With December 25th just over two weeks away, now is the time to get a Christmas tree if you are planning on decorating one at your log home. Since there are many varieties of trees to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which tree will best suit your needs. Whether you are buying your tree from a tree farm or retail lot, or if you are harvesting your tree from your own property or a National Forest, here are some tips about the most common tree species to help you select the perfect tree for the holidays in your log home.
According to a survey by the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA), the Fraser fir was voted the best Christmas tree by American voters. Given the Fraser firs outstanding properties, it is easy to see why. The Fraser fir holds its roughly inch-long needles very well, and those needles are also soft to the touch. The branches are reasonably firm and tend to slope slightly upward. They also have a pleasant scent and ship well. This tree is endangered in the wild and is only found at elevations over 3,900 feet in Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee. Commercial farms can sustainably raise the tree, but recent problems with a root mold have lowered stocks and increased prices.
The Douglas fir is the second most beloved Christmas tree and shares many of the great properties of the Fraser fir. It is a very common tree throughout the Western United States and Canada, so it is more readily found in those markets and also less expensive. The Douglas fir holds water almost as well as the Fraser fir and has an even more pleasant aroma but has more flexible branches. The Balsam fir holds the number three spot on the list and is considered by some to be the same species as the Fraser fir but is found the Northeastern and Upper Midwestern United States and Canada.
While the firs dominated the top three spots, the number four choice is the Colorado Blue Spruce. This tree has firm branches and good retention of needles that form a pleasingly pyramidal tree. Like all spruces, however, the needles are sharp, and this can be the most expensive type of tree.
Most of our Real Log Homes are constructed with Eastern White Pine Logs, so if you want a tree to match your house you can move down to number eight on the list and select this species. The Eastern White Pine holds its needles very well and also has soft needles. It lacks a strong fragrance, which may be a downside for some people but is very welcomed by some allergy sufferers. The tree branches bend easily and cannot take heavy ornaments, but this tree will be considerably less expensive than the ones listed above.
These are some of the most common commercial trees, but if you harvest your own there are even more options. For example, the Subalpine fir is considered to make one of the best Christmas trees, but since it rarely grows below 8,000 feet it is not usually harvested commercially.
Do you have a Christmas tree tip to share? Or, if you simply want to show off your own tree, leave us a comment here, or share your photos with Real Log Homes on Facebook! And, if you have any questions about building the log home that’s on your wish list, call Real Log Homes today or fill out the form below for more information.