The holidays are a time for togetherness, nostalgia, and tradition. For many families, picking out and decorating the Christmas tree is one of the most beloved rituals. While purchasing a pre-cut tree from a lot or store is convenient, growing your own Christmas tree can be hugely rewarding. From evergreens with nostalgic scents to unique varieties, here are 8 types of Christmas trees christmas trees for planting in your own backyard.
With its classic pyramid shape, rich green color, and crisp pine aroma, the balsam fir may be the quintessential Christmas tree. Growing up to 80 feet in height, the balsam fir thrives in cool climates and moist soil. This needled evergreen has a dense, symmetrical shape even without pruning. One downside is its higher risk of needle loss when used as a Christmas tree. But for many, its incredible nostalgic fragrance outweighs that pitfall.
Similar to the balsam, the Fraser fir also has that perfect conical form with strong branches to hold heavy decorations. Its blue-green needles have a pleasant scent with hints of pine, fruit, and spice. The Fraser fir retains needles well, meaning less mess after the holidays. But as a slow grower, it will take around 10 years to reach typical Christmas tree height. Prefers cool, moist conditions.
A classic choice, Norway spruce grow into towering, pyramid-shaped trees. Bluish-green needles cover sturdy branches perfect for holding lights and ornaments. Norway spruce emit a light pine scent that fills a room. As fast growers, they typically reach Christmas tree size within 4-7 years. While they prefer cool climates, Norway spruce also grow well across diverse soil and moisture levels.
For those who prefer a softer, more relaxed look, white pine is a top pick. This native North American pine has an irregular shape with feathery, flexible branches. Blue-green needles are 3-5 inches long, with a faint pine scent. White pines grow speedily in their youth. The downside is they become sparse over time, so best used young. Hardy and adaptable, they thrive across varying soils, sunlight, and climates.
Also known as the white fir, the concolor displays eye-catching blue or silver needles that emit a refreshing citrusy aroma. Sturdy branches and good needle retention also make it ornament-friendly. Concolor firs grow at a moderate pace in their native western mountain habitats. But they can still successfully be cultivated across North America. Plant them in areas with cool summers and well-drained soil.
Eastern Red Cedar
For a unique alternative to traditional pines and firs, consider the eastern red cedar. This pyramidal evergreen has prickly, scalelike foliage ranging from dark to bluish-green. Crush the leaves to release the juniper-like aroma. Fast growing and low maintenance, they are hardy in varying soils and climates, including hot southern regions. Red cedar’s natural reddish trunk looks gorgeous complemented by red ornaments.
Leyland cypress is prized for its speedy growth – able to reach Christmas tree size within just 3-4 years. The handsome shape and rich green flat foliage also make it ornament-ready. Leyland cypress thrives year-round across diverse soils and climates. Plant it as an attractive privacy screen, then cut down branches as needed for Christmas trees. Just be aware it requires ample moisture.
A classic Christmas tree in Europe, scotch pines eventually grow very large – up to 100 feet tall! But when young, they make a festive Pi-shaped Christmas tree with bright green needles. Scotch pines emit a light pine aroma and have good needle retention. Fast-growing and hardy, they adapt well to most locations, including urban settings. Plant scotch pine for years of homegrown holiday cheer.
Tips for Growing Your Own Christmas Tree
Research types suitable for your climate and space constraints.
Plant seedlings or young saplings in spring or fall.
Allow 6-10 feet between trees to prevent crowding as they mature.
Water young trees regularly to encourage strong root systems.
Prune and shear annually to maintain a classic conical shape.
Protect young trees with fencing from deer and rodent damage.
Plan to cut down small numbers each year for sustainable harvesting.
Enjoy Years of Holiday Memories
Growing your own Christmas tree takes planning and patience but years of joyful holidays make it rewarding. Children love getting involved by picking out the perfect tree each year. You’ll save money compared to purchasing trees annually. And growing specific sentimental varieties allows you to carry on special traditions and create new memories. This season, consider adding one of these festive trees to start your own heartwarming ritual.