The size of your room is probably the most important factor when choosing your tree. But here’s some other things to think about. Will the tree be in a corner or in your front window? Will you have easy access to water the tree and to turn on the lights? Do you have young children? Do you have pets? You know how cats just can’t resist those dangling ornaments. What about the humidity in your home? Needles will fall but when the air is dry, there’s more chance the needles will fall faster.
It’s a good idea to buy a bag and put it under the tree so when the celebrations are over and it’s time to take down the tree, you’ll just pull up the bag and take it out of the house without leaving a trail of needles behind you.
So what’s the difference between the trees?
Fraser Fir– the most popular choice, because of its dark blue-green colour, pleasant sweet scent, and excellent needle retention. The branches turn slightly upward and are open so they can take heavy ornaments. Depending on your decorating style, this may be your best choice. Fraser fir was named for John Fraser (1750-1811), a Scot botanist who explored the southern Appalachian Mountains in the late 18th century. There are many similarities between the Fraser Fir and the Balsam Fir.
Balsam Fir– a deep-seated tradition in Canada as Christmas trees, it’s probably one of the most recognizable trees in Ontario and the most fragrant of all Christmas trees. With its dark shiny green foliage and pliable, soft leathery feel to the needles that also have a long retention, this tree will take medium size ornaments. The needles are 2 to 4 cm (.75 to 1.5 inches)
Scotch or Scots Pine– is native to Europe and Asia and was brought to North America by European immigrants. It’s also a popular choice as a Christmas tree for its bright green colour. It also has excellent needle retention for the 3 to 4 week Christmas season in your home. The needles are 1 inch.
White Pine– popular in Ontario and the Maritimes, this tree has dark foliaged branches that curve up at the ends. Needles can be from are 5 to 15 cm (2 to 6 inches) based on the age and size of the tree. It’s the softest of the trees.
Norway Spruce– also native to Europe, this tree was brought to North America by European immigrants. It has thick, dense foliage and many families with European background prefer this tree.
Whatever tree you choose, remember to tie it on safely to your car for the journey home. Most places where you buy the tree will help you with this. When you get the tree home, put it in a proper stand and allow it to sit for a few hours before you start to decorate. Water the tree daily and add two teaspoons of sugar to the water. Turn the lights off at night and make sure your lights are labelled as safety tested.
Relax and enjoy the beauty of your tree.