House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Noble Fir vs. Fraser Fir: What’s the Difference?

Noble Fir vs Fraser Fir

Both Fraser Firs and Noble Firs are commonly sold as Christmas trees. As you might imagine, choosing between these two types of trees can be a bit challenging. For the uninitiated, they basically all look the same! However, there are some key differences you should keep in mind when purchasing one of these trees. They may look the same, but they are not exactly the same.

To help you choose the best option, we’ll explain the basics of each tree below and take a look at their differences.

divider 7 Overview of Noble Fir

Fraser Fir
Image Credit: OlyaLole, Pixabay

Noble Firs are extremely attractive because they have soft needles. Therefore, they are often a bit easier to decorate. They also look a bit “fuzzy,” and they are a good option for families with children. They have slightly upturned needles that are blueish in color.

They tend to be quite pyramid-shaped, and their branches are strong enough to support big ornaments. These trees are not very widespread, and they may be more difficult to find. Also, they are quite expensive. You can usually find them near the Pacific Northwest, and they are well-known for their long-lasting nature. However, they often need to be shipped long distances, so their long lifespan can be diminished by the time you purchase them.

  • Mildly weeping, pretty needles
  • Long-lasting
  • Strong enough for larger ornaments
  • Soft needles
  • Expensive
  • Not widely available

divider 7

Overview of Fraser Fir

Fraser Fir Trees outside the country barn
Image Credit: Gingo Scott, Shutterstock

Frasier Fir trees are known particularly for their needle retention. They tend to shed their needles less while in your home, making less of a mess. Furthermore, they also stay better looking for longer since they lose fewer needles. Their needles are blue-green and silvery.

While each tree grows differently, Frasier Firs are usually narrow and tall and fit well in smaller spaces. Plus, they tend to have larger spaces between the limbs, so they look best with larger ornaments. The main problem with these trees is that they are more expensive. In many areas, they are the most expensive tree. People who prefer “fat” trees will not like this tree on the list. It also doesn’t have a strong pine smell.

  • Narrow and tall
  • Works well with large ornaments
  • Retain their needles longer
  • Pretty needles
  • A bit too narrow for some people
  • Expensive
  • Pine needles are not fragrant

divider 7


Fraser Firs are easily more widely available than Noble Firs unless you live in the Pacific Northwest.  If you live somewhere else, they have to be shipped in. In the end, this leads to shorter lifespans and more expensive costs.

Therefore, Fraser Firs are sometimes your only option.

fraser fir
Image Credit: Jim Booth Designs, Shutterstock


Both of these trees technically have similar lifespans. Both will last longer than most other Christmas varieties, so you really can’t go wrong with either option. However, outside of the Pacific Northwest, you will be pressed to find a Noble Fir. Therefore, if they are shipped from outside of your area, their lifespan will be reduced.


Fraser Firs are usually narrow and tall. They are great for smaller spaces and those looking for a taller tree. On the other hand, the Noble Fir looks a bit more like the average Christmas tree. It is triangular and wider at the bottom. No shape is necessarily better than the other, so you’ll need to choose whichever option works best for you.

divider 7 Conclusion

Fraser Firs and Noble Firs are both used as Christmas trees. However, there are some significant differences. Fraser Firs are more widely available and are ideal for people outside of the Pacific Northwest, where Noble trees can be practically impossible to find.

Both species have long lifespans, which makes them a better option for those that keep their trees up longer. However, they have slightly different shapes, which you need to keep in mind. For those with less space, a Fraser Fir is preferred.

Featured Image Credit: (L) Menno van der Haven, Shutterstock | (R) ANGHI, Shutterstock


Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools