The following Christmas Tree species or types are sold and grown in the United States.
Deodara Cedar – Cedrus deodara – short, bluish-green needles; branches become pendulous at the tips; native to Himalayas; Deodara wood in Asia was used to build temples. In ancient Egypt Dedodara wood was used to make coffins for mummies.
Eastern Red Cedar– Junirperus viginiana – leaves are a dark, shiny, green color; sticky to the touch; good scent; can dry out quickly; may last just 2-3 weeks; a southern Christmas tree.
Cypress – Cupress ocyparis leylandii – foliage is dark green to gray color; has upright branches
with a feathery appearance; has a light scent; good for people
with allergies to other Christmas tree types. One of the most
sought after Christmas trees in the Southeastern United States.
Fir – Abies balsamea – ¾”
to 1 ½” short, flat, long lasting needles that are
rounded at the tip; nice, dark green color with silvery cast and
fragrant. Named for the balsam or resin found in blisters on bark.
Resin is used to make microscope slides and was sold like chewing
gum; used to treat wounds in Civil War.
Close-up photo of tree: http://oregonstate.edu/dept/ldplants/abba2.htm
Fir – Pseudotsuga menziesii –
good fragrance; holds blue to dark green; 1” to 1 ½”
needles; needles have one of the best aromas among Christmas trees
when crushed. Named after David Douglas who studied the tree in
the 1800’s; good conical shape; can live for a thousand
Fraser Fir – Abies fraseri – dark green, flattened needles; ½ to 1 inch long; good needle retention; nice scent; pyramid-shaped strong branches which turn upward. Named for a botanist, John Fraser, who explored the southern Appalachians in the late 1700’s.
Grand Fir – Adies grandis – shiny, dark green needles about 1” – 1 1/2 “ long; the needles when crushed, give off a citrusy smell.
Fir – Abies procera – one inch
long, bluish-green needles with a silvery appearance; has short,
stiff branches; great for heavier ornaments; keeps well; is used
to make wreaths, door swags and garland.
Fir - Abies nordmannia – dark green,
flattened needles, shiny, silvery-blue below, ¾ to 11/2
inches long. Popular in the United Kingdom. Close-up photo of tree: http://oregonstate.edu/dept/ldplants/abno2.htm
Fir or Concolor Fir – Abies concolor – blue-green needles are ½ to ½ inches long;
nice shape and good aroma, a citrus scent; good needle retention.
In nature can live to 350 years.
Close-up photo of tree: http://www.realchristmastrees.org/images/concolorfir.jpg
Photo credit to The National Christmas Tree Association
Afghan Pine – Pinus oldarica – soft, short needles with sturdy branches; open appearance; mild fragrance; keeps well; grown in Texas; native to Afghanistan, Russia & Paskistan
Red Pine – Pinus resinosa – dark green needles 4”-6” long; big and bushy.
Pine – Pinus sylvestris – most
common Christmas tree; stiff branches; stiff, dark green needles
one inch long; holds needles for four weeks; needles will stay
on even when dry; has open appearance and more room for ornaments;
keeps aroma throughout the season; introduced into United States
by European settlers.
Close-up photo of tree: http://oregonstate.edu/dept/ldplants/pisy4.htm
Pine – Pinus virginiana – dark
green needles are 1 ½” – 3” long in twisted
pairs; strong branches enabling it to hold heavy ornaments; strong
aromatic pine scent; a popular southern Christmas tree.
Pine – Pinus strobus – soft,
blue-green needles, 2 to 5 inches long in bundles of five; retains
needles throughout the holiday season; very full appearance; little
or no fragrance; less allergic reactions as compared to more fragrant
trees. Largest pine in United States; state tree of Michigan &
Maine; slender branches will support fewer and smaller decorations
as compared to Scotch pine. It’s wood is used in cabinets,
interior finish and carving. Native Americans used the inner bark
as food. Early colonists used the inner bark to make cough medicine.
Close-up photo of tree: http://oregonstate.edu/dept/ldplants/pist4.htm
Carolina Sapphire - Cupressus arizonica var. glabra – ‘Carolina Sapphire’- steely, blue needles; dense, lacy foliage; yellow flowers and nice scent; smells like a cross between lemon and mint.
Hills Spruce - Pinus glauca var.densata – green to blue-green needles; 1/3” to ¼”
long; stiff needles may be difficult to handle for small children.
Close-up photo of tree: http://oregonstate.edu/dept/ldplants/piglden2.htm
Spruce – Picea pungens – dark
green to powdery blue; very stiff needles, ¾” to
1 ½” long; good form; will drop needles in a warm
room; symmetrical; but is best among species for needle retention;
branches are stiff and will support many heavy decorations. State
tree of Utah & Colorado. Can live in nature 600-800 years.
Spruce – Picea abies – needles
½” – 1” long and shiny, dark green. Needle
retention is poor without proper care; strong fragrance; nice
conical shape. Very popular in Europe.
Close-up photo of tree: http://oregonstate.edu/dept/ldplants/piab7.htm
Spruce – Picea glauca – needles ½
to ¾ inch long; green to bluish-green, short, stiff needles;
crushed needles have an unpleasant odor; good needle retention.
State tree of South Dakota.