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Unsure of which Christmas Tree to buy this year?  Our Forestry Placement Student, Arwel Davies, gives a run-down of some of the world’s favourite Christmas trees.

 

10: Norway Spruce – This is the traditional Christmas tree in the UK.  It has a dark green crown with a triangular shape.  Many people enjoy the scent that it releases.  The needle retention is very poor unless it is freshly cut when purchased.  Watering it daily will help retain needles.

 

9: Douglas Fir – The Douglas Fir is a conifer that is widely planted in UK forestry due to its shade tolerance and its strong timber properties.  It is also used as a Christmas tree due to its attractive shape and dark colour.  Its needles point outwards in all directions, and release the sweetest fragrance when crushed.

 

8: Balsam Fir – The Balsam Fir is the traditional American Christmas tree.  It has soft dark needles with a silvery cast.  These needles are long lasting and slowly release a pleasant fragrance that lasts throughout the festive season.

 

Douglas Fir, Photo Credit: West Lodge Plant Centre

7: Fraser Fir – The Fraser Fir Christmas tree is a dark blue/green colour with a silvery colour underneath.  It has good needle retention and a pleasant scent.  The pyramid shaped branches turn slightly upwards, and are strong enough to hold moderately heavy decorations.

 

6: Blue Spruce – This Christmas tree is the official state tree of Colorado and Utah. Needles are a silvery blue/grey colour and emit a resinous odour when crushed.  The colour can differ from a blueish white to more silvery foliage.  This has good needle retention. Its unique colour and appearance is a nice change to the usual dark green tree.

 

5: White Pine – This Christmas tree will retain its needles throughout the holiday season.  The needles are in bundles of five and display a very full appearance.  There is very little fragrance released from this species, and less likely for allergic reactions compared to more fragrant trees.  The branches are flexible and not recommended to hold heavy ornaments.

 

4: Scots Pine – The Scots Pine, a conifer native to the UK, has excellent needle retention.  They don’t even fall off when they’re dry.  This species’ colour ranges from a bright green to dark green/blue tones.

 

3: Noble Fir – This tree species is one of the hardiest of the conifers.  It tolerates dry exposed sites and very high elevations where most other conifers cannot grow.  These properties make this a strong and durable Christmas tree.  Its branches are short and stiff and therefore can hold heavy ornaments.  The needles point upwards and are a blue/green colour with a silvery appearance.

 

2: Leyland Cypress – The Leyland Cypress has upright branches and dark green to grey coloured needles, which present a feathery appearance.  It does not release much scent at all.  It is not in the Pine or Fir family, and therefore it does not produce sap.  This allows those that have an allergy to sap to enjoy a real Christmas tree in their home.

 

Nordmann Fir Plantation, Yattendon Estate

1: Nordmann Fir – This species is the most popular Christmas tree in the country.  It is an excellent needle retaining tree due to it being a non-needle drop variety.  The needles are soft, glossy with dark green coloured foliage.  It has strong branches and grows into an attractive and compact shape.

 

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