Cedar, spruce and fir, oh my! Variety may indeed be the spice of life, and that philosophy holds true right down to the choices available for your holiday tree.

Sure, I knew there were a handful to choose from, but more than two dozen… and then some? 

The pine tree is among the most common.  The Scotch pine tops the list with its stiff branches and needles. It has an open feel to it, which creates room for many ornaments. The aroma also lingers through the season.  The pine family is large. You may choose from: Austrian, red, Virginia and white pine trees. The white pine is the counterpart to the popular Scotch pine. The white pine is virtually fragrance free and the largest pine in the country, but does not support the volume of ornaments as the other does.

Trees in the fir family are popular too. The Douglas fir is a fragrant choice. Also try the Fraser fir with its dark green, upward facing needles and pleasant scent. The balsam fir is also dark green, but has an elegant silver cast.  The noble fir has fanciful needles with a blue green tint. The branches are shorter and can support heavier ornaments. This is also the tree of choice for creating wreaths, swags, and garland.

The blue spruce is another tree to consider if you are looking for one that is up to the task of supporting heavy ornaments. With its dark green, powder blue needles, it’s also among the top trees for needle retention.  It also has something worth bragging about: the blue spruce can live in nature up to a whopping eight hundred years!

That’s your primer in tree variety 101. Now it’s time to shop. Think locally.  There are many tree farms across Central Kentucky. Many of them provide the saw, but you have to provide the muscle to cut your tree down!  If you’re not up to the manual labor of cutting your own homegrown tree, you can still get a locally grown variety and choose from pre-cut trees on the lot.  It’s worth the time to do your homework before you shop. Some Kentucky tree farms have planned activities during the holidays, which make tree shopping a fun family outing.

Once you manage to haul your tree home, remove the bottom branches so you can fasten the tree securely in the stand.  Cut off an inch at the base of the trunk. This is an important step to ensure your tree will absorb the necessary amount of water for a full season of enjoyment.  Keep a watchful eye to make sure the water source remains full.


If you want more information about trees specific to our area, check out the Kentucky Christmas Tree Association. You’ll find maps of all the tree farms in Kentucky, more details about specific trees, and detailed information about keeping your tree fresh throughout the season. Visit:

Posted on 2014-12-01 by Michelle Rauch