What the Fir? How to pick the perfect Christmas tree in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of John Tlumacki via Getty Images

By Lucas Henkel

December 4, 2023

Learn the difference between some of the most popular Christmas trees in Michigan—and where to find them.

MICHIGAN—Did you know Michigan ranks third in the nation for Christmas tree production? Our state supplies about three million fresh trees—with an annual net value of $30-$40 million—to the national market each year

This month, Governor Gretchen Whitmer proclaimed December 2023 as Michigan Christmas Tree Month, and encouraged residents to support tree farmers by picking up a Michigan-grown Christmas tree.

“Our farmers and family owned businesses work hard every year to bring holiday cheer into our homes,” Whitmer said in a press release. “I encourage Michiganders to support them by buying a beautiful Michigan-grown tree at one of the more than 560 Christmas tree farms in our state.” 

With so many options to choose from, finding the perfect Christmas tree can be a daunting task. Thankfully, we’re here to help. Read on as we break down the pros and cons of some of the most common types of Christmas trees available in Michigan. 

Still can’t decide which tree is best for your home this holiday season? Head over to the Michigan Christmas Tree Association’s website and take their Christmas Tree Personality Quiz.Then, when you’re ready, use their Christmas tree search tool to find a tree farm or pre-cut tree lot near you. Happy hunting, ‘Ganders! 

Douglas Fir

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images.

Pet lovers rejoice because there’s a Christmas tree out there for you. Douglas fir trees have soft, green needles and are non-toxic to pets. Their bendy needles aren’t sharp either, so you don’t have to worry about them poking you.

Fraser Fir

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

These trees feature blue-green needles with silvery undersides. Their strong branches will hold any size ornament you throw its way. These types of trees also have excellent needle retention—which means you’ll spend less time vacuuming up needles off the floor and more time relaxing this holiday season. 

White Pine

Photo Courtesy of Bert Cregg and Jill O’Donnell via MSU Extension

The white pine is one of two Michigan native conifers—trees that produce pine cones—commonly used for Christmas trees. They’re a great choice for folks with high ceilings or who want a larger tree. While white pines may be large and in charge, they have weak branches best suited for lightweight decorations. 

Scots Pine

Photo Courtesy of Bert Cregg and Jill O’Donnell via MSU Extension

A favorite among Christmas tree traditionalists, these trees are known for their dense, dark-green needles and rich, long-lasting pine scent. The picture-perfect pine has stiff branches to hold ornaments of any size and shape. 

Black Hills Spruce

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

This dark green tree has layers upon layers of short, stiff, blue-green needles. This type of tree has excellent needle and water retention—another low-maintenance option for those who want minimal hassle. 

Blue Spruce

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

As the name suggests, this tree has bright, silvery-blue needles. Its strong branches make it a great tree for folks with heavier ornaments, and the sharp needles ensure that your pets won’t be tempted to play with said ornaments. 

Korean Fir

Photo Courtesy of Vans Pines Nursery

If you’re looking for a more “exotic” tree this year, consider the Korean fir. This tree is native to Asia, but it flourishes in Michigan soil. It has dark green needles with a striking shade of silver underneath. 


  • Lucas Henkel

    Lucas Henkel is a multimedia reporter who strives to inform and inspire local communities. Before joining The 'Gander, Lucas served as a journalist for the Lansing City Pulse.



Local News

Related Stories
Share This