The History of the Christmas Tree
The Christmas tree industry
Christmas tree farming is extremely popular in Canada, with more than 2,461 farms involved in the Christmas tree growth industry. The most Christmas tree farms can be found in Quebec and Ontario, although a large number of Christmas tree farms can also be found in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Among those farms, 43% focus only on Christmas tree growth, which represents one of the largest single-product farming activities in Canada, surpassing maple product farming.
Quebec farms allocate an average of 55 acres of land for Christmas tree growth, which makes them the largest in Canada for this product. According to the 2006 Census of Agriculture, Christmas tree farms in the other provinces are significantly smaller.
The Canadian Christmas tree market exported 1.8 million trees in 2008. These Christmas trees are exported mainly to the United States. Quebec is one of the biggest exporters although almost all Canadian provinces export Christmas trees, with the exception of Newfoundland, Labrador, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.
The different species of evergreens
Here at BL Christmas Trees, we grow two of the most popular kinds of evergreens found within Canada. Each Christmas tree has different characteristics.
The balsam fir (Abies balsamea) is a North American fir, native to most of eastern and central Canada and the north-eastern United States. It is perhaps the most popular of all kinds of Christmas trees.
It is tall and narrow, and tapers to a skinny point at the top. When the tree is young, it is covered with a lot of the sticky sap that we all know is common amongst evergreen trees. Its greyish-brown cones are 4 to 10 centimeters long. Its needles are a rich dark and shiny green and range from 2 to 4 centimeters in length. Depending if it is growing amongst a group of trees, or in an open space, the balsam fir will be either completely covered with branches (if it benefits from a lot of sunlight), or will have branches only at its top (if other trees around are blocking the sun).
The balsam fir has the ability to grow in various climates and temperatures, although it will perform better in the cold. That is why it is one of the most important conifers of the Boreal Forest. It may also be referred to as a Balsam, Canadian balsam, Eastern fir, or, Bracted Balsam fir.
The Fraser fir (Abies fraseri) is closely related to the Balsam fir. It is also a very popular choice for Christmas trees. It is a bit smaller than the balsam fir.
It is dense at a young age but tends to spread as it gets older. Its gray-brown bark is thin and covered with many resin blisters on young trees, becoming fissured and scaly with age. The foliage has a smell of turpentine. Its needles are arranged in spirals on the twigs but twisted at the bottom as they spread in two rows. They range in length from 10 to 23 mm and thicken around 2 mm. The cones are erect and form cylinders of 3.5 to 7 cm long. Their purple color turns light brown when mature.
The Fraser fir has the ability to grow on poor soils, like most evergreens, which makes it a great candidate for landscape projects where garden soil has an acidic pH level.
Even though the Balsam fir and the Fraser fir share many similarities, the geographic range of the two species does not overlap.
In conclusion, either the balsam fir or the fraser fir would make great additions to any home around the Christmas season. Both tree species leave plenty of room underneath for a ton of gifts!
The Balsam fir tree is one of America’s most popular christmas trees. For its dark green color and high density foliage.
Fraser fir is a dark blue-green color and has an excellent needle retention, making it a favored choice for the high-end Christmas tree market.
BL CHRISTMAS TREES has been growing trees for more than two generations. We wholesale Balsam fir and Fraser fir Christmas trees grown in our plantations to independent retailers and garden centers all over North America and overseas.
BL CHRISTMAS TREES is proud to be producing some ofthe finest cultivated Christmas trees available on the market.