Who puts up a real tree for Christmas? You know they are CLC’s first choice for Christmas Trees! Do you have a favourite species you choose from for your Christmas tree though? There are plenty to select from, whether you buy them from a nursery, a pop-up lot, or cut one down yourself. Which Christmas tree species is right for you though? Let us help you decide with a run-down on available Christmas Tree species in Ontario.
Christmas Tree Species to Choose From
Best Christmas Tree Species:
Balsam Fir (native) – Tall and narrow, branches of the Balsam fir taper to a natural point on top, making it perfect for your angel. Needles are 2-4 cm long, and dark, shiny green, with two white bands underneath. The needles stay on the tree long after it’s cut, making for easy cleanup. Plus, the wonderful scent will fill your home with the scent of Christmas all season long.
White Pine (native) – Introducing the provincial tree of Ontario! The Eastern white pine has soft, skinny needles that are 6-12 cm long. You won’t get poked handling this beautiful tree. Needles are in bunches of 5, making it easily identifiable.
White Spruce (native) – Another native species, the white spruce can be found in Northern Ontario, down through to Southwestern Ontario. The 2 cm needles are bluish-green to green, with a waxy layer to them. They give off a pungent odour when crushed. Branches are stiff, making for easy decorating. The biggest drawback is that white spruce require plenty of water once cut to last the season, so best to cut right before the holidays to cut down on needle cleanup.
Good Christmas Tree Species:
Colorado Blue Spruce – Not a native species to Canada, but a popular choice for Christmas trees none the less. The blue spruce has 1 1/2″ bluish gray needles that will give you a poke, if you’re not careful. Good for hanging ornaments, but with a sharp point. Needles are located around twigs, distinguishing them from the flattened look of fir trees.
Fraser Fir – Similar to the native Balsam fir, Fraser firs are another popular Christmas tree species. Branches curl upwards and have 1/2″-1″ dark-green needles with two white bands on the underside. Needles are flattened and have good retention on the tree after being cut.
Serbian Spruce – You don’t have to go to Serbia to find this pretty spruce tree. Serbian spruce have softer 1″ long green needles with silver undersides. Branches are well-spaced for easy decorating.
Other Available Species:
Scotch Pine (invasive species) – While you might find Scots pine at Christmas tree lots, it isn’t necessarily your best choice to select for a Christmas tree species to take home. It does have good needle retention and great shipping capabilities, but is considered an invasive species in Ontario. While it was a popular choice for Christmas trees in Canada from the 1950s-1980s, it requires much pruning and fell out of favour with Christmas tree growers. Unfortunately though, any trees that were abandoned kept growing. As Scots pine produce many seeds, seedlings have sprouted up prolifically and have a habit of aggressively competing with native plants, hence the invasive label. Best to give the message that you don’t support invasive species in Ontario, by wisely using your dollar power.
I’ve been looking for some good trees we could find, and I think that getting native ones would be good. I’m glad you talked about some different native options, and that would be a good idea for me. I’d love to be able to get the help I need, and have native trees in my yard!
Just make sure you choose native trees to YOUR area Jordan. A native tree to London, Ontario may not be native to other areas of Canada, let alone other areas of the world. If you are looking for an expert to advise you, seek out nurseries and/or arborists in your area who are knowledgeable of native species to your location.
Thanks and good luck!