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Home UK Christmas World Archive Real Christmas Trees & Where They Come From

Real Christmas Trees & Where They Come From

Christmas trees very often tend to be the centre point of Christmas celebrations and an important part of decorating the home. There are so many types of trees from around the world, why don’t you try something different for your home this year? Many of the types of trees listed here can be bought from local Christmas tree farms in the Barnsley and South Yorkshire area. From firs to cedars there are so many interesting variations of which we thought we’d share some fun facts with you!


Balsam Fir

This tree is a classic if you’re wanting the traditional Christmassy scent. Found in North America they can grow up to 60 feet tall! As a Christmas tree Balsam Firs have many desirable properties such as its dark green appearance and long lasting needles. For it to grow to 6 or 7 feet which would be wanted for a display in the home, it would take around 9 years in the field. In the wild Balsam Firs provide food from foliage to moose and whitetail deer, while chickadees, nutcrackers, squirrels and porcupine feast on the seeds. 

Douglas Fir

These trees are not related to true firs but can reach up to 250 feet in height, and are again grown in North American regions with mild, humid climates. Douglas firs grow into a pyramidal shape, and the cones that grow on the tree are unique as they have snake-tongue-like bracts extending from each scale.  Douglas Firs are one of the most popular Christmas trees because of its lovely dark green colour to the needles that give off a scent when crushed. It is also lighter in weight, so is easily transported, handy if you’re wanting to display in your home this year.

White Pine

This is the largest Pine tree in the US and has soft, flexible needles. White Pines are not regularly used as Christmas trees as they do not carry a scent, even though they have good needle retention. Grown in North American regions, it is one of the most valuable trees for lumber and is used for things like cabinets, window framing, shelves and for carving. The seeds of White Pines are eaten by birds such as red crossbills and chickadees. Mature trees can easily be 200 to 250 years old and grow to approximately 25 metres tall.  As White Pine trees grow, they form a layered appearance, and grow into a cone shaped tree.

Norway Spruce

These trees are native to mountainous areas of Europe and is famous for its use as Christmas trees. Trees can live as long as 1000 years and can grow up to about 40 metres high! They grow tall and straight and in a triangular appearance and have a pointed crown – perfect for placing your Christmas tree topper! Norway spruce also create a sweet, rich smell making it a very popular choice for festive decorations. Beetles, weevils and hoverflies are just some of the creatures that make these spruce trees their habitat, while caterpillars feed from the foliage of the tree, and squirrels eat the cones. Other uses of Norway spruce apart from Christmas trees include flooring, furniture and box making.

Leyland Cypress

This is the most popular Christmas tree in the southeast and has a lovely dark green colour. It has very little aroma and does not produce sap, which is a bonus for anyone who is allergic to sap as they can still enjoy it as a Christmas tree. There are no naturally occurring Leyland Cypress trees as they are hybrids of Monterey cypress and Nootka cypress trees, so they are made from root cuttings. Due to this they have no natural range of where they are grown, but they have been cultivated in areas such as England, New Zealand, California, Alabama and Florida. In England these trees are used for ornamental purposes in gardens and as wind breakers, in New Zealand they are used for wood products and in the US they are a valuable landscape plant as well as Christmas trees. 

Eastern Redcedar

These trees grown very narrow and compact but can grow up to 40 feet tall, the leaves are short, scaly and green. Mice, white-tailed deer and rabbits eat young redcedar trees and cones are eaten by lots of animals including turkeys, purple finches, foxes and racoons. The wood from the Eastern redcedar is attractive and very workable so as well as being used as a Christmas tree the wood is used for things like fence posts, furniture, pencils and chests. These trees can be found in areas such as Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska and are grown in many Christmas tree plantations as well.

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