Posted December 8, 2016 in Blog, Plant and Tree

The weather might not be screaming December, but every radio station and the street-corner bell ringers say different.  We may not have snow yet, but the holiday season is upon us, which means one thing; IT’S TIME TO GET THE TREE!

Most families have their own traditional variety of tree they cut down every year, but the truth is, there are so many varieties of holiday trees it might pay to explore!  Holiday trees can be anything from dark green to green-silver, from stiff and prickly to smooth and wispy…but truth be told, the fir variety seem to be the trees of choice.  Out of the 50+ types of fir trees on the planet, here is our list of the top few to bring inside to decorate to your heart’s content!

Noble Fir, Abies Procera

Noble FirNoble Firs love moist soil and can be found in mid-to-upper elevation coniferous forests.  In the wild, this beauty can reach up to heights of 200’, but still keep its appealing symmetry.  This  evergreen has short green needles that display themselves in an upward motion, exposing its smooth bark branches.  These branches, however, are sturdy enough to hold the heaviest of ornaments.  Come on, we all have a monster clay ornament we simply can’t part with, and this tree cuts down on the time it takes to find a branch that can actually support the weight!  Other than being one of the hardiest holiday trees, it’s branches are widely used for holiday decoration.  Door wreaths, garland and holiday planter displays commonly use Noble Fir trimmings because of its ability to keep shape and its pleasant holiday aroma.

Concolor Fir, Abies Concolor

Native to the western United States, the concolor fir Concolor Fircan reach heights up to 150’ and can live up to 350 years! As one of the preferred lumbers in construction because of its ability to secure nails, resistance to split or exude resin, it is most notably a wonderfully low-maintenance holiday tree.  Domestically raised, this variety of fir makes a good-looking addition to your living room.  The trunk is ashy-gray in color and the needles are a soft silvery-blue, which curve upward and outward, creating its ample and naturally symmetrical coned shape.   Out of all the firs, the concolor has the best needle retention, which everyone can appreciate.  The color of the needles really shine when the string lights are lit; all you need it a roaring fire and a cup of cocoa to get into the full swing of the holiday!

Fraser Fir, Abies Fraseri & Balsam Fir, Abies Balsamea

Fraser FirHaving a reportedly unique history, Frasier Firs are said to be part of a remnant forest from the last ice age, only growing naturally in elevations more than 4,500 feet.  Nursery and farm raised, the soft and shiny upward growing dual-color needles are dark green on top and a silver-green underneath.  This fir has a uniform pyramid-like shape, good needle retention and a seasonal pine scent aroma, making it an obvious choice for holiday tree.  Balsam Fir is commonly confused with the Fraser Fir because of their similar characteristics.  Naturally thriving in the cold climates of the northern United States and Canada, its slender form is symmetrical with a spire-like crown, perfect for tight spaces and your favorite tree topper.  The Balsam Fir, unlike the Fraser Fir, is considered to have a spicy fragrance instead of a pine scent, alluringly reminiscent of cozy holidays past.

Douglas-Fir, Pseudotsuga Menziesii

Ahh, the Douglas-fir…the tree of mystery.   Douglas-firAlso called red fir, Oregan pine and Douglas spruce, this tree is neither a true fir, pine or spruce!  For this ambiguity, it is not uncommon to see it written Douglas-fir.  Referring to the scientific name for clues, Pseudotsuga means “false hemlock”, of which it is not a hemlock either.   One thing is for certain, the Douglas-Fir is a beautiful deer-resistant evergreen with tall structure, soft green needles and sweet aroma.  Fir, pine, spruce, hemlock or not, it is still a beautiful, and one of the most popular, holiday trees to deck the halls.

On average, it takes about 15 years to grow a tree of 6-7’ in height, so this holiday season, take a step back and truly appreciate the beauty in the tree stand in front of you, as well as the blessings that have graced you this year.  Wishing you peace and joy this holiday season, and an amazing new year!

Happy Holidays from your friends at MasterPLAN Landscape Design!

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