8 Christmas Tree Favorites

This list contains many people's top picks for Christmas trees. Scent, subtleties of needle color, and planting information is all here.

Boasting a pyramidal shape and blunt, blue-to-dark-green needles, Pseudotsuga menziesii is a dependably long-lived cut tree. It flourishes in mild, humid climates with dry summers.

Soft-green color, long needles, and rich fragrance make Pinus strobus worthy of yuletide focus. Adaptable, fast growing, and moisture loving, it produces long, decorative pinecones.

With its cool blue-green, well-spaced branches and densely set, upwardly curved needles, Abies nobilis is aptly named. It's most often a cut tree, since it grows happily only in its Pacific Northwest home.

One of the few evergreens to tolerate warm winter temps, Pinus virginiana is a first pick among Christmas trees for Southerners. It's also a good cut tree because, like all pines, it holds its needles well.

With bicolor needles -- deep green on top, white-striped underneath -- Abies grandis makes a rich foil for ornaments. It grows well where winters are long, summers are cool, and the air is humid and pristine.

A classic conical shape and excellent needle retention make Pinus sylvestris the most popular cut tree of the holidays. It's also easy to grow because it tolerates a wide range of climates and soils.

A regal, richly fragrant native tree, Abies fraseri has bicolor needles -- deep green on top, silvery-white below. Its generally slender profile suits small rooms. Grow it only in cold-winter, cool-summer climates.

Native to the eastern half of the United States, Juniperus virginiana makes a cut or living tree with homespun appeal and pungent fragrance. In the landscape, it tolerates drought, wind, and cold.


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