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

Noble fir vs Fraser fir

Both Fraser Firs and Noble Firs are commonly seen 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 for you, we’ll explain the basics of each tree below and take a look at their differences.

divider 7Overview of Noble Fir:

Fraser Fir
Image Credit: Pixabay

Noble Firs are extremely attractive because they have soft needles. Therefore, they are often a bit easier to decorate. They also look quite soft and 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 plenty strong enough to support big ornaments. However, they aren’t known for having larger holes, so they aren’t necessarily the best option for really showing off ornaments.

These trees are not very widespread, so they may be more difficult to find. Also, they are quite expensive. You can usually find them near the Pacific Northwest. Plus, they are extremely 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.

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

Overview of Fraser Fir:

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, as they lose fewer needles. Their needles are blue-green and silvery.

While each tree does grow differently, these trees are usually narrow and tall and they fit well in smaller spaces. Plus, they tend to have larger spaces between 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 smell very strongly.

Pros
  • Narrow and tall
  • Works well with large ornaments
  • Retain their needles longer
  • Pretty needles
Cons
  • A bit too narrow for some people
  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t smell strongly

Availability

Fraser Firs are easily more widely available than Noble Firs unless you live in the Pacific Northwest. That’s where these trees are grown, so that is just about the only place you can find them. 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.

Longevity

Both of these trees technically have similar lifespans. Both will last longer than most other options out there, 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 developed—Noble Firs may actually not live as long in practice.

Shape

Fraser Firs are usually narrow and tall. They are great for smaller spaces and those that aren’t looking for a huge 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 simply choose whichever option works best for you.

divider 7Conclusion

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

Both of these have longer shelf lives, which makes them a better option for those that keep their trees up longer. However, they do have slightly different shapes, which you need to keep in mind. For those with less space, you may want to invest in a Fraser Fir.


Featured Image Credit: (L) Menno-van-der-Haven, Shutterstock | (R) Jim-Booth-Designs, Shutterstock

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