By Meaghan English, TrueSouth Properties Wildlife Specialist
Now that Thanksgiving is all wrapped up, Christmas is everywhere you look. The yard décor is making its annual appearance and families are loading up to pick out the very best Christmas tree. Thanks to the abundance of Christmas tree farms and plantations, the perfect tree could be a spruce, or it could be a pine, or a fir, or some other species!
Gone are the days when you ventured out into the woods and cut down your own Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Like everything else nowadays, there is a variety to choose from! Christmas trees in North America are usually a member of the Conifer family- they have needles and cones. Luckily, the trees consumers buy for their living rooms have no cones because they have not reached maturity yet. So what could your Christmas tree be? Well…
- If the needles are grouped in 2s-5s, then it is a pine. For us southerners, it’s pretty easy to identify a pine, but it may get tricky when they are shaped like a Christmas tree!
- If the needles are in 2s, it is either a Scots pine or a Virginia pine. Virginia pines have a more yellowish tinge than a Scots pine
- If the needles are in 5s, it is a White pine.
*It will be interesting to see how many pines are available as Christmas trees this year due to last year’s drought and beetle invasion!
- Spruce- the most popular choice for Christmas trees! In my opinion, this is the traditional Christmas tree. The needles are short and cover the whole branch; they almost appear square.
- Colorado blue spruce and white spruce appear to have a bluish-green tinge. The Colorado blue spruce has needles with a sharp tip, while the white spruce has needles with a blunt tip.
- Norway spruce (the traditional Christmas tree) has dark green needles that appear to slightly droop
- There are numerous choices of Firs to choose from, so I not go into detail but here are a few: Douglas fir, Fraser fir, Balsam fir, and Grand fir. Most firs seem to have longer needles which make for a “softer” appearance.
Christmas trees are not limited to these species listed above! Some people choose Cypresses or Cedars as well. Whatever Christmas tree you choose, make sure it is a sturdy one! Also, please remember to keep your tree well-watered as many trees are still recovering from last year’s drought and may be very dry and brittle. Happy tree picking!!
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