O' Christmas Tree, O' Christmas Tree

With Christmas Eve just 18 days away, it’s time to deck the halls and pick the perfect holiday tree.

According to a recent Columbus Dispatch article, about 1 million Ohio families will decorate a cut Christmas tree this holiday season. Whether you cut it down yourself at one of the state’s more than 200 Christmas tree farms or buy it pre-cut in a city lot, selecting just the right tree for your home can be a daunting task.

To help you make the right choice, here are the characteristics of the six most common evergreen varieties available in Ohio courtesy of The Ohio State University Extension:

Scotch Pine: Historically, the Scotch pine is the most common Christmas tree sold in the U.S., probably because it’s good at retaining its one-to-three inch long, green to blue-green needles.

Eastern White Pine: The second most popular pine Christmas tree among Ohio consumers has soft, two-to-five-inch long needles, but its flexible branches can’t hold heavy ornaments.

Blue Spruce: The Blue Spruce features a naturally symmetrical form that requires minimal clipping, but its sharp, stiff needles make it less than ideal for homes with small children.

Fraser Fir: Growing in popularity as a Christmas tree choice, the Fraser is a fragrant, dark green tree with one-half to one-inch-long flat needles with good retention.

Douglas Fir: This popular tree has a pleasant evergreen scent, soft, short needles and a strong natural symmetrical form that makes it an attractive Christmas tree choice.

Canaan Fir: Pronounced “kah-nane,” this tree variety is a relatively new Christmas tree variety that is becoming popular with growers because it will grow in areas that Fraser and Douglas firs will not. It features softer, slightly longer needles than the Fraser and a nice balsam scent.

Once you’ve selected a tree, here are tips for keeping it fresh and festive throughout the season:

  • Before bringing the tree into your home, shake it outside to remove dead and loose needles 
  • Place the tree in a stand that is strong enough to hold it upright and that can hold at least one gallon of water 
  • Don’t place your tree near a heat source, such as a fireplace or even a sunny window
  • Lowering the temperature in your home will help your tree last longer
  • Replenish water on a daily basis to avoid dry, dropping needles and droopy branches

When the holiday is over, the Ohio Christmas Tree Association recommends recycling your tree. Many communities offer curbside pick up for trees or designated tree drop-off locations. Old Christmas trees can be used for mulch, compost or even placed in the wild for birds to use for shelter.

Photo obtained from: greatkids.outdoors.org