Cypress Christmas Tree Varieties / Types

Click here for a PDF Print version to take with you to the farm or lot.

(With the PDF, you can print just the table or pages of the trees you like!)

Thanks to growing well in the heat (unlike firs) Cypress are the most commonly growth Christmas tree in the deep South. Their needles are soft to the touch, but the branches aim upwards, rather than straight out, and are not great at holding heave ornaments. Cypress tree varieties are on the page below. The summary table below has links to other types of trees. You may also like the automatic tree watering device that looks like a Christmas present, or the plain version. The links for photos and more info open new windows, so just close them to return to this page. Be sure to see the page about how to care for your Christmas tree and prevent needle drop to make your tree last longer!

Selection Guide to the Most Common Christmas Tree Varieties

(ALL trees are described on their pages, click on the links to Tree types - Firs, Cedars, etc.)
Ratings: 5= best, 4= very good, 3= average, 2= fair, 1= worst

  Firs Pines Spruces Cypress Cedars Misc









Leyland or Murray



Unusual and Potted
Needle Holding
(without water)
4 5 5 5 5 3 1 4 4 3 3 varies
Needle Holding
(with water)
5 5 5 5 5 4 2 5 4 3 3 varies
Firmness Branches 2 3 3 5 2 4 3 5 2 2 2 varies
Fragrance 5 5 4 3 4 1 3 3 2 2 4 varies
Needle softness 5 5 5 2 5 3 3 3 5 3 4 varies
Cost 2 3 3 5 4 3 2 1 4 3 3 varies

* Balsam Fir, Fraser Fir & Pine
needles generally cling onto branches even after boughs have become dry.

Cedars - Cypress - Firs - Pines - Spruce - Miscellaneous

Cypress Arizona Cypress needlesArizona Cypress

Arizona Cypress -

Native southwestern cypress with soft- textured gray-green foliage.  It grows to heights of 10-25 m (33-82 ft), and its trunk diameter reaches 55 cm (22 in). The foliage grows in dense sprays, varying from dull gray-green to bright glaucous blue-green. Arizona Cypress is found mainly in the southwestern United States (Arizona, Utah, southwestern New Mexico, and southern California, with a few populations in southern Nevada and in the Chisos Mountains of western Texas). It is also native to Mexico (Coahuila, Nuevo Le�n, Chihuahua, Sonora, Durango, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas and northern Baja California).



Leyland cypress needlesLeyland Cyrpress christmas tree photoLeland Cypress - Photo at right - foliageLeyland Cypress needles close-up is dark green to gray color; has upright branches with a feathery appearance; has a light scent; good for people with allergies to other Christmas tree types. The most popular Christmas tree in the South-East, the Leyland Cypress is dark green - gray in color and has very little aroma. The needles are soft and won't hurt even a toddler. Because it is not in the Pine or Fir family, it does not produce sap, so that those with an allergy to sap can still enjoy a Leyland as their Christmas Tree. If you live in very warm climates, like the Deep South, the Leyland may be your only choice if you want to cut your own tree. More info .



Murray Cypress - This is a variant of the Leyland Cypress that is said to have improved qualities for the growers. As a consumer, it is identical to the Leyland (no perceptible differences). Growers say it has improved disease resistance, grows faster, stronger branching, better tolerance for partially wet soil and has a stronger root system.




Carolina Sapphire Carolina Sapphire

Cupressus arizonica var. glabra - 'Carolina Sapphire'

Has steely, blue needles; dense, lacy foliage; yellow flowers and nice scent; smells like a cross between lemon and mint. More info .

- Grows well in the deep South so this may be a good choice if you want to cut your own tree at a choose-and-cut tree farm in the Deep South.

arborvitaeGreen Giant Arborvitae

Green Giant arborvitae is a big, fast-growing evergreen that will probably top out at around 60 feet tall but with a basal spread of around 15 to 20 feet. Its fast growth and natural exclamation mark form makes it ideally suited for screening,. It can be pruned to manage its size. It is a hybrid of Thuja standishii (Japanese Arborvitae) and T. plicata (Western Red Cedar). Part of Green Giant' s popularity is because it' s being used to replace Leyland cypress hedges that have begun developing disease problems across the southeast. So, if you get a rooted arborvitae, you can plant it after Christmas!

Potted Christmas treesNorfolk Island Pine

Norfolk Island Pine

A tree from the tropics, these make a great houseplant AND they look great decorated as a Christmas tree.

Australians occasionally use a native plant called Australian Christmas tree, (Nuytsia floribunda, aka moodjar) as a living Christmas tree.

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