There Are 11 Different Types of Christmas Trees—And They Each Have Different Perks

Each has its own unique shape, needles, color, aroma, and lifespan.

Whether you wrap yours in silvery tinsel and color-coordinated glass balls or deck it out in multi-colored lights and a smorgasbord of handmade trinkets collected from years past, decorating the Christmas tree is the kind of holiday tradition that memories are made of. But before you can break out the box of baubles, you need to pick the perfect tree.

Most of us select our Christmas trees at a passing glance. We parade down the aisles of local farms or Home Depots, pick what we think is the prettiest of the bunch, and call it a day before bringing it home to decorate during a Christmas movie marathon. But did you know that there exists an array of distinct cultivars of Christmas trees—each with its own unique shape, needles, color, aroma, and lifespan?

While there is an infinitely large number of species of evergreen trees across the globe, the National Christmas Tree Association lists 11 distinct types as the most common trees you're likely to find in local lots and farms. Outside of the obvious precautions like measuring your space, the organization recommends the following tips for selecting the right tree:

  • Consider the weight of your decorations: Certain types are better at holding heavy ornaments than others.
  • Look for signs of freshness: Run a branch through your enclosed hand. If the needles come off too easily, the tree is too dry. Brittle branches, discolored foliage, and a musty odor are also signs of an unhealthy tree.
  • Ask questions: Don't be afraid to question the retailer on what type of tree performs best in your climate as well as how often they get in new shipments.

Now that you know what to look for, here's a quick overview of the different types of Christmas trees available and what makes them worth picking.

READ MORE: UPtv Christmas: All the Details About the Network's Eight Original Holiday Movies