How Long Does It Take To Grow a Christmas Tree? Time For Each (25 Types)

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Gardening | November 29, 2023

Woman holding a calendar and looking at a Christmas tree wonders how long does it take to grow a christmas tree and how long does it take for a tree to grow?

If you’ve ever thought about growing your own Christmas tree and wondered, how long does it take to grow a Christmas tree, you may be surprised to learn that different types of Christmas tree have different growing times.

In addition, there are different conditions required for various types of evergreen trees.

This complete guide explores 25 types of popular the yuletide decoration, explaining the answer to, how long does it take to grow a Christmas tree, for each.

And, it provides instructions on how to plant and care for your growing tree so that it will thrive.

How Long Does a Christmas Tree Take To Grow?

Each Christmas tree grows differently, some faster than others, which are often grown on large farms (which sequester carbon emissions).

The slowest can grow at a foot a year while the fastest grow two to four feet during a 12 month period.

The growth rate depends on several factors, from the variety you choose to its state when you purchase it.

Many species can grow giant within a few years and require pruning, but generally, Christmas trees take 4-7 years to reach about five feet.

How Long Does It Take To Grow a Christmas Tree in Each Stage?

Like any other tree, Christmas varieties grow differently in each life stage, and it is crucial to account for each. Your tree must come from the seed, germinate into the sapling, then start the maturity phase.

The seed grows gradually, but the rate increases at the sapling phase and then declines before maturity.2

The process from germination into the sapling stage requires patience since it can drag on for a while. The tree can grow to only a foot in up to four years, explaining why most planters would instead start from seedlings, not seeds.

Wide shot of three Pine tree seedlings situated in a forest.

(Image: extremis12)

The second phase is the fastest because the tree takes time to develop more robust roots, after which it can focus more on its growth. It can reach an astounding 4 feet tall in a year under the best care and conditions.

The last step is the journey to becoming a mature tree, where the growth spurt drops and the rate slows again. However, Christmas trees are known to tower over other trees in a few years, effortlessly reaching over 60 feet high.10

What Is the Average Christmas Tree Growing Time?

All types of trees grow at specific rates based on various factors.

The average Christmas tree growing time is three to four years. However, this varies according to the species, among other factors.

The following are common Christmas trees and their growth rates.

Fast-Growing Christmas Trees

Below are the common Christmas trees with an average annual growth rate of 3 to 6 feet.

1. Leyland Cypress

This sapless tree is from the south of the US and is known for its rapid growth rate.

Under ideal conditions, it can attain 3-4 feet yearly, especially when young.

Close up shot of green Leyland Cypress tree leaves with cypress cones

(Image: leoleobobeo12)

Close up of Arizona Cypress green leaves.

(Image: Zaid Ajani17)

2. Arizona Cypress

As the name suggests, the Arizona Cypress mainly grows in Arizona, but you can find it in Texas and other states in the south.

It also grows up to 4 feet in the right environment.

3. Grand Fir

It is one of the fastest-growing trees, sometimes recording an impressive 4-feet increase in a season.

Wide shot of Grand Fir with its tall trunk.

(Image: Cruiser11)

4. Monterey Pine

As one of the fastest-growing Christmas trees, the pine can grow to 3-6 feet a year and reach over 80 feet in 20 years.

5. Jeffrey Pine

Although it primarily grows at a moderate rate, the Jeffrey Pine can surpass the 3 feet annually under certain conditions.

Low angled shot of a Jeffrey Pine Tree on a snowy dirt surface with sky and sunlight background.

(Image: usuario32212)

Average-Growing Christmas Trees

Below are the common Christmas trees with an average annual growth rate of 2 to 3 feet.

6. Norway Spruce

This Christmas tree is known for its moderate to fast growth rate, often growing to two to over three feet annually.

Close up of Norway Spruce branch with green needle leaves.

(Image: carrograhn8712)

7. Eastern White Pine

The mildly fragrant Christmas tree is ideal for people with allergies and grows to more than 2 feet a season.

8. Canaan Fir

Like the Fraser Fir, this tree usually grows in Virginia at a faster rate of 2-3 feet.

Canaan Fir tree with its green foliage.

(Image: Daderot13)

Closeup of Norfolk Island Pine tree with its green needles.

(Image: James St. John.14)

9. Norfolk Island Pine

You will find them in coastal California growing to 100 feet at the rate of 2 feet a year.

10. Deodar Cedar

This tree grows at a medium rate of over two feet a season.

Wide angle shot of tall Deodar Cedar trees situated on the uphill side of the road.

(Image: sarangib12)

11. Sugar Pine

The pine is known to grow slowly or moderately based on the conditions, but it typically surpasses the 2-feet mark.

