Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Differences Between Evergreen Trees: Spruce vs. Pine vs. Fir

Different Christmas Trees

With so many artificial Christmas trees out there, and all of them in different types of evergreen, it can be difficult to tell the variations apart. Spruce vs pine, pine vs fir – they can all be a bit confusing at times. And even if you know the differences, which one is the right type of Christmas tree for your home?

Well, to narrow it down a bit, the three most popular varieties of Christmas tree are fir, spruce, and pine. All of these are coniferous evergreens that feature close-set needles, but each also have their own characteristics that set them apart from the others.

Here are a few of the things to look for when comparing fir vs pine or spruce vs fir:

Fir

Balsam Hill Fir BranchesFir trees have individual flat needles that grow directly off of their smallest stem-like branches. The needles grow in a spiral up to the tip of each branch, giving fir trees a robust, lush appearance. Like our BH Balsam Fir, the tree’s silhouette is bushy and full, which doesn’t leave much room for ornaments, so a Fir is a perfect choice if you like a less-decorated tree.

 

Spruce

Balsam Hill Spruce BranchesLike fir trees, spruces have single needles connected to the stems. However, spruce tree needles are sharp and square-shaped. On a real tree, spruce needles easily break apart if you bend them. As a whole, spruce trees sport the traditional full Christmas tree shape thanks to their upturned branches, and can typically host slightly more decorations than firs. Much like our Vermont White Spruce tree, their strong branches can hold heavier ornaments, so load them up with your biggest ornaments with confidence!

 

Pine

Balsam Hill Pine BranchesUnlike the fir and spruce trees, a pine tree has needles that grow in bundles – you can typically see three to five needles bunched together on an upturned pine tree branch. However, pine trees have fewer branches, so they tend to look a bit more sparse than firs or spruces. This also means that pines offer lots of room to hang ornaments at the back and middle of their branches, allowing you to decorate to your heart’s content. Our Scotch Pine Tree is a perfect example of this tree structure, and is a great choice for those who love to decorate generously.

About the Author
Inspired by my passion for the visual arts and my years of experience in the field of design, I enjoy a life of style and artistry. I am a devoted follower of minimalism and I believe in the marriage of form and function. I try to live by these principles, from my subtle but classic fashion sense when it comes to clothes and jewelry, to the various projects I manage and work on in my professional career Influenced by the refined grace of Coco Chanel, the timeless beauty of my favorite city, Stockholm, and the new ideas and trends I read from design books, I try to infuse my life with elegance and sophistication. Join me on Balsam Hill’s blog to get my tips and advice on home design and personal style.