Let’s be honest, the artificial Christmas tree just doesn’t cut it anymore and that’s why you’re here. Although I couldn’t be more proud that you’ve decided to bring nature indoors this holiday, growing a Christmas tree takes time and an abundance of care.
Evergreens used for Christmas trees can take anywhere from 5 to 12 years to reach the average indoor height of six to eight feet.
The Norway Spruce, Leyland Cypress, Virginia Pine, and White Pine are the fastest-growing Christmas trees reaching the perfect height in less than five years.
There are a handful more varieties that still grow quicker than the average listed below. Even though you won’t be able to harvest your tree this holiday, you’ll be able to watch the Christmas spirit grow outdoors until it’s ready to come inside!
Oh Christmas Tree: Finding The Perfect One
Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree, which one of you should I take home with me?
If you’ve ever tried searching for a live Christmas tree, then you already know just how hard it is to pick the perfect one. Almost all species of evergreen trees can be grown and used as Christmas trees.
However, you’ll typically find five species of evergreens at your next Christmas tree farm or lot. More often than not, the real Christmas tree in your home will be a variety of fir, spruce, pine, cypress, or cedar.
Firs Have That Classic Christmas Tree Smell
The most popular species of fresh Christmas trees is the fir. Firs are known for their excellent needle retention and strong, festive fragrance. If you’re looking for a Christmas tree that can hold those delicate ornaments and smell like Christmas, a variety of fir is the best option for you.
Firs have flat, friendly, flexible needles that add a soft touch to your home for Christmas, but are often slower growing than the other evergreen species.
The Balsam firm is the original Christmas season staple, but it isn’t among the fastest growing. There are a few fir varieties listed below that are fast-growing and resemble the old-fashioned Christmas tree.
Spruces Grow Quickly And Look Elegant
Spruce trees are another popular option for the holiday season. However, their poor needle retention usually ranks them lower than other evergreen species.
Spruce trees are often chosen as Christmas trees for their elegant branches, fresh scent, and vibrant display of colors. Their needles are individually strong, but often fall before the season is up.
One variety of the spruce tree, the Norway Spruce, is the fastest-growing Christmas tree for you to plant in your backyard and harvest in a few short years!
For a more in-depth look at spruce trees, read our article on the best spruce trees for your yard.
Pines Have It All
Pine trees make the perfect indoor Christmas tree. Often, this species is faster growing than the other evergreens.
Pine trees do well in colder climates, so if you’re looking to plant a Christmas tree outdoors and you reside up North, the pine is the perfect option.
Every fast-growing pine variety is known for offering the best of both worlds: a fresh fragrance and natural needle retention.
Our article on the complete pine tree growth timeline will give you better insight into how to grow one in your own yard.
Cypresses And Cedars Are Pretty Fast Growing
The cypress and cedar varieties are often slow growers. However, there are a few outliers that grow faster than others.
If you’re weary about bringing the outdoors in, cypress or cedar is the safest choice for learning how to navigate fresh Christmas trees as they’re often better suited as more of a “neutral” tree for scent and feel.
Plant These 11 Fastest Growing Christmas Trees In Your Yard
Christmas trees, like any other tree, take time to grow. There are, of course, a few varieties that grow faster than the rest.
It is important to note that if you plan to grow a Christmas tree from seed, you’ll have to add several years onto the timeline. From seed to sapling, growth is slow, but that shouldn’t be discouraging! Nurturing your own Christmas tree from the seed to the holiday season is admirable.
However, the timelines listed below are meant for growing your Christmas tree from a sapling. Growing a Christmas tree can take as little as three years and sometimes as much as fifteen years, but according to the National Christmas Trees Association, they usually take an average of seven years to grow to the perfect height.
I get it, that still feels like a long time… like the time it takes for Christmas to come back around… several times.
Lucky for you, there are actually a few evergreens that can grow into the perfect Christmas tree in under five years!
Fastest Growing Christmas Trees Ranked: Complete Growth Chart
Here’s a quick table to summarize all of our info below – you can then keep reading for a detailed breakdown on each tree!
