Christmas trees have been used to celebrate both pagan and Christian winter festivals for thousands of years. For pagans, decorating their homes with branches during the colder months made them think of the spring to come. Trees for Christians meant a sign of everlasting life with God. It’s thought that the first person to bring a Christmas tree into a home was 16th century German preacher Martin Luther. The story goes that one night before Christmas, Luther was walking through the forest, looking up at the stars shining through tree branches. The sight was so beautiful he went home and recaptured the scene for his family in their main room, wiring the tree’s branches with lighted candles.
Today’s Christmas trees take a familiar form, and to fill you in on the most popular types, we have our handy guide below. Which is your tree of choice?
Types of Christmas Tree
The Nordmann Fir pretty much guarantees the classic Christmas tree shape. The tree’s full branches are of soft needles, offering a plump, filled out tree. The glossy dark green foliage makes the Nordmann Fir are favourite for many families.
If you’re looking for the quintessential Victorian Christmas tree the Norway Spruce is for you. The tree’s elegant shape are a result of thinner needles, perfect for dressing with baubles and ornaments. Generally they’re a less expensive option, because they grow at a faster rate. The Norway Spruce also gives off a festive scent – to fill your home with the smell of Christmas.
The Blue Spruce, albeit prickly, is a beautiful looking tree, similar in appearance to a Nordmann Fir. Its needles are distinctive in colour – their bluey green hue makes it a popular option for those looking for something slightly different. Top tip – if you’re planning to cut your own, use gloves!
Not widely known, and a new planting for many farms, the Fraser Fir displays a perfect pyramid shape with dense branches from the floor up. The Fraser Fir’s deliciously appealing pine scent makes them the tree of choice for many.
Caring for your (real) Christmas Tree
It’s really important to know how to correctly care for your Christmas tree. Here are some top tips to ensure your tree will last up to and beyond Christmas Day.
- Needle drop occurs if the tree dries out after being cut down. To preserve your tree, display it in a reservoir stand and keep it topped up with water.
- If you plan to store your tree before decorating, leave it somewhere cool – like your back garden. Once in place, make sure you stand your tree in water.
- Don’t erect your tree next to direct heat sources, radiators, open fires etc. This will cause needle drop very quickly.
- Always keep your receipt. Trees will inevitably lose needles over time, but if your tree becomes bald overnight, you’ll need to take it back for a replacement.
Credit: Crockford Bridge Farm