How to choose the perfect Christmas tree for your space

A Fraser fir is "the perfect all-round Christmas tree," according to Mark Rofe, owner of ChristmasTrees.co.uk. 

A Fraser fir is "the perfect all-round Christmas tree," according to Mark Rofe, owner of ChristmasTrees.co.uk. - Credit: Dobbies Garden Centres/PA

So, how do you choose your Christmas tree? Does it often end up too tall, too squat, too sticky-out or dropping its needles faster than you can get it through the front door?

You may need to measure up properly, but with the help of some expert tips, you can choose the best tree for any situation.

For a narrow space

A Fraser fir may be the answer, says Mark Rofe, owner of ChristmasTrees.co.uk.

“It’s the perfect all-round Christmas tree, with great needle holding abilities, a zesty aroma that you don’t get with the Nordmann fir, the UK’s most popular tree. It smells like Christmas and has beautiful dark green foliage with blue undertones. What makes this fir special is its slimmer shape, making it ideal for more compact homes.” It also has soft foliage, which makes it suitable if you’ve got small children or pets.

The Nordmann fir is the UK's most popular Christmas tree. 

The Nordmann fir is the UK's most popular Christmas tree. - Credit: Dobbies Garden Centres/PA

Alternatively, for a narrow space, try a slim grade Nordmann fir, suggests Marcus Eyles, horticultural director of Dobbies Garden Centres.

“The slim grade Nordmann fir is perfect for tight spots due to its narrow shape and looks stunning when dressed with lights and baubles. Sometimes known as the ‘non drop’ tree because of its excellent needle retention, it’s no surprise the slim variation is a popular hit.”

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For low ceilings

Marcus recommends a pot grown Norway or Serbian spruce.

“These small trees are a flexible choice and can be styled on the floor or on a low table, great for country cottages with low ceilings. Add some lights and baubles to create a twinkling festive effect, and make sure to keep your tree cool and well-watered.”

An even smaller option

The Norfolk pine Christmas tree is small but perfectly formed. 

The Norfolk pine is small but perfectly formed. - Credit: Dobbies Garden Centres/PA

“For a small space, consider a pot grown Picea ‘Conica’ or a small Norfolk island pine,” suggests Marcus. “These trees are perfect for those working with a limited amount of space as they are neat and compact but still a good enough size to make an impact. Style with string lights and add some small baubles to create a gorgeous festive centrepiece that won’t take up too much room.”

“Tiny Trees are so on trend right now and the blue spruce, with its lush and distinctive blue green foliage, is the perfect option for compact spaces,” recommends James Folger, founder of plant specialists The Stem (thestem.co.uk).

“It is small but perfectly formed, looks fantastic on a coffee table, or even a large enough dining room table as a centrepiece for when you have guests for dinner. Some of our customers like to buy a 45cm and 70cm to work together in front of a fireplace, for extra bushy loveliness.

“Too many decorations may look a little overwhelming on the blue spruce, so we prefer to use simple fairy lights for an elegant Christmas vibe.”

A blue spruce Christmas tree is an ideal option for a compact space. 

A blue spruce is an ideal option for a compact space. - Credit: The Stem/PA

For the eco-friendly

“The most eco-friendly way to buy a Christmas tree is to buy a pot-grown type. Grown in the pot they are sold in, the trees have a root system so they can be kept or replanted again after the festive period, where they will grow and then can be raised and brought in for next year – it’s eco-friendly and sustainable,” says Mark.

He agrees that a pot-grown blue spruce is a good choice. “They have a stunning bluish colour to them and have a good scent,” he says. The needles won’t hold as long as the Nordmann but will last longer than a Norway spruce, he adds.

For a large space

The premium grade Nordmann fir is Marcus’s top choice. “It’s the classic tree we all picture when we think of the festive season. With a full shape, glossy dark green needles and very low needle drop, this is the ultimate tree to make a statement and will transform any home into a Christmas wonderland.

“It’s also a great choice if you have high ceilings and want to fill the space as it’s one of the tallest trees on the market.”

For something a bit different you could go for a Korean fir, Mark suggests (no, they’re not imported, they’re grown predominantly in Scotland).

“The Korean fir is a more luscious green. Occasionally they will come with cones on the branches. They are a bit more expensive but they are really symmetrical.”

To give a wow factor outdoors

Maybe you’ve more room for a Christmas tree outside, whether on your porch or near your front door? This is where the Norway spruce comes in.

“It’s primarily an outdoor tree, creating instant impact in a city centre or town square,” says Mark. “Oslo sends the gift of a Norway spruce to London’s Trafalgar Square, in gratitude for our help during the Second World War.”

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