Fastest Growing Christmas Trees
|TREE||ANNUAL GROWTH||YEARS TO AVERAGE CHRISTMAS TREE HEIGHT (6’ TO 8’)||BEST HARDINESS ZONE||FRAGRANCE||NEEDLE RETENTION|
|Norway Spruce (Picea abies)||13” to 60”||3 to 4 years||2b to 7a||Very Good||Poor|
|Leyland Cypress (Cuprocyparis leylandii)||24” to 36”||4 years||6 to 10||Fair||Excellent|
|Virginia Pine (Pinus virginiana)||24” to 36”||3 to 5 years||4 to 8||Good||Fair|
|White Pine (Pinus strobus)||24” to 36”||3 to 5 years||3 to 8||Very Good||Excellent|
|Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)||13” to 24”||6 to 8 years||4 to 6||Very Good||Very Good|
|White Spruce (Picea glauca)||13” to 24”||6 to 8 years||2 to 6||Fair||Very Good|
|Scotch Pine (Pinus sylvestris)||12” to 24”||6 to 8 years||2 to 9||Good||Excellent|
|Canaan Fir (Abies balsamea var. phanerolepis)||12” to 24”||7 years||4 to 7b||Excellent||Excellent|
|Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)||12” to 24”||7 to 9 years||2 to 9||Good||Excellent|
|Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens)||12” to 24”||7 to 10 years||3 to 7||Good||Good|
1. Norway Spruce
The Norway Spruce is the fastest-growing Christmas tree. When young, the Norway Spruce grows rapidly. This evergreen can reach a marketable Christmas tree height in just three years!
At its best, a Norway Spruce can grow up to 60 inches a year but averages a steady two to three feet per year of growth when planted in your yard.
The Norway Spruce grows into the perfect pyramidal shape with strong needles and branches that point upward.
This Christmas tree offers a fresh, fragrant scent, but ranks poor in overall needle retention. To combat shedding spruce needles, harvest your Christmas tree closer to the holidays.
If you plan to plant a Norway Spruce for your next Christmas tree, the best time to plant is in the spring or early fall. Be sure to plant your tree in shallow, acidic soil.
The Norway spruce then requires at least six hours of sunlight and daily deep watering to properly grow. After the first year, your spruce should be established enough to slow down watering.
If you’re looking for a quick, easy tree to grow in your backyard to harvest for the holidays and decorate as you count the days down to Christmas, the Norway Spruce is the one.
2. Leyland Cypress
The Leyland Cypress is another one of the evergreen varieties that grow to average Christmas tree height in under five years!
This fast grower inches upward at two to three feet per year when grown in fertile soil with access to full sun. The best time to plant the Leyland Cypress is sometime mid-fall.
The Leyland Cypress has soft, feather-like needles that will last all season long. The evergreen aroma is faint and produces no pollen which is perfect for those with allergies!
The Leyland Cypress is commonly used as an ornamental tree. It’s perfect for landscapes and yes, it’s also perfect for ornaments!
3. Virginia Pine
The Virginia Pine is a popular choice for a Christmas tree. If properly planted, the Virginia Pine can become your next Christmas tree in as little as three years!
To properly plant your Virginia Pine, transplant in the spring in well-drained, acidic soil with access to full sun.
The Virginia Pine is the pioneer of plants because it is extremely hardy and easy to grow. In fact, the Virginia Pine will begin to amend the soil around it to improve growing conditions!
This pine does require pruning to maintain the perfect holiday shape. You can even use your pine prunings for wreaths and holiday greenery!
The needles of the Virginia Pine are short, soft, and produce a pleasant, piney scent.
4. White Pine
Next on the nice list for fast-growing Christmas trees is the White Pine. This evergreen has become a traditional tree for the holidays.
The White Pine can reach a height of six feet in only three years! This pine grows at a steady rate of two to three feet per year.
The long, soft needles are beared in bundles of five, one of the only pines that do this! They’re perfect for ornaments and other holiday greenery uses.
To plant your own White Pine, wait until springtime and place in well-drained, slightly acidic soil with access to full sun. However, if you live in a warmer climate, offer your pine some shade to ensure proper growth.
The White Pine is the best tree to plant to become your next Christmas tree if you’re looking for a pine that offers it all. This evergreen offers a fresh scent, great needle retention, and grows quickly!
5. Douglas Fir
If you’re looking for your very own picture-perfect, hallmark Christmas tree to harvest from your own backyard, the Douglas Fir is a great start.
The Douglas Fir, surprisingly not a true fir, is one of the most popular Christmas trees to date. This dense, dark, earthy evergreen hardly makes its debut on the nice list as a fast-growing Christmas tree.