12. Concolor Fir

Although it grows relatively slowly, the concolor reaches 2 feet annually and can grow to over 100 feet high.

Wide angle shot of tall Corkbark Fir trees with a lake background.

(Image: Daron Kuzina17)

13. Corkbark Fir

This fir can reach over 100 feet at a rate of slightly more than 2 feet yearly.

14. Guatemalan Fir

This evergreen tree, originally from Central America, grows moderately like other firs.

Close up of Guatemalan Fir with dark green needle leaves.

(Image: Baryslau Shoot18)

Close up of Pinyon Pine tree needle leaves.

(Image: Jasminka12)

15. Pinyon Pine

This US native tree belongs to the family of drought-resistant trees and can grow from slow to moderate, based on prevailing conditions.

Slow-Growing Christmas Trees

Below are the common Christmas trees with an average annual growth rate of 1 to 2 feet.

16. Serbian Spruce

Serbian Spruce,9 a stunning bluish-green tree, has a slow to medium growth rate, often rising a foot or two every year or reaching three feet when conditions are perfect.

Serbian Spruce tree with its triangular shape and green foliage.

(Image: F.D. Richards16)

low angle shot of Noble Pine trees situated near large rock formations.

(Image: falco12)

17. Noble Fir

The leaves of this fir extend to over 5 inches long, and the branches curve upwards.

The tree grows relatively slower, at 1-2 feet yearly.

18. Balsam Fir

Although it grows to only a foot a year, the Balsam Fir is a favorite thanks to its strong fragrance and ability to thrive in cooler climates.

Wide angle shot of young Balsam fir trees with its dark green foilage.

(Image: sheilasseed15)

Wide angle shot of tall Douglas fir trees

(Image: Murisgius15)

19. Douglas Fir

Coming in two varieties, the type on the northwestern coast and the one in the mountainous parts of the country, this tree grows a foot or two every year.

20. Colorado Blue Spruce

You will find this tree in the rocky parts of Colorado.3

It is easy to maintain but grows slowly at 1-2 feet.

Close up of Colorado Blue spruce with silvery-blue foliage.

(Image: Monica Oprea18)

Close up of green leaf Fraser fir tree with a background of a tree with red leaves.

(Image: Mark Stebnicki18)

21. Fraser Fir

The fir can grow to 6-7 feet in seven to ten years, making it one of the slowest growers in the country.

22. Eastern Red Cedar

It usually grows in Oklahoma and Texas at a slow or medium rate, usually at 1-2 feet.

Close up of Eastern Red cedar with green foliage.

(Image: mesz15)

High angle shot of Virginia Pine tree situated near the side of the mountain.

(Image: donpwilson15)

23. Virginia Pine

This pine is also a slow grower that reaches only 40 feet high, primarily found in Kentucky and Virginia.

24. Scotch Pine

With a deep taproot that helps it survive harsh conditions, the scotch pine grows to only a foot or two annually.

Scotch Pine Tree green leaves with yellow cones.

(Image: Cairomoon15)

25. White Fir

It grows to 40-50 feet but at a slow or moderate rate of 1-2 feet a year.

How Long Does It Take To Grow a Christmas Tree: How Long Does It Take for a Tree To Grow?

Trees usually take 20-40 years to mature, but several factors come to play. The same applies to Christmas trees that grow at a different rate based on the species and whether the conditions are favorable.

While the slowest growers increase by 1-2 feet annually, the fastest ones can grow past 4 feet within a year.

Below is a table showing the growth rate and average full height of the different Types of Christmas trees.

Christmas TreeGrowth Rate (Annual)Average Full Height
Leyland Cypress3-4 feet60-70 feet
Arizona CypressUp to 4 feet40-75 feet
Grand Fir3-4 feet140-200 feet
Monterey Pine3-6 feet50-100 feet
Jeffrey Pine3 feet80- 200 feet

Leyland Cypress tree growth chart showing a line graph with Leyland Cypress tree age on the x-axis and Leyland Cypress tree height on the y-axis.

Christmas TreeGrowth Rate (Annual)Average Full Height
Norway Spruce2 feet40-60 feet
Eastern White Pine2 feet50-80 feet
Canaan Fir2-3 feet50-70 feet
Norfolk Island Pine2 feet80-200 feet
Deodar Cedar2 feet40-70 feet

Norway Spruce tree growth chart showing a line graph with Norway Spruce tree age on the x-axis and Norway Spruce tree height on the y-axis.

