With so many types of Christmas trees out there, it can be difficult to tell the variations of these evergreen trees apart. Comparing spruce vs fir vs pine trees can be a bit confusing at times. And even if you know their differences, which one is the right type of Christmas tree for your home? Let’s answer some common questions in this post.

Four artificial Christmas trees in a snowy backyard

What’s the Difference Between Pine and Evergreen?

There is no difference between pine vs evergreen because a pine tree is a type of evergreen tree, which means it has green foliage all year round. Evergreens do not shed needles as much as deciduous plants that completely lose their leaves during fall.

What’s the Difference Between Spruce vs Fir vs Pine?

The three most popular types of Christmas trees are fir, spruce, and pine. All of these are coniferous evergreens that feature close-set needles, but each have their own characteristics that set them apart from the others.

How can you tell the difference between evergreen trees? Here are a few of the things to look for when comparing fir vs spruce vs pine artificial Christmas trees.

Fir Trees

Fir 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 Fraser Fir®, the tree’s silhouette is bushy and full, which doesn’t leave much room for ornaments. A fir tree is beautiful on its own and is the perfect choice if you like a less-decorated tree.

Spruce Trees

Like fir trees, spruce trees 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, this type of Christmas tree can typically host slightly more decorations than firs. Much like our Vermont White Spruce® tree, their strong branches can hold heavier ornaments.

Pine Trees

Unlike 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 means that pine trees 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.

Here is a summary to recap the differences between fir vs spruce vs pine evergreen trees:

FirSprucePine
• Individual flat needles
• Bushy and full silhouette
• Ideal for minimal decorations


• Sharp, square-shaped individual needles
• Upturned branches
• Traditional full Christmas tree shape
• Can hold more decorations than fir trees
• Needles grow in bundles
• Full profile with widely-spaced branches
• Provides more room for ornaments

We hope this post helped you choose the right type of Christmas tree for your holiday centerpiece.

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