How Long Does It Take a Christmas Tree to Mature?

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It takes an average of 7 years for a Christmas tree to reach maturity.
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Most Christmas trees that are sold in the U.S. are not cut from forests, but are instead grown on farms around the country. How long does a Christmas tree take to grow? The answer depends on the species, as well as climatic and other environmental conditions. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, it takes an average of 7 years for a Christmas tree to reach the typical height when it is cut and sold.

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Types of Christmas Trees

Several species of evergreens are commonly grown and sold as Christmas trees. Among the most popular Christmas trees sold in the U.S. is the Douglas fir, which is blue-green in color and has a pyramidal shape. Native to western North America, the leaves of the Douglas fir give off a sweet scent when crushed. Despite its name, this species is not a true fir.

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Another popular choice is the Fraser fir, which is prized because of how well it retains its needles and for its pleasant and long-lasting scent. This tree's coloring is described as a dark blue-green. If you prefer a less intense scent, consider a Leyland cypress. If you are looking for a tree that can handle heavy ornaments, a Scotch or Virginia pine might be the species for you.

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Other types of evergreens used as Christmas trees include the blue spruce, which, as its name suggests, is prized for its blue tint, as well as white pine and Arizona cypress. Balsam fir is the species associated with a traditional Christmas scent.

Christmas Tree Growth Rate

The average Christmas tree height is 6 to 7 feet. How fast does a Christmas tree grow? It can take anywhere between 4 and 15 years for a tree to reach that size, says the National Christmas Tree Association. For example, both the Douglas fir and the Fraser fir take 7 to 10 years to grow to a height of 6 to 7 feet. This is considered an average growth rate.

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By contrast, Virginia pine has a slow growth rate because it adds less than a foot of new growth a year. The Leyland cypress, on the other hand, is a fast-growing species of Christmas tree, as its height increases by 3 to 4 feet every year with the right conditions. The Arizona cypress also falls under the fast-growing category.

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Where Do Christmas Trees Grow?

Christmas trees are grown in many parts of the country. The four states that produce the most Christmas trees are Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Different regions are known for different species. For example, many of the Fraser firs sold in the U.S. are grown in North Carolina. Douglas Firs are associated with the Pacific Northwest.

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Michigan, which ranks third in terms of Christmas trees harvested annually, has the distinction of being the state that grows the greatest variety of Christmas trees. This is thanks to its climate and the composition of its soil. Blue spruce, Douglas fir and Fraser fir are just a few of the evergreen species grown in Michigan.

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