Although it does not grow as fast as the ones listed above, you’ll still have a fragrant, fresh Christmas tree seven feet tall in only five years, slightly below the average growth timeline for Christmas trees.
The Douglas Fir tends to be adaptable but prefers full sun access and acidic, well-drained soils. Plant your Douglas Fir in late winter or early spring.
Their needles are soft and shiny giving this fresh Christmas tree an artificial feel, but it’s real! The needles tend to be weaker than the average but will hold up throughout the season.
No need to worry about weak branches, just search for some lightweight ornaments instead!
Glass ornaments may be too heavy and crush the needles of some real trees, so opt for lighter ones instead. RESSYYT 24pcs Christmas Ball Ornaments contains lightweight, shatterproof, and high-quality ornaments guaranteed to not crush your Christmas tree.
6. White Spruce
Spruce trees are often known to be slow to moderate-growing, but the White Spruce is a fast-growing evergreen that can be grown into your next Christmas tree! Spruce trees make beautiful Christmas trees because of their natural shape, rich color, and stiff needles. The White Spruce is known to add elegance to any space.
The White Spruce easily grows over a foot per year and will grow into the perfect Christmas tree height in six to eight years.
This evergreen closely resembles the Colorado Blue Spruce and is one of the strongest to hold ornaments and maintain needles while still releasing a slight evergreen scent.
The White Spruce is widely used as a Christmas tree and grows best in acidic, well-drained soils with access to full sun. The best time to plant your white spruce is in the late summer or early fall.
The branches of the white spruce are strong and perfect for hanging any heavy ornaments.
7. Scotch Pine
The Scotch Pine is an evergreen that is commonly grown as a Christmas Tree in the Midwest. This pine can grow up to two feet per year and can be harvested in six to eight years as a Christmas tree.
The Scotch Pine is easy to plant and maintain, and is highly survivable. If you’re new to the idea of growing your own Christmas tree, the Scotch Pine is the perfect start! Simply said, the Scotch Pine is the Christmas tree for beginners.
This evergreen will remain fresh all season long and has short, stiff branches perfect for hanging your delicate ornaments!
To begin planting your own Scotch Pine, wait until spring or fall and then transplant it into moist, well-drained, alkaline soil with full sun. Wait six years and you’ll have a seven-foot Scotch Pine Christmas tree!
9. Canaan Fir
The Canaan Fir is a variation of the Fraser Fir and Balsam Fir that is fast-growing, flawless, and fresh. The balsam fir is a timeless, traditional tree for the holiday season, but is often slow-growing. The Canaan fir is the fast-growing partner of the Balsam Fir!
This evergreen grows an average of one to two feet per year, and can be harvested at six feet in only seven years!
The Canaan fir is a combination of the two most widely known Christmas tree varieties and inherits the best feature of both. For example, the Canaan Fir combines the beauty of the Balsam Fir and the compact, needle retention of the Fraser Fir… but better.
The dark green, sturdy needles of the Canaan Fir make them perfect for hanging ornaments and the fresh fir scent creates a festive holiday scene in your home!
The Canaan Fir does best when planted in full sun, and moist, well-drained soils. It thrives in cooler climates and must be planted in the spring or fall.
Turn your home and backyard into a hallmark holiday movie with the Canaan Fir!
10. Eastern Red Cedar
Typically, cedars are very slow-growing, yet they make wonderful Christmas trees! The Eastern Red Cedar actually falls under the nice list of fast-growing Christmas trees. You’ll find that cedars are best grown in the South and are grown as the traditional southern Christmas tree.
The Eastern Red Cedar grows an average of one to two feet per year and can reach the perfect holiday height in seven to nine years!
The scent of this cedar is usually light and has small spreads of foliage with small needles that retain throughout the season. Usually, the Eastern Red Cedar branches do best with lightweight ornaments.
The Eastern Red Cedar should be planted in the fall to root and recover by the spring. Plant your next Christmas tree in acidic, moist, well-drained soils to grow at its fastest rate.
11. Colorado Blue Spruce
And at the end of the nice list is the Colorado Blue Spruce. The Colorado Blue Spruce is a wonderful Christmas tree candidate for your homegrown journey.
