soft, flexible and bluish-green to silver green in color and are regularly arranged in bundles of five. Needles are 2 1/2-5 inches long and are usually shed at the end of the 2nd growing season.
For Christmas trees, sheared trees are preferred, although some people feel shearing results in trees too dense for larger ornaments. Needle retention is good to excellent. White pine has very little aroma, but, conversely, is reported to result in fewer allergic reactions than do some of the more aromatic species.