Here in New England, the most common Christmas tree species are Pine, Fir and Spruce trees. All are conifers, but vary greatly when it comes to color, scent, and kinds of needles. Looking for a Christmas tree with a strong pine scent? A tree that can handle heavy ornaments? A tree with soft needles? Here, you’ll find a list of the most popular New England Christmas tree varieties to help you choose the best live Christmas tree for your holiday.
We’ll also offer tips on what to do before, during, and after Christmas to ensure your entire Christmas tree experience from beginning to end, is the best one possible.
FAVORITE NEW ENGLAND CHRISTMAS TREE SPECIES
Bright green in color, with strong needles that stay intact well, the scotch pine has an excellent survival rate and is a good choice if you want a Christmas tree species that you can plant later.
Blue-green in color, with flexible needles. The white pine does not emit much fragrance and is not well suited for heavy ornaments.
Blue-green in color with good needle retention. Needles are strong and well suited for all types of ornaments. Very little fragrance.
Blue- gray in color with stiff (and yes, sometimes sharp) needles, this tree has a natural symmetrical form and is known for good needle retention.
Dark green with the aromatic, traditional Christmas tree fragrance that so many love, this tree is one of the most popular Christmas tree species nationally.
Dark green with soft needles that emit a sweet scent when compressed, this tree is also one of the top types of Christmas tree species in the United States.
BEFORE BUYING YOUR TREE
The National Christmas Tree Association recommends that you measure your space before getting your tree for a good fit. Write down the height and width of the room where the tree will be displayed and choose accordingly. It is also important to choose the right species of tree to adequately support your decorations. If you have heavy ornaments look for a tree with sturdy branches and good needle retention.
WHEN SELECTING YOUR TREE
If you are purchasing a pre-cut tree, do a branch and needle test to check for freshness by running a branch through your enclosed hand. The needles should not fall off easily. Outer branches should also be pliable. If they snap off easily, look for another tree.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE FRESH
Wayne Adams of Adams Family Tree Farm in Kennebunkport, Maine recommends cutting a tree yourself for optimal results and keeping the trunk watered at all times. “The watering has to start right away after the cut and the tree should never be allowed to dry up between watering. Check the tree water level frequently and keep it full and you should be all set.”
This post was first published in 2016 and has been updated.