The Colorado Blue Spruce is often a versatile landscape tree, but also doubles as the perfect Christmas tree! You could even leave your Spruce uncut to debut as an outdoor holiday staple in the neighborhood… no need for a sparse charlie brown Christmas tree, get yourself a compact Colorado Blue Spruce Christmas tree!
The Colorado Blue Spruce has short, spiny needles that are a vibrant bluish-green color to add some holiday hues to your home! They are great for hanging ornaments but don’t often hang around until the holidays when harvested too early.
The Colorado Blue Spruce is native to the Rockies of Colorado – obviously – but will do well planted in any yard with moist, well-drained, acidic soils to grow one to two feet per year. This Spruce requires full sun and plenty of space to bush out.
Plant your Colorado Blue Spruce in the late winter or early spring and harvest your new Christmas tree in seven to ten years!
The blue spruces color is what makes it so iconic, and luckily we have a guide on how to make your spruce even bluer to really pop in your holiday display.
How To Grow Your Own Christmas Tree
The National Christmas Tree Association estimates that there are 350 million real Christmas trees growing throughout farms in the United States at any given time, so why not make it one more?
The first step to growing your own Christmas tree is to select one of the fast-growing varieties from above. Once you’ve decided on the perfect tree for your family, you’ll want to head out to your local Christmas tree farm or nursery and grab a sapling of your favorite fresh tree!
After returning home with your sapling (in the desired season for planting), having decided on the perfect spot in your yard, transplant your new sapling into acidic, moist, well-drained soil. Be sure to plant your new sapling away from structures and other trees to eliminate competition and slow growth.
The First Year of Growth
For the first year of growth, be sure to deeply water your new tree to help facilitate root growth and recovery.
You’ll want to check on your mini Christmas tree farm often to eliminate the growth of weeds, pests, and competitors.
Keep in mind that growing a fast-growing variety of evergreens is different from the average growing Christmas tree. Because of their rapid growth, your branches won’t grow symmetrically or in the perfect shape. To keep the shape, it is recommended that you shear your tree often after it has grown past the seedling stage.
Maintenance for Your Growing Tree
Fast-growing varieties require pruning twice yearly, while average-growing varieties require a prune maybe once a year.
Remember, your clippings can be used to make wreaths and other holiday greenery!
Once your tree has reached the desired height for your home, it is time to harvest. It is best to harvest your Christmas tree no more than a month before the holidays to ensure needle retention and a fresh aroma.
There are 8 ways to make your pine Christmas tree last longer, which we’ve put into a quick guide for you.
Water, Water, Water!
If you’re worried about keeping your Christmas tree fresh after cutting it, Miracle-Gro for Christmas Tree Plant Food will add the perfect touch to the water for your tree trunk. Remember that your fresh tree will soak up water quickly in the first few days of being cut, so check it often! One capful will keep your fresh tree hydrated and reduce the number of needles that drop!
You should add a bit of water to your tree intermittently, too. We have a whole article on why you should spray your Christmas tree with water, in case you want to learn more.
Enjoy your years of hard work for the festive holiday and start the journey on your next tree!
Fa La La Logging Off
Real trees are a renewable, recyclable resource, so it’s no wonder you’re looking to reach out into nature this holiday for your Christmas spirit!
To review, there are hundreds of varieties of evergreens that can be grown as a Christmas tree. This post has narrowed it down to the ten fastest-growing Christmas trees for you to grow on your own time!
The 10 fastest-growing Christmas trees are:
- Norway Spruce
- Leyland Cypress
- Virginia Pine
- White Pine
- Douglas Fir
- White Spruce
- Scotch Pine
- Canaan Fir
- Eastern Red Cedar
- Colorado Blue Spruce
These ten varieties will grow into your next Christmas tree in under ten years.
Don’t be the grinch that stole Christmas, grow a tree of your own this season! Santa’s presents will look perfect under your new fresh and festive Christmas tree!
Anderson, S., & Marcouiller, D. (2007). Introduction to growing Christmas trees. Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.
Johnson, J. E. (2020). Species for Christmas tree planting in Virginia.
Moorhead, D. J. (2009). Selection and care of Christmas trees for the home.
Sowder, A. M. (1949). Christmas trees—the industry. Trees. Yearb. Agric. US Dep. Agric.
Wray, R. D. (2008). Christmas trees for pleasure and profit. Rutgers University Press.
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