Selecting your Christmas tree

Before buying your Christmas tree, make sure you know what your requirements are. Decide where you will be putting the tree so you know how high and how wide the tree can be. When measuring the room height, don’t forget to consider if you have a tree stand or similar and take it into account when choosing your tree. The shape is up to your preference!

Once you know the size of the tree you want, you need to choose the variety of the tree. The table below compares the most common varieties grown and sold in the UK, to help you choose the one that suits you the most.

Most Common Christmas Tree Varieties in the UK
Ratings: 5= best,   4= very good,   3= average,   2= fair,   1= worst
 Firs  Pine Spruces









Needle Holding
(without water)
5 5 5 5 5 3 1 4
Needle Holding
(with water)
5 5 5 5 5 4 2 5
Firmness Branches 2 3 3 5 2 4 3 5
Fragrance 5 5 4 3 4 1 3 3
Needle softness 5 5 5 2 5 3 3 3
Cost 2 3 3 5 4 3 2 1

* Fir & Pine needles generally cling onto branches tightly even after boughs have become dry.

When buying a pre-cut Christmas tree, it is important to check how fresh it is. Here are a few things to check:

  • The needles should be resilient: hold a branch between your fingers and slide your hand towards you to see how the needs hold on.
  • The needles should feel flexible and stay on the branch. If they feel brittle or fall into your hands, then the tree is already drying out. Bump the base of the tree on the ground; if only a few needles fall then the tree is fresh
  • The tree should have a good fragrance and a good green colour.
  • Check if the branches are strong enough to hold ornaments and lights.

Christmas tree prices can vary greatly according to where you buy it so make sure to compare different retailers and trees around you before buying!

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