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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

How to Choose a Christmas Trees

Blue Spruce

The three main commercial Christmas trees are:Nordman Caucasian Fir (Abies Nordmanniana), Blue Spruce (Picea Pungens Glauca)and Norway Spruce(Picea Abies)

Preston Bissett Nurseries have sold Christmas trees since 1984 and can tell you with confidence the most commonly asked questions are:
Which one is the non drop ? Is there such a thing as a non drop tree ? Is a well watered late cut basic fir just as good as a non drop variety? What makes the wonderful fragrance of a true Christmas tree ?
The answers are simple:

Nordman Fir-A None Drop Tree

Nordman Fir
This tree is native to the Caucasian mountains which are between Russia and Iran. It looks a lusher deeper green than most other firs and its needles are soft almost plastic to the touch.
We frequently refer to this as the non drop tree. This tree has earned its reputation. The needles will eventually drop, like any tree brought into an unnatural environment. In a house and often sat by the radiator. It is much slower to drop. The needles are larger than most firs and therefore able to retain their moisture longer. This is probably why they do not smell as wonderful as the conventional Norway spruce.
If it is fresh cut and allowed to stand in water than it will retain its needles even longer. Almost without exception they grow into a good shape Blue Spruce(Picea Pungens Glauca)

Originating from the Rocky Mountains of North America. This tree is easily identified by the silvery blue grey pine needle. It has a frosted look about its appearance. It retains moisture reasonable well, especially when sold as a smaller potted tree. It has a unique smell not as pungent as the conventional Norway spruce, but more than the non drop. When the tree is kept moist the aroma is quite limited. Of all the trees it is quite spiky but it more than makes up for than with its winter silvery colour and even shape.

Norway Spruce(Picea Abies)
This is the original Christmas tree introduced into Britain in the 16th Century from Northern Europe and Russia. It became fashionable when Prince Albert brought it to Windsor Castle. It is the only tree that truly smells like a Christmas tree. The smell is the moisture or sap in the needle as it dehydrates in our warm houses. It has soft green needles that we have all learned to love, and its conical shape is as good as the grower who tended and pruned it in its infancy. This is the tree that truly smells of Christmas.

To have a successful tree it needs to be cut and brought into the house as late as possible, preferable stood in some water and the water needs to be topped up regularly.

Caring for your Tree.
Choose your variety carefully. Do not choose a spiky tree in a house with a baby. If you have the heating up high spend the extra and go for the best none drop and water it well.

Consider the size. A large tree will take up more moisture and space.

If you want the aroma then you need the traditional Norway Spruce.

Consider buying a potted or bare rooted tree, they will absorb moisture from their roots and stand the very best chance of not drying out. They can also be replanted in the garden after the festive season.

A lolly pop Olive tree decorated for Christmas

Alternatively if you are limited for space or worried about animals, children and fir needles don't have a fir at all choose a rich red pot and plant a topary Holly, Box or a lolly pop Olive tree and you will have a beautiful alternative Christmas display.

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