There is nothing like a natural Christmas tree – the look, the scent and the very feel of a real tree are integral parts of the warm, homey atmosphere of our most festive season. Choosing the perfect tree is a cherished tradition in many families.
Your first consideration in tree selection is the size. Measure the spot for the tree, including width and ceiling height. Remember that several inches will eventually be cut off of the base. The stand, on the other hand, may add several inches to the tree's overall height.
Bear in mind that a tree looks smaller in the field than indoors. Be certain that the tree you select will not be too tall or too wide, blocking doorways or traffic routes in your home. Most standard rooms will easily accommodate a 7 foot tree; some older homes, or those with cathedral ceilings can accommodate a much larger tree.
Vivian Plantation has trees of various species in all shapes and sizes. Trees are sold according to height and species.
At Vivian Plantation you'll find a wide variety of species:
Spruce – Needles occur singly, are 1/2 to 1 inch long and are stiffer than fir trees. Spruce trees have good form, a pleasing scent and dense foliage, but they lose their needles quickly in warm rooms, with undeniably the poorest needle retention.
White Spruce usually has blue-green needles which are stiff and very sharp.
Black Spruce needles are very short and are blue/green in colour.
Colorado Spruce range in colour from green to a very attractive blue. The needles are 1 to 1-1/2 inches in length. These trees sell at a premium price.
Norway Spruce needles are darker green.
Balsam Fir* – A true fir, it has flat 1/2 to 1 inch long needles that occur singly. The needles are blunt ended, shiny dark green on top and silvery white underneath. The attractive colour, good fragrance and good needle retention make it very popular.
Canaan Fir – Needles are 3/4 to 1-3/4 inches in length. The majority of these unusual trees are green, however, 30 to 40% are an attractive blue colour. Needle retention is very good.
Fraser Fir* – Needles are 1/2 to 3/4 inches long, around the stem as a bottle-brush effect. They are green on the top with white lines on the underside. Needle retention is excellent. A very attractive Christmas tree with branches stiff enough to support a range of decorations.
Scotch Pine (or Scots Pine) – has traditionally been the most popular Christmas tree. It is grown in abundance in southern Ontario. Needles are stiff and formed in clusters of 2 and are 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 inches long. Winter colour ranges from yellow-green to blue-green and needle retention is good. Form is more open than with other conifers, but sheared trees can be very dense. They retain their needles from four to six weeks.
Table-top trees in a variety of species including Spruce, Canaan and Balsam are now available.
* Vivian Plantation has a selection of trees available if inclination or the time for a walk in the woods to harvest one for yourself are not an option. These include Balsam and Fraser Firs.
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