The Bugwood Network

Selection and Care of Christmas Trees for the Home

David Moorhead – Professor of Forestry, The University of Georgia

1990. Leaflet 416. Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, College of Agricultural and Enviromental Sciences, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 U.S.A. (Revised 1997).


Needles are attached to branches by short pegs and are pointed, four-sided and spiral around branches. The cones hang down.

 Spruce cones down. Spruce Cones and Needles drawing.

White Spruce and Blue Spruce - These Spruce trees have needles that are 3/4 to one inch long and are blue-green (the Blue Spruce's needles are a richer color). The trees grow in Canada and the extreme northern United States. They are available on retail lots and in some choose-n-cut operations in north Georgia.


Needles are scale-like on old foliage and sharp and prickly on young foliage. Needles of Deodar Cedar are arranged in clusters on short branch spurs.

Norway Spruce.

Cedar/Cypress Branch and Foliage drawing.
Eastern Red Cedar.

Eastern Redcedar - The Eastern Redcedar has sharp pointed needles and scale-like leaves on the same tree. The color of the needles ranges from green and blue-green to yellow-green. These trees dry out rapidly after cutting and begin to lose needles, so they must be kept well-supplied with water. They are grown in the piedmont and coastal plain of Georgia and are available at local choose-n-cut operations, but are rarely found at retail lots. The Eastern Redcedar is a traditional southern Christmas tree.

Deodar Cedar - The Deodar Cedar has needles arranged in clusters on short spurs on the branches. The color of the needles ranges from waxy blue to blue-green. These trees are common as landscape plants and are available in limited quantities at some choose-n-cut operations.

Leyland Cypress - The Leyland Cypress is similar to the Red cedar, but the needles are softer and more scale-like. These trees are available at choose-n-cut operations and as live container-grown trees at nurseries.

Leyland Cypress.
Leyland Cypress.

Arizona Cypress - Similar to Redcedar and Leyland Cypress, Arizona Cypress has foliage that ranges from light green to bluish green. A rapidly growing tree, there are over 30 cultivars available. They are found at choose-n-cut operations throughout the state.

Arizona Cypress foliage.
Arizona Cypress.

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Last updated on Monday, December 09, 2002 at 03:11 PM
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