||Picea abies Norway
This native of the high elevations of the Oregon and Washington Cascades has become the most popular tree in the west coast Christmas tree market. It is not easy to grow because of its exacting requirements. It requires deep well drained soil and generally doesn't produce salable trees on poorly drained soils or on the hot valley floor. The seedlings we grow are from our selected seed sources. It's strong branches can hold heavy ornaments and needles are retained a long time in the home if the tree is kept watered.
We introduced this native of Turkey to the Christmas tree business 40 years ago and it has proven to be a real winner. It's strong branches can hold heavy ornaments and needle retention in the home is excellent if the tree is kept in a water stand. Turkish fir is native to northern Turkey and is now being grown for Christmas trees in the US. This tree has two-tone needles that have a dark silvery-green underside, which is very attractive and has excellent keepability. They are becoming popular with consumers.
Turkish fir are sometimes confused with Nordman fir but is a very different species and quite different. The main difference is that the needles are flatter on the stem. Turkish needles radiate out more from the stem.
A tree farmer can grow this tree successfully in soils that will not grow good Noble, but can be sold for a Noble price.
Many people like this tree because of its shiny green needles and woodsy scent. It will grow on moist sites but does poorly on wet heavy soils. We grow seedlings both from Willamette Valley and northern Idaho seed sources.
Douglas-fir is grown by growers in valley soils where noble is not happy. It is easier to shear and produce than other species and makes a good basic Christmas tree. Wild collected seed will make a decent tree but in recent years seed from orchards, specifically for Christmas tree production, has become available on a limited basis and will improve the average quality of a plantation.
This is the most common tree west of the Cascades and is also found in certain areas east of the Cascades. Demand for Douglas-fir logs is generally good because of the high quality lumber and plywood that can be made from them. It grows at elevations from sea level to over 4500 ft. It will grow on a wide variety of sites but the volume of growth is much higher on the better sites with deep well drained soils. It does poorly on wet heavy soils and while it will survive on shallow dry sites the growth rate is slow. For good growth it requires full sunlight. Trees planted in shade if they live at all, will make unacceptably slow growth.
Logs of this species bring a good price on the log market because the lumber is durable, easy to work with and attractive. It is commonly found as an understory tree in Douglas-fir dominated forests and along streams. Because it is shade tolerant it can be planted under the shade of larger trees and will grow at a reasonable rate under these conditions. However it will grow much faster out in the open. It prefers moist sites but will not do well on wet heavy soils. It is a good tree to plant where laminated root rot has killed the Douglas-fir because it is somewhat tolerant to the rot.
This is another shade tolerant tree and is often found associated with western redcedar and Western Hemlock and has similar growing condition requirements but can also be found in dry locations. On good sites it can grow very rapidly and has good form. The wood decays very quickly. The logs bring considerably less that Douglas-fir on the log market.
This tree is native to the Willamette valley and the interior valleys of western Washington. In appearance it is similar to the Ponderosa pine found throughout the area east of the cascades, southwestern Oregon and California. However it is adapted the Willamette valley and strains from elsewhere do poorly here. It is unique in that it will do well both on heavy poorly drained soils and dry rocky slopes. It cannot compete with Douglas-fir on good sites between these two extremes. It cannot grow in the shade and must have full sunlight. It can be used in root rot infested areas if the opening is large enough to provide sufficient light for the pine to grow.
This tree is commonly found on dry sites such as rocky south slopes. The wood is not quite as durable as western redcedar and does not bring quite as high a price on the log market. It is probably not as tolerant to shade as the western redcedar but is a good tree to plant on harsh sites.