Christmas Trees Vialii Style

Wednesday, 03 December 2014


Real Christmas trees are available form a range of suppliers now.  At Vialii Towers we much prefer them to artificial ones. Some people may argue that an artificial tree is better for the environment as you can use it for many years, but there is still a huge impact on the environment by making it in the first place, shipping from across the world and then disposing of it eventually. Plus a real tree smells wonderful and can be bought from local producers and even charities. We tell you which varieties of Christmas trees to consider, what to look for when you are buying and how to best look after them.

A real Christmas tree

A real Christmas tree is a feast for the eyes and nose!

The vast majority of real Christmas trees sold have their roots cut off. To lessen the environmental impact we’d therefore recommend buying from a supplier who plants more trees to replace those they cut. Trees with roots are sometimes available but they can only be housed inside for a short period of time before they come out of the dormant phase. That means they’d need a slow and gradual return back to the cold if subsequently planting outside.

Scots pine, a native option

Scots pine, a native option

Which Christmas trees should you buy?

If you are buying a real tree, what variety should you go for?  The answer depends upon the space you have, how worried you are about needle loss and how important a scent is. Here are a few of the most common Christmas trees you will find for sale and some of their key features:

Nordmann Fir 

It has lovely deep green foliage with slightly blue tinge underneath. It normally has nice symmetry and shape and is less likely to drop its needles. No wonder it is by far the nation’s most popular.

Norway Spruce 

Lovely scent but can be very prone to losing needles.  Best to hold off on buying until nearer Christmas if this is your choice.

Fraser Fir 

An ideal choice for smaller spaces due to a more compact pyramid shape.  Needles tend to be less prickly and so more family friendly. Has a gentle citrus scent.

Noble Fir

Has low needle loss, good branch firmness, lovely scent and soft needles. Down side is that it can be hard to find.

Scots Pine

A sturdy option and the only native tree you’ll find on sale. Good needle retention and highly scented.

Lodgepole Pine

Slender straight tree with yellow-green tinged needles.  Needle retention is generally ok.

Norway Spruce

Go for a Norway Spruce if it is scent you are after

Top buying tips

  • Before leaving home, measure your space where the tree will be going (including the height) so that you buy the right size of tree (allow for a stand and decorations!)
  • Ask the retailer where the Christmas trees were grown and when they were cut. You don’t want one that has been sitting around for weeks.
  • Give the Christmas trees a good shake. If the needles are already falling off you should choose another.
  • Lift the tree up. A freshly cut tree should feel heavy as it will have a high water content.
  • Don’t buy Christmas trees that’s pre-wrapped unless you can get it opened and re-wrapped. You need to see it out so you can see the shape, make sure it has good symmetry, and how it will fit in your space.
The Nordmann Fir is the most popular in UK

The Nordmann Fir is the most popular in UK

Tree care

A good quality, freshly cut tree can last up to 6 weeks if well looked after:

  • Saw a centimetre off the trunk before bringing it in to the house. This will help it draw up water.
  • Don’t place it beside a radiator, a cooler corner is better.
  • Water it everyday to minimise needle loss.
  • Remember to recycle your real Christmas trees once Christmas is over. Most councils will collect your tree and will then chip them and re-use the material as a mulch.

Other decorations

Christmas trees are not the only plants that can bring a bit of festive cheer to your home. Here are some suggestions for unusual and elegant plant based decorations to make or buy:

As lovely as traditional holly wreaths are, you can give them a more contemporary twist by including scented plants such as lavender or thyme.

Christmas wreath

Elegant white mistletoe berries give this wreath a contemporary feel]

Another modern take on a wreath is to use magnolia leaves.  These give a very elegant finish.

Christmas wreath

Magnolia leaves are far more finger friendly than holly!

How about this novel use for Brussel sprouts?  We’ve also seen these cases planted up with living succulents or filled with brightly wrapped chocolates. From £10.

Brussel sprouts wreath

Probably our favourite way to include Brussel sprouts in Christmas Day!

A stunning but simple table decoration can be made by placing holly leaves and berries in clean jars, adding water and topping with a floating candle.  Just remember to keep away from children and pets and never leave unattended.

Christmas candle jar

Plain jam jars would look just as eye-catching when filled with holly and floating candles

Terrariums are bang on trend this year and we’ll be hanging a seasonal bauble shaped one on our tree.  These can come with airplants or with scented spices and dried fruit such as orange, apple and cinnamon sticks. From £9.99.

Terrarium Christmas bauble

Eye catching and scented plant based Christmas bauble

Hopefully that has given you some inspiration to start thinking about Christmas trees and decorations for this year.

Merry Christmas from all at Vialii

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