Traditionally, the most well-known and recognizable types of Christmas trees are evergreen fir or pine trees.
In ancient times, before various types of Christmas trees were identified and popularized, families hung evergreen boughs across their doorsteps and windows.
The modern Christmas tree tradition began in Germany during the 16th century when the first decorated trees were put up inside homes during the Christmas season and the tradition was continued when made popular by Queen Victoria.1
18 Types of Christmas Trees: Ranked Worst to Best
If you’re learning about how to cut your own Christmas tree, you should understand that not all Christmas trees are created equal, and some varieties are preferred over others because of the benefits they provide, while a handful of varieties are avoided because their disadvantages outweigh the benefits.
Below is a complete list of 18 types of Christmas trees: ranked worst to best:
Worst Christmas Tree: Norway Spruce
This type of Christmas tree ranks worst because they droop quickly and are shade-intolerant. If the lower branches of the tree receive too much shade, the shape of the tree can become uneven.
Worst Needle Shedding: Norway Spruce
The Norway spruce also has the distinction of being the fastest needle shedder of the popular Christmas trees. This tree is not recommended for lengthy indoor use.25
Worst For Allergies: Pine Tree
Pine trees may be covered in residual pollen which could cause an immune system overreaction when breathed in. In addition to this, artificial Christmas trees that have been stored away and are covered in dust can also cause an allergic reaction in asthma and allergy sufferers.
Worst For Environment:
Live Christmas Trees vs Artificial Christmas Trees
The manufacturing of artificial Christmas trees releases extra carbon emissions, especially because most of these trees are produced in China and shipped worldwide. Discarded trees become harmful plastic waste filling up landfills9
Worst For Bugs: Norwegian Pine
Norwegian pine trees are well known to be covered in bugs most of the time, and this type of live Christmas tree should be shaken thoroughly before being taken indoors.
Worst For Affordability: White (Concolor) Fir
White Fir Christmas trees generally take a long time to grow, which can make them more expensive.
Worst For Heavy Ornaments: Balsam Fir
Balsam Fir trees have very flexible branches, which means they cannot hold heavy ornaments.
Worst For Scent: Blue Spruce
One of the biggest reasons live Christmas trees are so popular is because of the fresh, woodsy scent they produce. The Blue Spruce doesn’t have much of a fragrance, and when the needles are broken, it releases an unpleasant scent.
Worst For Color: Scotch Pine
The Scotch Pine is among the worst of the options when it comes to choosing a vibrant-looking Christmas tree, because of its dull coloring.
Best Christmas Tree: Balsam Fir
Even though the Balsam Fir is not great for heavy ornaments, it is the best all-around Christmas tree with a classic shape and dark green color. The tree emits a strong scent, and it has great needle retention.
Best For Needle Retention: Scotch Pine
When a Scotch Pine tree is properly watered, it won’t lose its needles for a long time. Proper watering will ensure that the Scotch Pine retains its needles for up to four weeks.
Best For Least Bugs: All Except Norwegian Pine
Most of the time, live Christmas trees are not covered in bugs, which means that most can be brought inside without any trouble, except for the above-mentioned Norwegian Pine, which should be shaken out first.
Best For Allergy And Asthma Sufferers:
Fir Trees, Leyland Cypress, and Eastern White Pine
Pine pollen is a major allergy trigger, which makes firs, spruces, and cypresses a better option.
Best For Environment:
Locally Grown Live Christmas Tree
Any locally grown live Christmas tree is the best choice for the environment, as it cuts down on the carbon emissions associated with shipping. Most real Christmas trees are grown on Christmas tree farms – the numbers totaling 350 million – which means that forests are left mostly unscathed over the holidays.10
Best For Affordability: Real Christmas Trees
Real Christmas trees are still cheaper than their artificial counterparts – with real trees retailing between $80 and $95, while artificial trees can cost as much as $325.
Best For Heavy Ornaments: White Spruce
The White Spruce has short, stiff needles which make the tree an excellent choice for ornaments of different shapes, sizes, and weights.
Best For Scent: White Fir
The White Fir releases a citrus fragrance when its needles are crushed.
Types of Real Christmas Trees
- Fraser Fir trees come in several sizes – up to eight feet
- Korean Fir trees come in several sizes – up to 6 feet
- Nordmann Fir trees come in several sizes – up to eight feet
- Real Norway Spruce trees come in several sizes – up to seven feet2
Types of Artificial Christmas Trees
As an alternative to real Christmas trees, there is a wide variety of different types of artificial Christmas trees available in the US and other locations worldwide. These artificial options include look-alike versions of:
- Spruce Tree
- Douglas Fir Tree3
- Fraser Fir Tree
- Red Fir Tree
- Norway Spruce
- Silvertip Fir Tree
- Yukon Spruce Tree
Types of Christmas Trees in USA
Christmas trees grow in all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. There are currently more than 35 different types of Christmas trees in USA, grown specifically for the holiday season.
