To skip the descriptions and see a few photos,
Most Christmas trees come in three different
groups of conifers, the pines, spruces, and
firs. We believe strongly in diversity for
both customer choice and sustainability
reasons, and so we grow: white, red, and
scotch pines, white, blue, norway, and black
hills spruce, and balsam and fraser fir.
Pines are longer-needled trees, while spruce
and fir are generally have shorter needles.
Among the pines, scotch pine have the
shortest needles, while red and white pine
have longer needles. White pine needles and
braches are quite soft, while red and scotch
pine are harder and more prickly. Red and
white pines are native to North America, but
scotch pine (native throughout much of
Europe) has been one of the most widely
grown Christmas trees in the U.S.
Spruce needles are generally stiffer and so
more prickly than fir, but otherwise they
are more similar to each other than the
pines largely because of their shorter
needles. Both can be full or more open,
allowing room for more ornaments. Both
naturally grow in the Christmas tree shape.
And while fir holds needles better than
spruce when dry (both do well when
maintained fresh), the generally stiffer
branches of spruce hold heavier ornaments
(or even candles, as in scandinavia, where
the norway spruce is traditional).
Below we provide a few fotos of different
Christmas tree species taken on our farm.
You can find plenty more information on the
web, including at the
National Christmas Tree Association web
Click on a picture to see a larger version.
white pine red pine scotch pine
norway spruce white spruce balsam fir
pictures all show fairly full trees, we do
have some spruce and fir that are more open
and "natural-grown", and we are moving in that
direction with a larger portion of our
short-needled (spruce and fir) trees.
last foto is fairly typical of our farm - a
diversity of Christmas trees mixed with
wildness (diverse, unsprayed and unmowed
ground cover, thickets, unmanaged pines and
hardwoods), intermixed with hay and pasture
and surrounded by woods. (OK, so the woods
aren't always that colorful ...)