Balsam Fir is perhaps the least expensive of Christmas trees. Early American settlers first identified these trees around 1768. It is a more slender tree, with dense, dark green needles. People love the very strong fragrance. The needles are long lasting. The tree bark is smooth and ash gray in color. Balsam Fir is very popular as a Christmas tree, reaching a height of 6-7 feet in about 9-10 years. Left alone, Balsam Fir trees grows to 40' - 60'.
Douglas Fir trees are one of the most popular and most expensive Christmas trees on the market. The tree is wider than most Christmas trees. The branches are less sturdy than most other varieties. Douglas-fir is not related to true firs. The tree has 1" - 1 ½" needles. The needles are soft, dark green to blue green in color, with a sweet scent when crushed. The attractive needles are stay on the tree longer than most other trees. These trees reach Christmas tree size in 7-10 years. Aside from use as Christmas trees, Douglas Firs have a variety of wood and lumber uses. Left uncut, it can grow up to 250 feet tall, and can live up to 1,000 years. It can even survive some wildfires.
Fraser Fir trees have attractive ½" - 1" long, blue-green needles, with bluish silver undersides, on up-turning branches. The tree has good needle retention and have a sweet fragrance. Trees have a uniform, compact, and pyramid shape. They grow up to 80 feet. Fraser firs are similar to Balsam Firs. In the 18th century, botanist John Fraser, a Scottish botanist and explorer, explored the southern Appalachian Mountains and discovered these trees which now bear his name. Fraser Fir is a uniformly pyramid-shaped tree, which reaches a maximum height of about 80 feet and a diameter of 1 to 1 1/2 feet. Strong branches turn slightly upwards, giving the tree a compact appearance. These trees grow to 6-7 feet Christmas tree size in 7-10 years.
Grand Firs are one of the tallest of fir trees, growing up to 300 feet tall. It is native of Northwestern U.S., northward into British Columbia, Canada. Needles of the Grand Fir are 1 to 1 1/2 inches long. They are glossy, dark green with white lines on the underside. Grand Firs are not overly popular as Christmas trees, except in their native range.
The attractive Noble Fir is native to the Pacific Northwest, where they are very popular as Christmas trees. The tree has upward turning needles, exposing sturdy branches that can easily hold your heavier ornaments. The needles are one inch long and blue-green in color, with white lines on the underside. In the forest, these pyramid-shaped trees can grow 12" to 24" a year, reaching a height of up to 100 feet. It produces large, heavy cones. These trees can be found from northern California to Oregon and Washington state.
Also called "White Fir", the beauty of the Concolor Fir and good needle retention, makes it an excellent Christmas tree. It is native to the western United States. Mature tress are normally 30'-50', but can reach up to 150' tall. Concolor Firs have small, narrow needles, 1 - 1 ½ in. in length and occur in rows. The needles are bluish green to silvery green, and extend upward from the branches. The tree has a pleasant scent.