Christmas TreeGrowth Rate (Annual)Average Full Height
Sugar Pine2 feet130-200 feet
Concolor Fir2 feet30-50 feet
Corkbark Fir2 feet50-75 feet
Guatemalan Fir2 feet65-130 feet
Pinyon Pine Tree2 feet10-20 feet

Sugar Pine tree growth chart showing a line graph with Sugar Pine tree age on the x-axis and Sugar Pine tree height on the y-axis.

Christmas TreeGrowth Rate (Annual)Average Full Height
Serbian Spruce1-2 feet50-60 feet
Noble Fir1-2 feet50-100 feet
Balsam Fir1 foot66 feet
Douglas Fir1-2 feet250 feet
Colorado Blue Spruce1-2 feet50-75 feet

Noble Fir tree growth chart showing a line graph with Noble Fir tree age on the x-axis and Noble Fir tree height on the y-axis.

Christmas TreeGrowth Rate (Annual)Average Full Height
Fraser Fir1-2 feet50-60 feet
Eastern Red Cedar1-2 feet50-70 feet
Virginia Pine1-2 feet20-40 feet
Scotch Pine1-2 feet60 feet
White Fir1-2 feet30-50 feet

Eastern Red Cedar tree growth chart showing a line graph with Eastern Red Cedar tree age on the x-axis and Eastern Red Cedar tree height on the y-axis.

How To Choose Various Types of Christmas Trees

While it is paramount to consider how long does it take to grow a Christmas tree, you should also consider your region’s climate and hardiness zones which will determine which type is right for you.1

Below is an overview of the types of Christmas trees and their ideal conditions.


Zones 3-6 are the best for firs,6 which are more accustomed to cooler climates. They thrive in fertile, well-draining soils and take up to 10 years to reach 6-7 feet.

You will know a fir by its sweet fragrance and natural cone shape.

Closeup of a Fir tree variety showing its dark green leaves.

(Image: LUM3N15)

Closeup of Spruce tree variety showing its bluish-green needles and young pine cones.

(Image: Yoksel Zok17)


These Christmas trees can comfortably grow in zones 2-7. They have signature short, needle-like leaves and thick, sturdy branches to bear the weight of hanging ornaments.

Additionally, they love the cold, just like firs, and it take 7-10 years to harvest.


Pines are a suitable choice if you are looking for a non-demanding tree that grows in the cooler and warmer regions of the country. They adapt quickly to various conditions and soil types and can grow in zones 3 through 10 based on the variety.

Closeup of Pine tree variety showing its needles.

(Image: Bence Lengyel18)

Pines are some of the fastest growers and are usually ready for harvesting in about six years.

Closeup of Cedar tree variety showing its fern-like leaves.

(Image: Abdul Zreika18)


Unlike firs, cedars prefer warm southern climates, preferably in zones 2-9, and are identifiable by their fern-like leaves despite being coniferous. They also grow faster than their cousins, with a four-year growing season.

The most famous cedar in the US is the Eastern Red, a low-maintenance Christmas tree with a natural pyramid crown.


Depending on the species, you can grow a Cypress tree in hardiness zones 5-10. They grow extremely fast, like the cedars, reaching harvesting in almost four years.

They are flexible to thrive in various soil types but love moist, well-draining conditions.

Closeup of Cypress tree variety showing its leaves in hues of green.

(Image: Aleksey Boev17)

Buyers love them for their multiple color shades, taking yellow-green, deep-green, and bluish-green hues, which helps them have a citrus-like fragrance.

How To Grow a Christmas Tree

You can grow your Christmas tree from a seed or seedling, each with its ups and downsides.

How To Grow a Seed

You can start from seeds if you want to grow the most robust breeds and are okay with the long wait until the seedling stage.

First, create a dormancy period to increase germination chances by storing them in your fridge for some weeks.

Closeup of a Pine tree variety planted in a clear container showing how to grow a seed of pine.

(Image: Tayphuong38815)

They will be ready for planting when tiny green shoots start appearing. You will need a potting mix and a container with drainage to grow your seedlings.

After planting, ensure that the pot stays under full sun and water the soil at least once weekly.

How To Grow a Seedling: Christmas Tree

If you want to simplify the process, you can buy a Christmas tree seedling from a trusted source, and the best option should have a 2-2 ratio (the tree stayed in bed and as a transplant for two years).

Next, find the perfect planting site, preferably sloping and under full sun, for better drainage and sunlight access.

Plant the seedling in a sizable hole, cover it with soil, and give a 7 feet space between each tree if planting a group.

After planting, proper care and maintenance ensure that your tree grows healthy and strong. Unless there is heavy downpour, your seedling needs weekly watering, especially in the first year.

