Christmas trees

 

Christmas trees were the original farm product of Redrock Farm.  From the original Scotch pines we have matured to growing primarily balsam fir, Canaan fir, Fraser fir, with some white spruce, blue spruces, Concolor fir, and white pines mixed in.   We also have white cedar for decorating wreaths and other goodies that Stephanie makes.

Christmas trees in winter

Christmas trees in winter

Listed below are more detailed descriptions of the Christmas trees and seedlings we grow on Redrock Farm.

Christmas tree sales: https://www.christmastrees.net/shop/index.php?l=product_list&c=74

Christmas trees-field of balsams

Field of Christmas trees

Christmas trees-9 foot balsams

Balsam fir Christmas trees nine feet tall

Balsam Fir – Abies balsamea
Balsam firs are what we grow best, since they are native to our area. Balsams are a small to medium sized, aromatic evergreen native to the cold climates of the northern US and Canada.

Balsam firs prefer moist, well drained, acidic soils with pH 4.0 to 6.0 and will grow fastest in full sun. They are generally found in cool moist climates where it rains 30 or more inches per year. Hardiness zones are 3 through 6.
Mature heights range from 45 to 75 feet with 20 to 25 feet of crown width. They have a shallow, spreading root system.
If you are going to start growing a few Christmas trees, they are the choice!

Canaan Fir – Abies balsamea var. phanerolepis
Canaan firs are sometimes known as West Virginia firs. They are native to isolated pockets in the mountains of West Virginia and Virginia and are closely related to both balsam and Fraser fir. They are a medium sized fir with a relatively dense, pyramidal shape and narrow spire-like top. Needles are ranked by twos, 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches long and not crowded on the branch. Color is shiny dark green to bluish green.
Canaan firs have been almost exclusively developed as Christmas trees but would make good landscape trees as well.
They will tolerate soils with less than perfect drainage, unlike Fraser firs, but still prefer moist, acidic soils with pH 4.0 to 6.0 and full sun. They will tolerate poorly drained soil, but grow very slowly. Hardiness zones 3 to 8.
Mature heights range from 40 to 55 feet with the crown width of 20 to 25 feet.

Christmas tree-Fraser fir

Large Fraser fir Christmas tree

Fraser Fir – Abies Fraseri
Fraser firs, also known in some parts as southern Balsam or she-balsam, are native to the southeastern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Like the other Abies, needles are two-ranked, 1/2 to 1 1/4 inches long and fairly tightly spaced. Color is shiny deep green to almost blue. They are pyramidal with a spire like top.
Fraser firs are known as the “Cadillac of Christmas trees” because of their needle retention and stiffer branches.
They require full sun and must have well drained, acidic (pH 3.5 to 6.5) soil for the best growth. They will not tolerate wet soil. Hardiness zones 4 to 7.
Fraser firs can reach 60 to 75 feet in height with crown spread of 30 to 40 feet under the right conditions.

Concolor fir – Abies concolor
Concolor firs, also known as white firs, are native to the mountains of the southwestern US into northern Mexico. They are pyramidal in shape. They have soft, long, flat, silvery-blue needles 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long that are curved slightly upward. When crushed, they smell like tangerines, giving the whole tree a citrusy smell.
Concolors are a widely used landscape tree and Christmas tree, especially in urban settings.
They prefer full sun and moist, well drained, acidic, sandy loam soils. Concolor firs tolerate drier conditions and drought better than other firs. Hardiness zones 4 to 7.
Crown height of a mature tree can reach 50 feet with a width of around 20 feet.
If you live in a drier area, this might be the fir to try.

Blue Spruce (Colorado Blue Spruce) – Picea pungens
The blue spruce is a broad, dense, pyramidal tree with stiff branches horizontal to the ground. They have sharply pointed needles 3/4 to 1 1/4 inches long that vary from dull green to silvery-blue in color.
This popular landscape tree is native to the intermountain states of the western United States. Other uses include windbreaks, hedgerows, nesting sites, wood for kindling, and Christmas trees.

Christmas tree-blue spruce

Blue spruce Christmas tree

Blue spruces grow best in full sun in moist well-drained loams with soil pH 6.0 to 7.5. Its hardiness zones are 3 through 8. It is the most drought tolerant of all the spruces.
Crown height is generally 30 to 65 feet, crown width 15 to 25 feet. The root system is shallow and wide spreading.
The blue spruce is probably the most adaptable and easy to grow seedling that we sell.

Norway Spruce – Picea abies
The Norway spruce is a broad, dense, pyramidal tree with stiff branches that droop below horizontal to the ground as it grows. It has dark green needles about one inch long that are four sided (appear round).
Another popular landscape, wind break, screen tree, or wildlife habitat, it is native to the European continent and is the most important conifer there.
Norway spruces are the fastest growing of all spruces. It prefers full sun and loamy soils with pH 5.0 to 7.5, but tolerates a wide variety of conditions, but not drought. Its hardiness zones are 3 through 7.
Crown height is generally 40 to 60 feet, with a width of 25 to 30 feet. Its roots grow deep and spread wide, making it very wind tolerant.

White spruce – Picea glauca
White spruces are a straight, tall evergreen native to a wide range in North America. Its needles are 1/3 to 3/4 inches long and slightly sharp. They are generally a silvery green and feel round. (are really four sided)
They are wildlife habitat and food in the wild and still a somewhat popular Christmas tree in the northeast US. They are also used extensively as lumber and kindling wood, especially in Canada where they grow throughout.
White spruces prefer full sun, but can tolerate some shade. They grow best in moist, well drained acidic soils with pH 4.5 to 7.0. White spruces have a medium growth rate. Their hardiness zones are 2 through 6.
Mature crown height is 40 to 60 feet with a crown width of 10 to 20 feet.
White spruces would grow well anywhere where the winters are cold and long.

White Pine – Pinus strobus
White pines (eastern or northern) are a hardy and very valuable tree that grows naturally in a large portion of the northeastern US and Canada. They have clustered, thin, blue-green needles that are 2 to 5 inches long. They have a more rounded, pagoda shape (oval pyramidal). They lose needles from year to year.
They are a valuable lumber tree, widely used a screens, and for wildlife habitat. Some like them as Christmas trees.
They grow best in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. They prefer moist, well-drained acidic soils, but can tolerate wetness or dry ridges. Hardiness zones 3 to 8.
This “monarch of the forest” can reach 200 feet, but generally grows 50 to 80 feet tall with widths of 20 to 40 feet.
White pines are more adaptable to many situations than most of the seedlings we sell.

White cedar

White cedar leaves

White Cedar – Thuja occidentalis
White cedar, northern or eastern white cedar or Arborvitae. They are a smaller sized evergreen with a dense, conical crown. Leaves are green and flat, scale like and closely overlapping.They are native to southeastern Canada and the northeastern US.

They are widely used for landscaping, especially hedges and hedgerows. Fence posts, fine lumber, and oil from the leaves are other uses. They are more adaptable to wet conditions than many other evergreens, often having some roots in a swamp and some roots in a dry location.
White cedar grows best in full sun but can tolerate shade. It’s often found in the woods in areas of high organic content. Soil pH should generally be 5.5 to 7. Hardiness zones 2 to 9.
They generally grow to about 40 feet tall and 20 feet wide at maturity, but tolerate shaping well.

 

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