The most popular types of Christmas trees in the US include the following:
- Douglas Fir Christmas Tree
- Eastern Red Cedar Christmas Tree
- Eastern White Pine Christmas Tree
- Fraser Fir Christmas Tree
- Grand Fir Christmas Tree
- Noble Fir Christmas Tree17
- Scotch Pine (Scots Pine) Christmas Tree
Types of Christmas Trees By State
In 2012, more than 16 million trees were cut in the States, and 51% came from six counties in North Carolina and Oregon. 4
The below table indicates the most popular types of Christmas trees by state:
|Types of Christmas Trees by State||Christmas Trees|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Alabama|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Alaska|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Arizona|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Arkansas|
|Types of Christmas Trees in California|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Colorado|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Connecticut19|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Delaware|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Florida20|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Georgia|
|Types of Christmas Trees by State||Christmas Trees|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Hawaii|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Idaho|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Illinois21|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Indiana|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Iowa22|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Kansas|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Kentucky|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Louisiana|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Maine|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Maryland|
|Types of Christmas Trees by State||Christmas Trees|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Massachusetts|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Michigan|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Minnesota|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Mississippi|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Missouri|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Montana|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Nebraska|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Nevada|
|Types of Christmas Trees in New Hampshire|
|Types of Christmas Trees in New Jersey|
|Types of Christmas Trees by State||Christmas Trees|
|Types of Christmas Trees in New Mexico|
|Types of Christmas Trees in New York|
|Types of Christmas Trees in North Carolina23|
|Types of Christmas Trees in North Dakota|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Ohio|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Oklahoma|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Oregon|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Pennsylvania|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Rhode Island|
|Types of Christmas Trees in South Carolina|
|Types of Christmas Trees by State||Christmas Trees|
|Types of Christmas Trees in South Dakota|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Tennessee|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Texas|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Utah|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Vermont|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Virginia|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Washington|
|Types of Christmas Trees in West Virginia|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Wisconsin|
|Types of Christmas Trees in Wyoming24|
Types of Christmas Trees by Growing Zone
Christmas trees are the same as any other tree in the sense that they all thrive in specific hardiness zones. The following table indicates the types of Christmas trees by growing zone:8
|Types of Christmas Trees||Growing Zones|
|Balsam Fir Tree||Growing Zones 3-6|
|Noble Fir Tree||Growing Zones 4-5|
|Douglas Fir Tree||Growing Zones 4-6|
|Fraser Fir Tree||Growing Zones 4-7|
|Scotch Pine Tree||Growing Zones 3-8|
|White Pine Tree||Growing Zones 3-8|
|Virginia Pine Tree||Growing Zones 4-8|
|Sand Pine Tree||Growing Zones 7-10|
|Colorado Spruce||Growing Zones 4-7|
Real Christmas Tree Options
The states that produce the most real Christmas trees are Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Washington.12
Whenever a single real Christmas tree is harvested, up to 3 seedlings are planted during the next planting season. Throughout Northern America, there are at least 4,000 Christmas tree recycling programs.
Because it takes a long time for trees to mature, recycling efforts are commendable and can be considered a tree planting carbon offset. If you are one of those people who are uncomfortable cutting these trees and want to do more to mitigate these actions, you can seek assistance from carbon offset providers but before doing so, make sure to take the ecological footprint quiz as it’s the first step in achieving this goal.
Best Type of Christmas Tree
The Douglas Fir is one of the most popular options in the US, because of its pyramid shape and full growth.
However, the Balsam Fir is the best overall choice for the best type of Christmas tree when it comes to scent and color, as well as needle retention.
Types of Christmas Trees and Their Advantages
|Types of Christmas Trees||Advantages|
|Nordmann Fir Tre||Excellent needle retention, and child/pet friendly|
|Norway Spruce Tree||Great scent|
|Serbian Spruce Tree||Child/pet friendly|
|Alberta White Spruce Tree||Child/Pet friendly|
|Silver Fir Tree||Excellent needle retention, and great scent|
|Douglas Fir Tree||Full growth and classic shape|
|Fraser Fir Tree||Excellent needle retention and good for heavy ornaments|
|Colorado Blue Spruce Tree||Great color|
|Scotch Pine (Scots Pine) Tree||Excellent needle retention|
|Eastern White Pine Tree||Best for décor and sensitivity to strong scent|
Most Popular Christmas Tree Species
There are more than 15,000 Christmas tree farms in the US alone, but Germany and Canada hold their own when it comes to growing some of the most popular Christmas tree species.