You can also weed the planting site to eliminate competition for water and nutrients.

What Are the Benefits of Growing Christmas Trees?

Many believe that Christmas trees are only worth investing in for the holidays in December. The trees need year-long input,7 and you can enjoy several benefits besides the lucrative returns.

The fresh scent of various species makes having a plantation worthwhile. The citrus or spicy fragrance is calming, and it helps that trees purify the air through carbon sequestration.

They also hold the soil together and are home to various wildlife species.

Wide shot of harvested Christmas trees lined up.

(Image: Lisa Fotios18)

Another positive for the environment is that there is less need to harvest wild trees when they are often grown in farms that don’t support crop farming.

Additionally, trees store carbon emissions while they grow and they’re biodegradable, meaning you can convert them to mulch when you are ready to dispose of them.5

Tips for Keeping a Christmas Tree Fresh

When the holiday season approaches, one of the most common questions is how to keep a cut Christmas tree fresh. It starts with buying a newly-cut tree or personally cutting it to avoid purchasing it weeks later.

The first thing you do with the tree is to cut it and open up the pore to allow water uptake. A common myth is that you should drill holes in Christmas tree trunk, but the tree will take up more water if the cut is clean.

Saw off a half-inch from below, and the pores will unblock.

Next, fill the stand with water and check that the cut has entirely submerged. Trees can be thirsty for more water daily, sometimes up to a gallon.

Remember always to keep the tree wet and place it away from fireplaces.

Can You Keep a Christmas Tree Alive All Year?

The only way to keep a tree alive throughout the year is if its roots are intact and you have planted it in a pot, allowing all the physiological processes to continue.

Otherwise, a Christmas tree without roots will survive for only a few weeks.

The Myth About Artificial Trees

Some users are sure that artificial trees are better for the planet than actual trees since they are reusable and fire-resistant.

While you can recycle them for a few years, you will eventually dispose of them, increasing landfill emissions.

Secondly, artificial trees are created from petroleum (usually). The emissions issued by fake trees being manufactured contributes to the problem, while real trees work to reduce emissions by storing them during their years of growth.

How Many Christmas Trees Are Cut Down Each Year?

Millions worldwide celebrate Christmas yearly, and the demand for trees keeps rising. It is shocking how many Christmas trees are cut down each year and how December is when there is a greater environmental impact.8

The increased 6% rate in the month is due to more traveling and buying trees, food, and gifts, leading to more pollution. Roughly the US produces and cuts about 33-36 million trees annually, while users harvest 50-60 million trees in Europe.

6 Tips for Cutting and Preserving Your Own Christmas Tree

If you want to make Christmas tree hunting a tradition in your household or your planted trees are finally ready for harvesting, the following tricks will simplify the process.

1. Seek Permission if Cutting a Tree From a Forest

Many opt for old-fashioned trees in forested areas since they are in their purest form.

While most reserves allow harvesting, it is best to seek a permit first from the USDA office or Forestry Department near you.

You will need this authorization whenever you are in the forest, and remember to carry a map and don’t wander deep into the woods in undesignated areas.

2. Find the Right Tree

It is easy to ignore the tree’s measurements while focusing on its aesthetics, but it is essential to avoid buying a massive tree that doesn’t fit your space.

You can record the height and width of where the tree will go and counter check before you cut one down.

3. Cut Your Own Christmas Tree

To properly cut your own Christmas tree, start by clearing the area around the tree’s base and mark where you want to cut, ensuring that the spot is at least 6 inches high off the ground.

Properly align the saw horizontally and start slowly cutting at the mark, and although it may be tempting to push over the tree after chopping most of it, patiently saw until the tree falls off.

4. Watch Out for Wild Animals

Christmas trees in forests are favorite hideouts for critters and birds, and you do not want to bring them home.

You can shake the tree and carefully check that animals are not hiding in the branches and holes, and if you notice birds nests or squirrel drays, choose another tree! It wouldn’t be a very nice Christmas for the little animal buddies if they came home but their home was gone.

5. Transport Your Tree

Christmas trees are a safety hazard and need proper fastening; they may slide off your car and hurt you and others nearby.

Wearing safety glasses while positioning them will help protect your eyes, and using ropes and cords will reinforce them while you drive away.4

6. Care for Your Tree

Detaching the tree from its natural habitat can cause stress, evidenced by falling and discolored leaves.

Keeping it in water helps preserve it as it absorbs moisture.

How Many Christmas Tree Per Acre?

You have two questions when planning to start a Christmas tree farm: how long does it take to grow a Christmas tree, and how many Christmas tree per acre? An acre can accommodate around 1500 trees with careful and proper spacing.

