Your Guide to Fresh Cut Christmas Trees

Choosing a family Christmas Tree

“This tree is the symbol of the spirit of the Griswold family Christmas…”

We can’t all be Clark Griswold, and with luck, not all family Christmases go the way of National Lampoon! It is true, though, that the tradition of finding and bringing home the perfect tree for the holidays is a heartfelt practice in many families. What makes a fresh cut Christmas tree “perfect” will vary for everyone, and the type of tree you choose is driven just as much by memories and nostalgia as it is by the traits of the tree. At TERRA, we’re proud to offer a range of Christmas trees that are grown in Ontario by tree farmers who dedicate themselves to sustainably producing beautiful trees in a way that respects the land, and supports valuable wildlife habitat. 

Are Fresh Cut Christmas Trees A Responsible Choice?

We’re all thinking more about our choices as consumers these days. We want to know more so that we can do better. Maybe it feels counter-intuitive to think about cutting down a tree for a holiday. Are we damaging forests by harvesting trees for Christmas? According to the Christmas Tree Farmers of Ontario (CTFO) it’s quite the opposite! Christmas trees don’t come from forests. They’re a carefully planned and cultivated crop, with only 10 percent of the crop harvested each year. For every tree cut, there are ten more planted and growing. Tree farms provide safe haven for birds and wildlife, and function as powerful air pollution filters, too!

TERRA Trees from Ontario Tree Farms

Locally-grown plants are in demand at TERRA stores, and we strive to build relationships with Ontario growers and producers. The fresh cut Christmas trees you’ll find at TERRA store locations are all grown in Ontario by growers we’re proud to partner with. Here are the trees you’ll find in our stores this season.

Balsam Fir
Balsam Fir has a deep green colour and a beautiful natural fragrance.

Balsam Fir are the traditional long-time favourites of many families in North America. With lustrous, deep green colour, Balsam Fir have sturdy branches that can support the weight of ornaments, and soft needles that are pleasant to touch. It’s most beloved feature, though, is it’s heavy fragrance. Balsam Fir have moderate needle retention, generally lasting indoors for 3 to 4 weeks.

Fraser Fir
Fraser Fir has a rich, blue-green colour and spacious branches for easy decorating.

Fraser Fir have recently become the most popular cut Christmas Tree type in Ontario. Like Balsams, Fraser Fir have soft foliage, strong branches, and lovely fragrance. However, Fraser Firs tend to have a bit of a longer needle retention rate, and have shorter needles that allow for plenty of space for ornaments and decorations. The silver undersides of the foliage create an overall blue effect, for a dramatic look in a home.

Scotch Pine
Scotch Pine is the old-school choice, with dense form and long needles that are bright green.

Sometimes, you just want the original. Scotch Pine is the OG Christmas Tree for many people, with it’s dense triangular form and long, sharp needles. A Scotch Pine is a stand-alone statement, and it looks amazing in a space without any ornaments at all! But with lights and some understated decoration, this tree is the height of rustic charm. It also holds on to it’s needles for well over a month.

TERRA tree departments offer a wide range of tree types and sizes.
How to Care For Your Christmas Tree

Caring for a fresh cut Christmas Tree is much like tending to cut flowers. Your tree is a plant that is thirsty! Here are some tips to ensure that your tree stays fresh through the holidays.

  • When you pick up your tree, let our tree team give your tree’s trunk a fresh cut across the bottom. This opens the stem to allow the tree to draw in the water it needs more easily.
  • Use a tree stand that has a significant water reservoir. In the first few days, it’s normal for your tree to drink 4L of water or more every day! Be sure to check the reservoir often, and always keep it full of fresh water.
  • Consider using a hydrating formula, like Miracle-Gro for Christmas Trees to further support hydration and reduce needle drop.
  • Always keep your tree away from sources of heat or flame, such as fireplaces, radiators, forced air vents, space heaters, or candles. Use modern LED lights instead of incandescent bulbs for efficient use of electricity and no heat emission.
  • Use a timer so that lights come on as the daylight dims and turn off at bed time.
Fresh Christmas Trees can be big or small and still bring joy and cheer to a home for the holidays.

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