The Different Kinds Of Trees Used For Christmas – What’s Yours?

Many people set up and decorate different kinds of trees during the month of December every year to celebrate Christmas.  What do you actually know about that tree that you have in your house?

Most kids growing up in the Rocky Mountains know that they have some kind of beautiful evergreen for their Christmas tree.  I never really knew what kind of tree ours was or the differences between the different kinds.  Here is a little bit of information about that tree that you had decorated in your living room during December.

What Are The Main Kinds Of Trees Used As Christmas Trees In The USA?

The story of Christmas trees is interesting.  In the beginning most trees used as Christmas trees were grown  wild, but now almost all trees are grown on Christmas tree farms.  In the USA, the best selling Christmas trees are Scotch Pine, Douglas Fir, Fraser Fir, Balsam Fir, and White Pine.

kinds of trees, scotch pine

Scotch Pine.  Photo via Flickr.

Scotch Pine

This tree is not a native of the Rocky Mountains, but is common throughout Europe.  This tree is very popular to be used as a Christmas tree.

It can grow up to 115 feet tall.

The needles are in pairs, with two needles growing together from the same base.  They are stiff, twisted, bluish green, and grow up to 2 3/4 inches long.

The cone is egg shaped and about 2 3/4 inches long.

kinds of trees

Douglas Fir.

Douglas Fir

This is a common tree of the Rocky Mountains and can be found in Wyoming and Colorado.

In the wild it can grow up to 140 feet tall.

The needles are short, only about 1 1/4 inches long.  They are blue-green in color and feel flat.

The cones are about 2 1/2 inches long with a very unique structure that looks like a three pointed tongue sticking out of the scales.

Fraser fir, kinds of trees

Fraser Fir needles.  Photo via Flickr.

Fraser Fir

Fraser Fir grows naturally in a small section of the Appalachian mountains.

This is a pyramid shaped tree, making it great as a Christmas tree.  It grows up to 80 feet tall in the wild.

The branches on this tree grow slightly upward.

The needles appear to be flat, are dark green on the top and have two white stripes on the bottom.

On tree farms, it takes on average 7-10 years to grow a 6-7 foot tree.

balsam fir, kinds of trees

A Balsam Fir.  Photo via Flickr.

Balsam Fir

This tree grows naturally in Canada and down to northern Pennsylvania.

This is a medium sized tree that only grows to 60 feet tall.

The needles tend to be relatively short – 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches long.  They are usually dark green on the top and lighter on the bottom side.

white pine, kinds of trees

White Pines.  Photo via Flickr.

White Pine

This is a common tree of the Rocky Mountains and can be found in northern Idaho and north-western Montana.

In the wild it can grow up to 200 feet tall and have a diameter at the base of 5 feet.

The needles are about 4 inches long, blue-green with white striped inner surfaces.

The cones hang down and can be up to 9 inches long.