Blue Spruce, christmas tree, evergreen day, Fraser fir, Kelly Hoppen, Lodgepole pine, Nobel fir, Nordmann fir, Norway spruce -

How well do you know your evergreens?

I'm gonna take this life and make it evergreen  crooned Will Young after he won Pop Idol all those years ago. There is something magical about a plant that retains its green leaves all year round even in the depths of winter. This month it was Evergreen Day which celebrates all the many different types of evergreens; as although we all love the annual ritual of choosing the Christmas tree, not everybody knows their Blue Spruce from their Fraser Fir?

Evergreen Day was originally established by the National Arborist Association to appreciate the beauty of these trees without glittering lights and decorations. Green by name and green by nature, we felt we should make it our business to know our evergreens a little better so we did a little digging.

Kelly Hoppen recently shocked by announcing she has an artificial tree as she can’t cope with falling pine needles. For many purists out there, you just can’t however beat the homely smell of pine needles. We think that so long as there is a tree planted for every tree that is chopped down, it’s really just a question of personal preference.

So, what are the most common types of evergreen. The traditional tree in Britain has been for many years, since the Victorian times, the Norway spruce with short, bright green pointed needles that drop quite quickly. The non-drop variety however has rapidly gained in popularity in recent times. Here’s an at-a-glance guide at just a few of the more popular varieties:

  • The Norway spruce has been popular since the Victorian times. It has a lovely scent but quickly loses its dense spiky needles.  

Norway Spruce

  • The slightly more expensive Nordmann fir is probably now Britain’s biggest selling tree. It is less fragrant but it keeps its needles for longer. Reliably symmetrical in shape with dark, green, broad needles, the foliage is soft and glossy so it is ideal from protecting little hands from spikes.
Nordman fir
  • The Blue spruce is silver blue in colour and a little prickly. It holds its needles well and they are generally well shaped.

    Blue Spruce

  • The Fraser fir is similar to the Norway Spruce but it keeps its needles for longer. It also has a narrow base so is ideal for tight spaces. It is now the best selling tree in the US - with the Obama family famously pictured buying one for the White House – and it has a lovely aromatic fragrance.

  Fraser fir

  • The Lodgepole pine is native to the US and was rumoured to be used by Native Americans as the central pole for their wigwams. It has yellow-green needles that last well.

Lodgepine

  • The Noble fir has very strong branches and grey-green needles. It is a good choice for hanging heavy decorations on. These are however hard to find in the UK.

Noble fir

Finally, here are two top tips for looking after your tree:

  • Chop a couple of cm off the stump and put it in water straight way the moment you bring it indoors.
  • Water it every day – like many of us at this time of year they like to drink 😉. Try to position it away from radiators and open fires.

Now you’ve got your tree sorted and have admired it sufficiently in its unadorned glory – you can pop on your favourite Christmas CD and crack open the decorations!

From us all at Paint the Town Green, Happy Christmas!

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Paint the Town Green is a bespoke decorating company with its own range of high calibre eco-friendly paints which have the lowest possible levels of VOCs, making them a better choice for you and the environment. All water based, they are odourless, quick drying and come in three finishes: matt, wipeable or eggshell.

For more information about our paints, for a free colour consultancy or for a decorating quote, please visit our showroom at 39a&b Allfarthing Lane or call us on 020 8871 0531.