While white pines and Scotch pines were once the norm (and still are), other newcomers are quickly catching on and challenging the old stand-byes.
Some have been around for some time like the Douglas fir and white and blue Spruce but another recent popular variety is the Fraser fir that has caught on with a bang. While similar to the Douglas fir in needle size and overall tree shape, the Fraser fir has a darker green needle with a silver underside that makes it a standout.
The Douglas fir is a handsome and majestic tree with soft short needles making it a natural while the spruces have short and extremely stiff needles that are very uncomfortable to deal with. They are, however, one of the most perfect in shape and density.
This brings to mind one of our ventures to Eby’s in the early ‘60s and, upon exiting to have our tree measured and priced, followed a car with trunk open and a fresh-cut, powder-blue spruce with a red ribbon attached to it.
My wife and I had that “deer-in-the-headlight look” because there was signage everywhere to not cut “ANY TREE WITH A RED RIBBON ATTACHED” as they were prized and perfect blue spruce trees that came with a healthy price tag (even back then they were a couple hundred dollars while the norm was $6 to $10 for standard trees).
While we weren’t there to see the outcome of this huge mistake (as they were shuttled into a small barn), it always nagged me to wonder what decision was eventually made. It would have been embarrassing to say the least but more than likely an innocent mistake.