Christmas Tree Guide

Which Christmas tree is the perfect match for your home and personality?

It will soon be time to deck the halls and start feeling festive, so if you are thinking of buying a Christmas tree in the next couple of weeks, here’s the Sabella Interiors’ guide to the best tree to choose for your home and interior design style.

Best for… the traditional home: The Nordman Fir

If you picture a storybook Christmas tree in your head, it is probably a Nordman fir. With rich, deep green colouring, long soft needles and excellent needle retention, this tree has the classic bushy base tapering to a narrower top, which means it is an excellent choice if you have a larger property. The Nordman would look splendid in a good-sized drawing, living or dining room and there will be plenty of space beneath for Father Christmas to deliver gifts too.

Nordman fir real Christmas tree | Elegant trees

Best for… the maximalist decorator: The Noble Fir

With a beautiful blue-green colour, the Noble Fir shares the excellent needle retention and soft needles of the Nordman, but it is usually a narrower shape so works better in a smaller space. The bushy, layered style of the Noble means it has plenty of branches for those who have a substantial collection of decorations and love to make a big impact with their tree trimmings.

Noble Fir / Red Fir (Bareroot) Abies nobilis / Abies procera Christmas Tree

Best for…a contemporary look: The Blue Spruce

The Blue Spruce is especially striking when the needles are a stronger bluish shade, and this variety looks particularly stylish in a contemporary interior. It also suits those who like to do their Christmas décor a little differently – it looks especially lovely with a curated collection of silver or white decorations for a gorgeously frosted look, for example. However, the needles on the Blue Spruce are sharp and drop more readily than the classic firs, so you will need gloves to handle it, and this also means it may not be the ideal choice for homes with young children or pets.

Spruce/ Blue Diamond - Pine Lane Nursery

Best for… families: The Fraser Fir

With its dense, soft foliage, deep green rounded needles with a slight silvery sheen, and a wonderful festive aroma, the Fraser Fir has been the tree of choice in the USA for years, and it has quickly become a favourite in the UK too. The Fraser is bushy with plenty of branches for hanging decorations, but it is narrower than the other fir varieties, which means it can easily fit into an average-sized living room. Excellent needle retention and soft needles make it a winner for a family home with pets and children.

Pre-Cut Christmas Tree Varieties | Willey's Christmas Trees

Best for… sustainability: A pot-grown tree.

Any kind of real tree has a lower carbon footprint than an artificial variety, which uses fossil fuels to produce. By contrast, a real tree absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while it is growing. A locally and sustainably grown potted tree is one of the most eco-friendly choices as you can keep it in the garden for the rest of the year and bring inside every year until it gets too big. It is best to allow the tree to acclimatise to being back outside after Christmas by putting it outdoors during the day and bringing it in at night for a few weeks to harden it off. If you decide to plant it directly into your garden remember that some pine and fir trees can be enormous, so do check the mature size and spread of the variety you have purchased! A neat pot-grown variety is a lovely choice for a smaller home, or to use as a second tree in a conservatory or perhaps on the patio, adorned with a sprinkle of solar-powered fairy lights to bring cheer to your view outdoors.

Pot Grown Christmas Trees | Woodside Garden | Scottish Borders

Best for… those on a budget: The Norway Spruce

The Norway Spruce was always the classic Christmas tree – and was most probably the tree of your childhood – but it has fallen out of favour in recent years as new varieties with better needle retention have become more popular. It is still a great tree with a lovely traditional look and shape, but it can usually be picked up more cheaply than the fir varieties, so it is ideal for those who love a real tree but are trying to keep the Christmas costs down.

Norway Spruce For Sale - Garden Center Point

Best for… a fuss-free option: An artificial tree

A beautifully decorated artificial tree can look just as authentic as a real one, and although they do not have that delicious seasonal aroma, you can always use a Christmas candle to add a lovely fragrance to your living space. Although real trees are generally more sustainable in terms of their carbon footprint, it can be expensive to buy a fresh one every year, so a high-quality artificial tree can be a good investment; properly cared for, they should last for many years. To make it more sustainable than a real tree you will need to use it for at least a decade, so choose a classic shape and colour that will not date.

6 Ft. Christmas Trees - 6 Ft.-6.5 Ft. Artificial Trees

My top tree care tips

When you have found the perfect tree for your home, here is how to keep it looking lovely for longer.

  • Do not buy your cut tree until you are ready to bring it indoors and decorate, as this will keep it as fresh as possible.
  • Shake off any loose needles and debris when you unwrap your tree outside, and you will have less vacuuming to do later.
  • If you have bought a rootless tree, cut another inch off the trunk before putting it in a pot or stand as this will help with water absorption – or ask the garden centre to do this for you. 
  • Choose a strong, sturdy stand or pot and ensure the tree is completely secure before you start decorating, especially if you have children or pets.
  • Use a pot or tree stand with a water reservoir. Your tree will be surprisingly thirsty, especially in the first few weeks as it adjusts to being in a heated home, so top it up daily to keep the needles hydrated and prevent dropping.
  • Central heating dries trees out, which leads to wilting and needle dropping. Stand your tree away from radiators or log burners or keep radiators in the vicinity turned off. 
  • After Christmas, dispose of your tree responsibly. If it’s not a potted tree that can be planted out, you can chop the tree up to use on your log burner next Christmas (the wood should be seasoned in a dry place for at least a year ideally, as burning green wood releases polluting particulates) or take advantage of a Council kerbside recycling scheme.