Christmas is approaching fast and it is nearly time to buy your Christmas Tree!

Decorating a tree is one of our favourite festive traditions, dating back to pagan times but The Christmas Tree really took off in the UK thanks to Queen Victoria’s German husband, Albert. Spruce, Pine or Noble Fir – What’s the best Christmas Tree?

Predominantly we used to use The Norway Spruce (Picea abies), which smells nice but drops its dense spiky needles very quickly. Recently other species have been preferred to avoid needle drop, or for aesthetic reasons. Here’s a list of some of the most popular alternatives:

  1. Nordmann Fir (Abies nordmanniana) – Originally found in south Russia, it’s now Britain’s biggest seller, this one doesn’t have much of scent, but keeps its needles for longer. It has the reliable symmetry ideal for decorating.
  2. Blue Spruce (Picea pungeuns) – My personal favourite. the glaucous (pale silver blue) foliage means no need for tinsel! It also keeps its needles well, though they are a little spiky!
  3. Noble Fir (Abies procera) – probably most similar to the Norway spruce but with a narrower base and longer lasting needles.
  4. Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) – Although used as Christmas Trees, one of these is the tallest tree in Britain at 66.4m – probably a bit too big for the living room!
  5. Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) – Another woodland monster, But the needles cling on even after drying out, not so popular in the UK but our cousins across the pond like it!

Spruce, Pine or Noble Fir – What’s the best Christmas Tree? – Written by Matthew Coates