Types of Christmas Trees
The most popular types of Christmas trees around the world include:
- Fraser Fir
- Oregon Pine
- Caucasian Fir
Best Affordable Christmas Tree
Any real tree makes for the best affordable Christmas tree, as most species of real Christmas trees come in under $100, whereas artificial tree prices can skyrocket to over $300 and more.
It makes no difference if you get the priciest Christmas tree. It would be fun to celebrate it with a challenging activity like exchanging eco-friendly Christmas gifts. A time for family togetherness and remembering the birth of our Savior – that’s what Christmas is all about.
Douglas Fir Christmas Tree
Douglas Firs grow in central California, western Oregon, Washington, and Alaska and can reach heights of 76 meters.
These trees have been used as Christmas trees since the 1920s, and aside from their popularity during the holiday season, they provide valuable timber for Europe, New Zealand, and Chile.
Balsam Fir Christmas Tree
The Balsam Fir Christmas tree was first described in 1768. These popular Christmas trees prefer moist soil, and cooler temperatures and are typically found in Canada and southern Pennsylvania.
In addition to being used as a Christmas tree, the Balsam Fir’s resin is used to produce glue and cold remedies.14
Noble Fir Christmas Tree
The Noble Fir Christmas tree30 was introduced to Britain in 1830, after being discovered by David Douglas. The tree is native to Western North America and produces hard timber that is used for interior joinery.
Virginia Pine Christmas Tree
The Virginia Pine Christmas tree is extremely popular in the American South. The natural range of these trees includes central Pennsylvania, branching out into northern Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. Virginia Pine trees also grow in Ohio, southern Indiana, and Tennessee.
Virginia Pine is a source of pulpwood and an effective component of strip mine site reclamation in the US.
Scotch Pine Christmas Trees
Before the turn of the 18th century, the Scotch Pine was known as the Scots Fir or the European Redwood. Scotch Pine Christmas trees are the only pines native to northern Europe, and they spread across the British Isles after the Last Glacial Maximum.
Scotch Pine Christmas trees are the most common, live Christmas trees in the US and have a reputation for holding up very well during harvesting and shipping.
Cedar Christmas Tree
While a Cedar Christmas tree is not the first option for many holiday revelers, the Eastern Red Cedar is a popular choice for some. Eastern Red Cedar trees are not true cedars but belong to the juniper family and is related to the Rocky Mountain Juniper.
The Eastern Red Cedar is found in several states, including Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas. The fibrous root system of these trees is essential for erosion control and the Eastern Red Cedar also produces cedarwood oil, which is a key component in many fragrances.
White Spruce Christmas Tree
The White Spruce Christmas tree is one of the most sought-after Christmas tree varieties in the US. Apart from being a popular live Christmas tree, the White Spruce provides nutrition for various animals that eat the bark, needles, and twigs. Smaller animals eat the seeds from the White Spruce.
Christmas Tree Real Name
The below list indicates the real names of popular Christmas trees.
- Balsam Fir
- Serbian Spruce
- Fraser Fir
- Caucasian Fir
- Guatemalan Fir
- Jeffrey Pine
- Grand Fir
- Norway Spruce
- Nut Pine
- Red Fir
- Scotch Pine (Scots Pine)
- Douglas Fir
- Stone Pine
- Swiss Pine
- Virginia Pine
- White Fir
Christmas Tree Family Name
In addition to the real names of Christmas trees, these types of trees also have a Christmas tree family name.
