Choosing the Perfect Christmas Tree | Forestry Commission England’s Guide

Christmas mantelpiece

Choosing the Perfect Christmas Tree – What better way to celebrate the festive season than with the most glorious Christmas tree. But other than size, what are the things to consider when buying your Christmas centrepiece? Each tree species can be a little different in size, scent and needle retention so it’s difficult to know which Christmas tree to buy. Delight your family and guests this Christmas by using Forestry Commission England’s expert guide to picking the perfect tree for you.

choosing the perfect Christmas tree

Choosing the Perfect Christmas Tree – Norway Spruce

Considered the traditional Christmas tree, the Norway Spruce is best known for:

A wonderful shape and an abundance of branches – great for hanging lots of decorations!

A lovely ‘Christmassy’ scent that’s perfect at this time of year

Who does it suit?

With a long lasting scent and a traditional shape, Norway spruce are perfect for those who appreciate the classic look and smell of Christmas.

Tips: To help your spruce retain its needles you need to place it away from any radiators/fires and water it every day.

Choosing the Perfect Christmas Tree – Nordmann fir

The star qualities of a Nordmann fir are:

Having soft foliage and an even shape – making it a joy to decorate!
Glossy, dark green needles that have a whitish/light blue underside

Who does it suit?

With its big needles which are lovely and soft, Nordmann fir are perfect for those with young children.

Tips: You will need a big space to show off a Nordmann fir in its full glory. For a 6ft tall tree allow approximately 5ft space.

Choosing the Perfect Christmas Tree – Lodgepole pine

The Lodgepole pine is an ideal Christmas tree due to its:

Bushy appearance and luscious long green needles
Branches that point upwards which hold a wonderful pine scent

Who does it suit?

With the best needle retention of them all, Lodgepole pines are perfect for those who like a long festive season and decorate their tree as early as possible.

Tips: High ceilings are a must for this tree; make sure you measure the height of your room where you plan to put the tree before you go pick one up from the forest!

Christmas tree

Caring for your Christmas tree

Preventing needles dropping and the green from fading on your Christmas tree requires a little bit of care and attention. Follow our top tips for a longer lasting, healthier real Christmas tree!

Cut off 2.5cm from the trunk to aid with water absorption
Put the tree in a stand with the trunk immersed in water
Keep your tree in a cool, dry space. Away from radiators and fires
Water your tree regularly

Why buy real?

Being experts in trees, woodlands and sustainable forestry, Forestry Commission England’s real Christmas trees are so good, even Santa has given his stamp of approval. But why buy real?

Real trees use 10 times fewer materials and five times less energy than artificial trees.
They are completely biodegradable.
They are grown in the UK
A tree is planted for every tree harvested
You’ll have a free baby sapling, to plant your own tree

It will also come with a certificate of authenticity to guarantee the trees quality, which will be signed by Santa himself.

There is so much more on offer when you buy your tree from the forest. You can meet Santa and enjoy a whole range of Christmas activities for both little and big kids to get into the festive spirit!

To find your nearest forest sales centre, or check out top tree tips on keeping your tree fresh and healthy over the festive holidays visit

Images: Forestry Commission, Crown Copyright.

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