WHITE PINE: The largest pine in the U.S., the white pine has soft, flexible needles and is bluish-green in color. Needles are 2½ – 5 inches long. White pines have good needle retention, but have little aroma. They aren’t recommended for heavy ornaments. Also called the Concolor.
WHITE SPRUCE: The white spruce is excellent for ornaments; its short, stiff needles are ½ to ¾ in. long and have a blunt tip. They are bluish-green or green in color, but have a bad aroma when needles are crushed. They have excellent foliage color and have a good, natural shape. The needle retention is better in a white spruce than it is among other spruces.
FRASER FIR: The Fraser fir branches turn slightly upward. They have good form and needle-retention. They are dark blue-green in color. They have a pleasant scent, and excellent shipping characteristics as well.
COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE: Often used for stuffing pine-pillows, these sharp needles are 1 to 1 ½ in. in length. This species is bluish-gray in color. Needles have an unpleasant odor when crushed. This Christmas Tree has good symmetrical form and an attractive blue foliage. It also has good needle retention.
DOUGLAS FIR: These soft needles are dark green to blue green in color and are approximately 1 to 1 ½ in. in length. Douglas-fir needles radiate in all directions from the branch. When crushed, these needles have a sweet fragrance. They are one of the top major Christmas tree species in the U.S.
BALSAM FIR: These needles are ¾ to 1½ in. in length and last a very long time. This tree has a dark-green appearance and retains its pleasing fragrance throughout the Christmas season.
SCOTCH PINE: Approximately 1 in. in length, these needles don’t even fall when they’re dry, providing excellent needle retention. The color is a bright green. A common Christmas tree in the U.S., the scotch pine has an excellent survival rate, is easy to replant, has a long life and will remain fresh throughout the holiday season.
NOBLE FIR: These needles turn upward, exposing the lower branches. Known for its beauty, the noble fir has a long life, and its stiff branches make it a good tree for heavy ornaments, as well as providing excellent greenery for wreaths and garland.
Source: The Christmas Tree Association