These trees offer up unusual beauty for your holiday decorating.
Native to the desert Southwest, Cupressus arizonica is often seen at Christmas tree lots across the southern tier of states.Its dense, pyramid shape, gray to blue-green foliage, and attractive fragrance make it a popular choice.
With its distinctive blue color, Picea pungens stands out in a crowd. The stiff branches easily support the heaviest of ornaments. But beware: the needles are sharp and capable of a painful jab. On the plus side, the tree retains its needles well. This large-growing tree is often chosen as a live tree for planting after Christmas.
This aromatic tree grows naturally in the western U.S., and has a bluish-green tint. Abies concolor retains its 2-inch-long needles -- which curve slightly -- if kept well watered.
Cupressocyparis leylandii is a popular live Christmas tree in the southern U.S. The flat fan-like branches curve upward and forma dense triangular shape. In some varieties, the foliage is blue or gray-green.
With its traditional Christmas tree shape, Picea abies looks great covered with decorations. The 1-inch-long needles can be sharp, however, and are more prone to dropping than other spruces. Keep this tree well watered.
A rich aroma draws many people to Abies balsamea. When young, balsams have a nice, dense pyramid form and make good cut Christmas trees. If you decide to buy a live tree for planting later, be aware that the tree becomes looser and less dense as it grows, losing its Christmas tree appearance.
A newcomer to the Christmas tree lots, Abies balsamea var. phanerolepis shares a lovely scent with the closely related Balsam fir. The beautiful shape and "bottle brush" needled branches create a classic Christmas tree appearance.
Picea glauca is a common cut Christmas tree, and can also be used as a live tree for planting later. The upturned branches are covered with short (1/2- to 3/4-inch) needles. To ensure good needle hold, be sure to keep this tree well watered.