However, this number varies based on several factors, including the tree species, land type, planting location, expected size of the tree at full maturity, and many more.

Generally, one tree can reach 7-7.5 feet high and up to 65 inches wide, with the base increasing with additional height.

There are five Christmas tree types to choose from during the holiday season. You can pick Spruces, Firs, Pines, Cedars, or Cypresses, each with a distinct look and unique features.

Wide shot of a Christmas Tree farm showing how far apart to plant Pine tree.

(Image: Any Lane18)

You can also have your plantation and grow your favorite trees.

While some are slow growers, attaining a foot or two every year, some are impressively fast, with 3-4 or more feet annually. If you want to reduce the time frame, you can start from a seedling instead of a seed which can take years to form a strong sapling.

How Long Does It Take for a Tree To Grow?

Most trees take 20-40 years to grow based on several factors, but the fastest growers take about ten years, while others take more than 50 years.

The time frame usually varies based on the species, the prevailing conditions, and the care and maintenance.

A tree will grow faster if you meet all its needs, providing water whenever the soil dries, adding fertilizers and nutrients, and planting it under the full or partial sun as it prefers.

Suitable climate and weather also work wonders for a tree’s growth rate, and it is best to study all its needs before planting.

If you are concerned about how long does it take to grow a Christmas tree, you will appreciate the fact that most achieve harvesting height in less than ten years.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Long Does It Take To Grow a Christmas Tree

How Much Water Does Your Christmas Tree Need?

Trees can consume more than a gallon of water daily when placed indoors, and it is crucial to keep checking the levels and refilling when necessary.


How Long Will a Cut Christmas Tree Last?

A newly-cut tree can last 2-3 weeks indoors until the leaves start discoloring and dropping. It will last longer when well-watered and cared for, away from heat sources.


What Should You Know About Buying a Potted Living Tree?

To keep your potted tree safe from the elements, you can start it indoors for a few days before returning it outside to get used to the cold. You can also dig the hole days before planting and keep the refilling dirt indoors.


What Christmas Tree Grows the Fastest?

The Leyland Cypress is one of the fastest-growing Christmas trees in the world, able to reach 3-4 feet or more in one year. It can go 60-70 feet high, but it should be ready for harvesting at 7 feet tall.


How Many Lights for Christmas Trees?

The best standard to how many lights for Christmas trees to put should be based on how bright you like your Christmas tree; you need 100-200 lights per foot or a foot and a half.


Can You Replant a Christmas Tree?

For those wondering can you replant a Christmas tree, it is only possible to replant a cut Christmas tree if you uproot it with the root ball intact. The tree cannot grow from the cut stem, but the roots can absorb water after replanting.



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11Abies grandis Rogów 3 Photo by Crusier / CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED | Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported. Cropped, Resized, and Changed Format. Wikimedia Commons, Retrieved from     <ów_3.JPG>

12Pine Tree Seedling by extremis, Leyland Cypress by leoleobobeo, Jeffrey Pine by usuario322, Norway Spruce by carrograhn87, Deodar Cedar by sarangib, Pinyon Pine Leaves by Jasminka, Noble Fir by falco. Pixabay. Retrieved from   <>

13Abies balsamea var. phanerolepis – Stanley M. Rowe Arboretum Photo by Daderot / CC0 1.0 DEED | CC0 1.0 Universal. Cropped, Resized, and Changed Format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from   <>

14Araucaria heterophylla (Norfolk Island pine trees) (Sanibel Island, Florida, USA) Photo by James St. John / CC BY 2.0 DEED | Attribution 2.0 Generic. Cropped, Resized, and Changed Format. Flickr. Retrieved from   <>

15Balsam Fir by sheilasseed, Douglas Fir by Murigius., Eastern Red Cedar by mesz, Virginia Pine by donpwilson, Scotch Pine by Cairomoon, Fir by LUM3N, Pine Seedling by Tayphuong388. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

16Serbian Spruce, 1981 Photo by F.D. Richards / CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED | Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic. Cropped, Resized, and Changed Format. Flickr. Retrieved from   <>

17Arizona Cypress by Zaid Ajani, Corkbark Fir by Daron Kuzina, Spruce by Yoksel Zok, Cypress by Aleksey Boev. Unsplash. Retrieved from   <>

18Guatemalan Fir by Baryslau Shoot, Colorado Blue Spruce by Monica Oprea, Fraser Fir by Mark Stebnicki, Pine by Bence Lengyel, Cedar by Abdul Zreika, Harvested Christmas Trees by Lisa Fotios, A Christmas Tree Farm by Any Lane. Pexels. Retrieved from <>