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The Environmental Choice - Real Christmas Trees
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Your Guide to Ontario Farm Grown Christmas Trees

Like cars, Christmas trees come in different varieties and sizes, all with different characteristics. The choice of a Christmas tree, like a car, is personal and based on preferences, requirements, budget and availability. Traditionally in Ontario, Scots Pine and White Spruce have been the Christmas trees of choice. Like everything else however, Christmas tree species evolve and change to meet the changing demands of the public. It's now fairly common for some Ontario Christmas tree farmers to produce "exotic" Christmas trees (species that are not normally grown in Ontario's conditions and are considered somewhat rare). These species require additional growing time to reach harvest size and this results in higher prices. Each Christmas tree farm will offer species that grow well in its unique conditions. Check our Harvest-Your-Own listings to see what species are offered by different farms. When you arrive at the farm, allow a little extra time to visit different fields and see what the different species look like. Farmers will be happy to help you pick the best species for your holiday season.

Common Ontario Christmas Tree Species

White Spruce

© CTFO 2006

Strong slender twigs which hold ornaments well. Dense foliage and symmetrical proportions of the spruce make it a very beautiful Christmas tree. The spruce needs lots of water however, and like all Christmas trees, must be watered regularly to prevent it from losing its needles. The needles are about two centimeters long, and are an attractive dark green. They are stiff and slightly curved and give off a sharp pungent odour when crushed.

Scots Pine (Scotch Pine)

© CTFO 2006

The Scots pine, which is the most popular Canadian Christmas tree, is not a native of North America. In spite of its name the Scots pine is found throughout Europe and Asia. The Scots pine is a thick, hardy tree that holds its needles well over the holidays. The colour of a Scots pine is variable; some trees may be blue-green while others are yellow-green. The needles appear in clusters of two, are usually twisted and are about four to eight centimeters long.

Balsam Fir

© CTFO 2006

The range of the Balsam fir is almost entirely in Canada and stretches from Newfoundland to Alberta. Fir trees hold their needles well and are a good choice if the decorated tree is to be left standing for a longer period of time.The needles are two to three centimeters in length, are rounded at the tip and are a dark, shiny green in colour. Unlike spruce needles, fir needles are flat and will not roll between your fingers. Balsam fir Christmas trees branches work well for lighter ornaments.

White Pine

© CTFO 2006

Many people think that the graceful White pine is the most beautiful of all Christmas tree varieties, even though its soft needles make it difficult to decorate. The needles are five to twelve centimeters long, are soft and flexible and appear in bunches of five.

Colorado Blue Spruce

© CTFO 2006

Colorado blue spruce, or blue spruce, is an attractive tree often used for Christmas trees or as ornamentals. Needles are 1-1 1/2 inches long on lower branches but somewhat shorter on upper branches. They are 4-sided and have a very sharp point on the end. It is this point which gives the species its name "pungens", from the Latin word for sharp as in puncture wound. Needles are generally dull bluish-gray to silvery blue and emit a resinous odor when crushed. Some trees have a more distinct bluish-white or silvery-white foliage.

Exotic Ontario Christmas Tree Species

Fraser Fir

© CTFO 2006

Fraser Fir is an exotic tree in Canada but has become extremely popular in recent years. Needles are flattened, dark-green with a medial groove on the upper side and two broad silvery-white bands on the lower surface. On lower branches, leaves are two-ranked (occurring in two opposite rows). On upper twigs, leaves tend to curl upward forming a more "U-shaped" appearance. The combination of form, needle retention, dark blue-green color and pleasant scent has led to Fraser fir being a most popular Christmas tree species. This species has a much longer growing cycle and will therefore be more expensive than some other species.

Serbian Spruce

© CTFO 2006

Very short, very sharp needles

Douglas Fir

© CTFO 2006

This tree is grown in the west where it is very popular. It is rare in Ontario but may occasionally be found.

Canaan Fir

© CTFO 2006

Soft needles, medium in length

Concolour Fir

© CTFO 2006

Soft, long needles with a bluish tinge


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