Most Christmas trees are grouped as follows:
- Fir Trees (Abies)
- Spruce Trees (Picea)
- Douglas Fir Trees (Pseudotsuga)
- Pine Trees (Pinus)
Christmas Tree Scientific Name and Family
The below table indicates Christmas tree scientific name and family:15
|Type of Christmas Tree||Christmas Tree Scientific Name||Christmas Tree Family|
|Douglas Fir Christmas Tree||Pseudotsuga menziesii||Pine (Pinaceae)|
|Balsam Fir Christmas Tree||Abies balsamea||Pine (Pinaceae))|
|Fraser Fir Christmas Tree||Abies fraseri||Pine (Pinaceae)|
|Grand Fir Christmas Tree||Abies grandis||Pine (Pinaceae)|
|Guatemalan Fir Christmas Tree||Abies guatemalensis||Pine (Pinaceae)|
|Noble Fir Christmas Tree||Abies procera||Pine (Pinaceae)|
|Nordmann Fir Christmas Tree||Abies nordmanniana||Pine (Pinaceae)|
|Red Fir Christmas Tree||Abies magnifica||Pine (Pinaceae)|
|Silver Fir Christmas Tree||Abies alba||Pine (Pinaceae)|
|White Fir Christmas Tree||Abies concolor||Pine (Pinaceae)|
|Nut Pine Christmas Tree||Pinus edulis||Pine (Pinaceae)|
|Jeffrey PineChristmas Tree||Pinus jeffreyi||Pine (Pinaceae)|
|Scotch Pine (Scots Pine) Christmas Tree||Pinus sylvestris||Pine (Pinaceae)|
|Stone Pine Christmas Tree||Pinus pinea||Pine (Pinaceae)|
|Swiss Pine Christmas Tree||Pinus cembra||Pine (Pinaceae)|
|Virginia Pine Christmas Tree||Pinus virginiana||Pine (Pinaceae)|
|Norway Spruce Christmas Tree||Picea abies||Pine (Pinaceae)|
|Serbian Spruce Christmas Tree||Picea omorika||Pine (Pinaceae)|
Mini Christmas Tree Plant Name
Traditional Christmas trees also come in miniature versions, in both fresh and faux options.
One of the most in demand mini Christmas trees is the Douglas Fir Fresh Mini.
Other mini Christmas Tree plant name includes Mini Norway Spruce Christmas Tree, Dwarf Live Alberta Spruce, Mini Fresh Spruce Tree, and Fresh Tabletop Fraser Fir.
Alternate Names for Christmas Tree
Common alternate names for Christmas tree includes evergreen coniferous, fir, pine, and spruce. Live Christmas trees are also known as Yule trees.
Read More About: How Many Trees Offset Carbon Emissions?
It is believed that a fir tree was used as the first Christmas tree in Northern Germany during the 16th century.
Types of Christmas Trees
Different types of Christmas trees are planted per acre blocks in various states in the US. The most commonly found Christmas trees are Fraser Fir, the Colorado Blue Spruce, and Douglas Fir.
How Many Christmas Trees per Acre?
Time goes by so quickly that before you realize it, you’re searching for the ideal Christmas tree. Looking for one might be a fun family tradition. You’d be surprised at how many Christmas trees per acre are available in your area.
While a single acre can support up to 1,500 Christmas trees, most farms plant around 200 trees per acre every year. To calculate how many trees per acre, when planting new Christmas trees, different factors must be considered, including the type of land, the species of the tree, and the eventual sizes of the trees planted.
How Many Christmas Trees Are Cut Down Each Year?
A common question asked when the holiday season rolls around, is how many Christmas trees are cut down each year.
It is estimated that up to 36 million Christmas trees are produced and cut down each year in the US alone. That number rises to around 60 million in Europe.
Whether artificial or real, there are enough types of Christmas trees around the world and especially in the US to satisfy a wide variety of requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions About Types of Christmas Trees
How Many Types of Christmas Trees in US?
There are more than 35 different species of Christmas trees in the US alone.
What Are the Alternate Names for Christmas Trees?
Christmas trees are commonly known as firs, evergreen, pines or spruces.
What Is Fir Christmas Tree?
Fir Christmas trees are a genus of evergreen coniferous trees and sought-after during the holiday season. The most popular firs are Balsam, Fraser, and Noble.
What Is a Christmas Tree Plant?
A Christmas tree plant is a pine or fir and can also come in mini-versions.
What Is the Best Smelling Christmas Tree?
The Balsam Fir is well-known for being the most fragrant of all Christmas tree species.
What Tree Family Do Pine Christmas Tree Belong?
Most Christmas tree species fall under the Pine tree family.
What Is the Most Fragrant Pine Tree?
Douglas Fir, Fraser Fir, Balsam Fir, Scotch Pine, and the Colorado Blue Spruce are some of the most fragrant pine Christmas trees.
What Are Some Tips To Cut Your Own Christmas Tree?
When cutting down a Christmas tree in the woods, a permit will be required. Often, only axes and handsaws are allowed when cutting down the tree.
It is best to cut the tree between late-November and mid-December to ensure it stays fresh over Christmas.
What Is a Drill Holes in Christmas Tree Trunk For?
Drilling holes in a Christmas tree trunk will not allow the tree to absorb more water. The tree should be cut cleanly and then soaked in a bucket of water for a couple of hours before it is placed in the tree stand.
Read More About Types of Christmas Trees
How to Cut Your Own Christmas Tree (So It Lasts Longer & Stays Green)
How Many Christmas Trees Are Cut Down Each Year? (New Stats)
How Many Christmas Trees Per Acre? Find The Real Number (Not Guess)
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