One of the focal points of every cosy home at Christmas is a decorated fir tree under which the presents are often stored until the big day.
The festive period would not be the same without one, but there are many factors to consider when choosing the perfect Christmas tree for your home, office or business.
An essential is to measure the height of the room where you plan to locate your tree, taking account of the stand. Check also that the location is big enough to accommodate the diameter of the tree, otherwise it could get in the way.
Everyone has their own idea of the perfect tree shape, so it’s important that you choose your own and have the measurements with you when you make your selection.
When you get the tree home, ensure that there is always water in the basin stand and keep it away from direct heat, which will help prolong its life and appearance.
When selecting a tree, you can either choose one with or without roots. Ready cut trees come in several different heights without roots and often with a slice of wood on the bottom to stand them upright.
If you prefer, you can remove the wooden block to insert the tree in a stand that holds water. Some people prefer to purchase a tree that is either root balled or container grown so that they can pot it on each year or plant it in their garden.
With or without roots, there are many different Christmas tree species to choose from, all of which have their merits. Here are a few of the choices:
Caucasian Fir an evergreen, densely branched and broadly pyramidal fir; retaining its branches almost to the ground, even in old age. Native to the Caucasus and mountains of northern Turkey; this tree is widely planted in central Europe and elsewhere for timber and can grow to 70m. It’s a popular Christmas tree choice because it retains it’s blue-green needles better than other varieties, especially if kept watered and away from direct sources of heat.
Norway Spruce is a conical evergreen conifer with sweeping, curved branches that can grow up to 65m. A major forest tree in northern Europe and in mountains as far south as the Alps and Balkan Peninsula, this tree is extensively planted for timber in many areas. It’s the species commonly used for Christmas trees.
Serbian Spruce is a slender evergreen conifer with a spire-like crown of blue-green foliage retained almost from the ground. It’s native only to the Drina River Basin in central Yugoslavia but planted for timber in parts of Scandinavia and widely grown elsewhere as an ornamental and can grow up to 30m. This species is available with roots as a container grown conifer.
Blue Spruce is widely used as a Christmas tree due to its conical habit and dense horizontal branches which are covered with grey-green needles. It also has a high needle retention rate. One of the most ornamental of the conifers, the blue sprue makes a great specimen tree in parklands and garden situations and commonly grows up to 15m. The cones are up to 10cm in length and are a pale brown colour. A very hardy tree which can withstand very cold winters and grows best in wet but free draining soil in full sunlight.
Fraser Fir is splendid for small spaces due to its slimmer, conical shape and has a delicious balsam scent which fills the room for the entire festive period. This tree has good needle retention and its dense branches hold soft green/silver needles. Don’t confuse it with the closely related Balsam Fir which does drop its needles easily. Fraser Fir is not widely grown as it only thrives in specific locations, especially from where it originates in the Appalachian Mountains of South Eastern USA. Fraser Fir is widely used as a Christmas tree, especially in America and has been used more times than any other as the official White House Christmas tree.
All that’s left for you to do now is to select your perfect Christmas tree. Love Plants, the specialist plants centre at Salop Leisure’s Emstrey headquarters in Shrewsbury, has a wide selection of trees and large range of sizes to choose from and staff are on hand to help with advice, if you need it.
For advice, contact Love Plants on Tel: 01743 450700.
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