10 Best Christmas Trees to Grow in the Pacific Northwest
With the cost of Christmas trees ranging from $30 to over $100, it is well worth the effort to grow your own trees if you have a large garden. Most trees will be about 2 meters tall in 7 years. If you plant one tree a year for 7 years, you will always have a very fresh Christmas tree every December and you will enjoy the additional benefit of having extra boughs for wreaths and garlands and other decorations. You can plant your Christmas tree in a pot that could be brought indoors for a couple of weeks during the Christmas celebrations. If you plant your trees in the ground, make sure you plant them with approximately 1.5 meter spacing and in full sun. There is very little effort required to grow these trees; keep watered during droughts and prune to shape annually after the tree is about four years old.
1. Fraser Fir
This is my favorite Christmas tree. The branches are beautifully spaced, the needles are soft, the color is a lovely silver-green, the branches are strong enough to support heavy ornaments, and the overall shape is perfect for the purpose of being the center of attention. It is often called the ‘no-shed’ tree because it does a wonderful job of retaining its needles after cutting. It also has a beautiful light fragrance.
2. Noble Fir
This is the quintessential Christmas tree. The branches have a classic, slightly upward sweep and are strong enough to hold heavy ornaments. It has good needle retention and is long lasting.
3. Douglas Fir
This tree is not a true Fir. They are native to North America and can live to a thousand years. They have thick bark which help them to survive forest fires. The needles are dark green to blue green and the young tree has a good conical shape. The Douglas Fir can grow in a wide range of soil types and climates; it will grow and thrive whether the site is extremely dry or moist.
4. Balsam Fir
This lovely Fir will grow to about 20 meters tall in the wild and will have a nice conical shape. It will often have a long spire at the top which is perfect for attaching your angel or star. The needles are dark green and the tree is dense. It is a great choice for a Christmas tree.
5. Colorado Blue Spruce
The Latin name for this tree is Picea pungens. ‘Pungens’ means sharply pointed so this tells you how the needles will feel when you touch them. The tree has a strong silver-blue color so keep this in mind if you prefer the traditional green Christmas tree (like I do). If you want to dress up your tree in silver and blue-toned ornaments, then this tree may work for you. Just remember to wear gloves to protect your hands.
6. Western White Pine
This pine is related to the Eastern White Pine (Pinus Strobus) of which I have two in my garden. The needles are large and soft to the touch. It will grow rapidly and will thrive in well drained soils. Pines have a wonderful scent and a nice open shape.
8. Grand Fir
This tree can grow to incredible heights; it often reaches 100 meters (300 feet). Do not plant it in a small garden unless you pot it. It is a dense foliaged tree when clipped and it produces a beautiful fragrance.
9. Scotch (or Scots) Pine
Scotch pine grows quickly and is tolerant of a wide range of soil types and climates. It is also able to withstand drought more than some of the other Christmas trees mentioned. It has good needle retention and it will not completely dry out if you keep it in a water-filled tree stand for about 3 weeks. You will need to prune it regularly to create a nice shape.
10. Nordmann Fir
This is a great tree for people with allergies because the Nordmann Fir has very little fragrance. It has a waxy coating to its needles which helps them to retain moisture. The needles are also fairly soft.