Maine Roots

A blog about all things Maine

On the Christmas Tree Hunt: Part 1


Welcome to December!  In the spirit of the month, let’s talk about how and where to find your Christmas tree in Maine (to give credit where it’s due, my husband gave me the idea for this post – thanks honey!).  When I was a little girl, we would go out into the forest and cut down our own.  That’s the beauty of living on 20+ acres in the country.  I have fond memories of putting on my boots, hat, neckwarmer, mittens… and the list goes on… and then trekking out with the rest of the family, through the woods, across streams (some larger than others), and ultimately to the meadow where we would begin our search.  As romantic as this annual event is in my memory, the reality is that finding the perfect tree is a challenge – particularly when you are small and trying to identify the perfect top of a tree, which is waving 60+ feet above your head.  Having said that, I’d do it every year if I could.

I’ve broken this topic into two parts due to length – today, I’ll share information about the popular species of Christmas trees, and tomorrow, you’ll learn where to go to find your perfect tree in Maine (unless you have 20 acres, a chainsaw, and a 4-wheeler at your disposal – in which case you don’t require my assistance).

There are a variety of trees that are popular as Christmas trees – they include firs, pines, and spruces.  We’ll cover: the Balsam Fir, the Fraser Fir, the Douglas Fir, the White Pine, and the Blue Spruce.  Now that could get a little confusing. To help you sort out what’s right for you, I’ve included thumbnails and brief descriptions below:

Balsam-Fir - Mathisen Tree FarmsThe Balsam Fir is the traditional Christmas tree selection, which most of us grew up with.  It also happens to be the native fir for the state of Maine, and the most prevalent tree grown on Maine’s Christmas tree farms.  The Balsam fir has an attractive form, an appealing fragrance, and a beautiful dark green color.  With this species, check the branches to ensure they’re strong enough to hold heavier ornaments.

The FFraser Fir - Our Treeraser Fir is what Nick and I have in our house – so this picture is of our tree!  It seems to be a very popular tree here in NC – in fact, I haven’t seen tree stands with any other species of tree around – which could be due to its discovery in the 1700s by botanist John Fraser, who explored the southern Appalachians.  Some consider the Fraser fir the perfect holiday tree – it has an ideal shape, a nice scent, good needle retention, and firm branches that are able to hold heavier ornaments.

douglas-fir-300The Douglas Fir is a beautiful tree whose branches grow thick – potentially making it a challenge to decorate if it’s been pruned into a too-conical shape.  When crushed, these needles have one of the best aromas among Christmas trees.

white pineThe White Pine is the state tree of Maine and is the largest pine tree in the United States.  The needles are long – 2-5 inches, and it has almost no fragrance, which makes it a good choice for those with allergies.  Its branches are popular for wreathes and garlands due to their flexibility, but may not hold up to heavier ornaments.

colorado_blue_spruce-2006The Blue Spruce is a beautiful tree, and happens to be the species of tree used in Monument Square.  Its branches are stiff and will support many heavy decorations.  It’s known for it’s lovely blue foliage, which can appear silvery.  It also tends to have a very symmetrical shape.

While these are the five species I chose to feature, there are many more.  I hope you found this overview helpful, and come back tomorrow for information on where to get your tree in Maine!

2 thoughts on “On the Christmas Tree Hunt: Part 1

  1. Pingback: On the Christmas Tree Hunt: Part 2 « Maine Roots

  2. Pingback: Morse’s Sauerkraut « Maine Roots

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