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Christmas Tree Shop

Selecting the Perfect Christmas Tree

Michael Fahey, Merrifield Plant Specialist and ISA Certified Arborist

Updated December 2021. This post was originally published in December of 2018.

The holiday season is upon us and it’s time to pick out the family Christmas tree. Other than the annual trip to take the kids to see Santa, there’s perhaps no better tradition than gathering the family together for a trip to the nursery to pick out the perfect tree, and then taking it home to decorate. For many, this is a fun and collaborative effort that results in getting just the right tree for your home. But for others, it can be a challenge to get everyone to agree on the best Christmas tree, especially with so many options to choose from. At Merrifield Garden Center, we carry thousands of high quality Christmas trees, which come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and textures. To help you navigate this forest of fresh-cut Christmas trees, here is a quick guide on some of the different varieties we have to offer so you can choose the perfect one for your home.

Fraser Fir, Christmas Tree

Fraser Fir

Fraser firs are one of the most popular Christmas trees we sell, and for good reason. The soft, sturdy needles are dark green with a silvery underside, and have that traditional Christmas tree aroma. Strong, dense branches are perfect for those of us who like to decorate a tree with a lot of ornaments. These trees have a uniform habit with a nice tapered shape from top to bottom, providing a consistent look to the tree on all sides.

Concolor Fir

Concolor Firs come from the mountains of Pennsylvania, and maintain the strength for holding ornaments of the Fraser Fir but with longer needles and a softer feel and appearance. They have a fuller and more rounded shape than the Fraser Fir, with silvery blue tinted needles.

Turkish Fir, Christmas Tree

Turkish Fir

My personal favorite, Turkish firs have a great look and feel to them. The needles are succulent and juicy with a nice, citrus-like fragrance. The top sides of the needles have a darker green color while the undersides have a silvery sheen, which creates and a nice bi-color appearance. Turkish firs have a very open, almost perfectly lateral branching habit, which gives them a nice layered appearance. This branching structure makes them perfect for holding larger ornaments.

Noble Fir, Christmas Tree

Noble Fir

Noble firs have many of the same qualities as the Turkish firs. However, their subtle fragrance is more in line with the traditional Christmas tree aroma.  While the needles at the ends of the branches of the Turkish firs are slightly weeping, the needles on the Noble fir curl up on the ends of the branches.

Douglas Fir, Christmas Tree

Douglas Fir

Douglas firs have softer needles and a lighter green color than their fir cousins. Their fragrance is more of a piney aroma. Douglas firs are sheared by the grower and therefore have a nice, consistent, pyramidal shape that many people enjoy.

Blue Spruce, Christmas Tree

Blue Spruce

Blue spruce have hard needles with a slight fragrance and a rigid branching habit, which allows them to hold heavy ornaments better than other trees. As their name implies, the needles have a blue cast. The combination of the tan hues of the stems with the vegetative buds at the ends of all the branches create an interesting contrast that many people enjoy

White Pine, Christmas Tree

White Pine

White pines have long, soft needles that are very fine, with a light green color. These trees have a less fragrant aroma than others. White pines are a great choice for people who enjoy a softer looking and feeling Christmas tree. They are a good choice for lighter ornaments, but do not hold heavier ones very well.

Christmas Collections for Every Home

The holidays are a special time at Merrifield Garden Center. From the moment you walk in the door, you’re immersed in the charming sights, scents and spirit of the season.

One of my favorite parts about Christmas at Merrifield is designing the shop, which showcases our hand-selected decorations for customers to enjoy. This year, we’ve created twenty unique themes throughout the store, each with its own style featuring different types of décor. Whether you visit our Fair Oaks location or one of our other stores, I hope you enjoy the themes our teams have put together this year!

I love all of this year’s themes, but I wanted to highlight a few of my favorites to give you a “sneak peek” of this year’s Christmas Shop. I would encourage you to visit the store to experience the magic of our Christmas Shop in person!

Pageant in the Woods

Our “Pageant in the Woods” theme features adorable animals and woodland themed decorations which appear to have wondered in off a forest path or jumped out of the pages of a story book. At our Fair Oaks store, we’ve designed two trees in this theme.

The “Woodland Tree” features textured bristle animals reminiscent of the creatures you might encounter on a quiet winter walk. These delightful critters look perfectly at home on a Christmas tree or in a woodland themed holiday display gracing a table or shelf.

Christmas Tree, Holiday Decor

Woodland Tree

The “Woodland Tree” features textured bristle animals reminiscent of the creatures you might encounter on a quiet winter walk. These delightful critters look perfectly at home on a Christmas tree or in a woodland themed holiday display gracing a table or shelf.

Christmas Tree, Holiday Decor

Felt Tree

Whimsical felt ornaments with a soft, wooly texture adorn our “Felt Tree”. This collection of lovable characters is sure to put a smile on your face, evoking some of our favorite classic children’s stories featuring dapper mice, sly foxes and other characters.

Christmas Tree, Holiday Decor

O Tannenbaum

Die-cut wood ornaments and décor with an Old World European style make up our “O Tannenbaum” collection. If you love charming details and the feeling of being in a cozy chalet, this theme is perfect for you!

Some of our featured décor from this collection are made just down the road in central Virginia! Our Inge-glas German glass, KWO German smokers, and the TRC Ginger Cottage collection are worth checking out.

Christmas Tree, Holiday Decor