Christmas Tree Types

Which Christmas Tree Type is right for you?
fresh cut christmas trees
living christmas tree in a pot
cut your own christmas tree

Yes, that’s right! There is more than one Christmas Tree type or option to choose from when purchasing a Christmas Tree. Not only do you get to pick the size and variety of tree you want, but you can also choose the type. CreekSide Tree Nursery sells the following three Christmas tree types (CLICK EACH LINK TO GO DIRECTLY TO THAT TYPE): The Fresh-Cut Tree, The Living Tree, and The Cut-Your-Own Experience Tree. Read about each Christmas tree type and decide which is best for you.

Christmas Tree Type #1

The Fresh-Cut Tree

The Fresh-Cut (& Most Common) Christmas Tree Option:

Fresh-Cut Christmas Trees are the most traditional Christmas Tree and the most common Christmas Tree type when dealing with “non-artificial” trees. They come in all kinds of varieties, shades, and sizes, and most all of them are full of that perfect, evergreen fragrance! They’re available at both our Boulder and Niwot locations. Come see!

Fun Facts:

  • A Fresh-Cut Christmas Tree is a renewable resource.
  • Every Fresh-Cut Tree harvested will have two to three seedlings planted in its place.
  • It can take as many as 15 years to grow a tree of average retail sales height (6 feet), but the average growing time is 7 years.
  • A consumer must reuse an artificial tree for 20 years before it has a lower carbon footprint than a real tree.
  • There are about 15,000 Christmas Tree growers in North America, and over 100,000 people employed full or part-time in the industry.
  • There are about 1 million acres in production for growing Christmas trees. Each acre provides the daily oxygen requirements of 18 people.

How do I choose one?

Choose from a tree that grows naturally in Colorado’s climate, or from a more traditional style of tree that grew in a neighboring state. Native, Fresh-Cut Christmas Trees include Concolor Fir, Douglas Fir, Scotch Pine, White Pine, and all Spruce varieties. Non-native, Fresh-Cut Christmas Tree types include Fraser, Noble, Nordman, Caanan, and Balsam Fir. Sometimes, people are concerned about choosing a tree that wasn’t grown specifically in Colorado; however certain climates around the country are more apt to produce a more viable and less costly tree. These trees are grown in soils that lack specific nutrients for growing other crops and other harvests, but which are perfect for growing a Christmas Tree. Since these trees have been planted with the sole purpose to be cut down and set up inside your home, there is no need for these trees to be grown locally. And some of the most popular varieties, like Fraser Fir for example, do not grow in Colorado and thus, have to be out-sourced. Sometimes these truths are hard to hear, but we’re of the generation where we’re frank. And really, we think these are honest, but super fun facts!

Will they last?

Our Fresh-Cut Trees, whether you choose Native or non-Native, will last into the New Year as long as they are cared for properly. Please consult our Christmas Tree Care Guide for instructions on how you can give these trees their best chance!

Which varieties of Fresh-Cut Trees do we sell?

We carry the following Fresh-Cut Tree varieties: Fraser Fir, Noble Fir, Nordman Fir, Douglas Fir, Balsam Fir, Grand Fir, Canaan Fir, Concolor Fir, Scotch Pine, and White Pine.

Approximate Price Range:

Prices will vary tree to tree as everything is priced individually and tagged on the tree. However, our range of pricing is between $50-$650, with the most commonly sold trees at 6 to 8 feet tall, averaging between $100-160.

fresh cut christmas trees
living christmas tree in a pot

Christmas Tree Type #2 – Boulder Only

The Living Tree

Living Trees are only available at our BOULDER location.

As a fully stocked Tree Nursery year round, we have hundreds of beautiful, Living Christmas Trees in assorted sizes, prices, and varieties. Come see us: 3283 61st St Boulder, CO 80301

Fun Facts:

    • Living Trees not only provide seasonal enjoyment inside your home, but they’re an added investment to your outdoor landscape!
    • They’re an environmentally green choice.
    • They’re a great way to build traditions and memories with your family that can be enjoyed long after you purchase and plant it.
    • Many families plant a new tree each year and love watching it grow with the family.

How do I choose one?

Unlike the Fresh-Cut type of Christmas Tree, we limit Living Christmas Trees to varieties that will thrive in Colorado. Therefore, you will not see varieties of Fir, such as the Fraser, Noble, & Balsam, being offered as a Live Tree. We want you to have a tree that lives for generations to come, so we will only sell you a variety that it a proven winner in our harsh & ever-changing Colorado climate.

Will they last?

Our Living Trees, if watered and planted properly, will last a lifetime. Though anything “can” happen to a Living Tree that has to survive all the elements, these trees are grown and harvested for the long haul. We are happy to give you long term advice and the proper planting and watering instructions to ensure your success. And, all our trees come with a 1 year, 50% warranty. No exclusions! Click Here for more details.

Which varieties of Living Trees do we sell?

We carry the following Living Tree varieties: Colorado Spruce (blue and green), Norway Spruce, White Spruce, Columnar Spruce, Serbian Spruce Dwarf Spruce (such as Bakeri, Fat Albert, Hoopsi, Dwarf Alberta, Blue Diamond, and tons more!), Ponderous Pine, Austrian Pine, and White Pine.

Approximate Price Range:

Prices will vary tree to tree as everything is priced individually by variety and size. However, the range of pricing is between $25-$650, with the most commonly sold trees at 3-6 feet tall, averaging $99 to $299. (To note: The pot they come in will add 8 to 20 inches to their height. Traditionally in our home, we place a 6′ live trees on a crate or box to take full advantage of the height the pot adds. This brings the tree to approximately 8 feet, which looks amazing.)

Important facts when using Living Trees as your Christmas Tree.

    • You must care for the Living Tree according to our instructions. Please ask if you are unsure about how to care for your tree. We are happy to help!

    • A Living Tree will be heavier than any cut or artificial tree as it still contains its root system.
    • A Living Tree will usually be shorter because most families cannot handle the weight of the larger trees. As these trees have their root-system, they also have a bucket containing them. This adds weight and the amount of weight will increase as the tree gets taller. Most families choose a Living Christmas Tree that is between 3 and 8′ tall including the pot. Once planted in the ground, these trees will be a bit shorter.
    • It is a good idea to plan how you will get a tree with the average weight of 100 lbs in and out of your home. In many cases it can take up to two strong individuals to lift the tree, or it can be drug by the bucket using a tarp.
    • Typically people decorate the buckets (such as with fabric, a skirt, or burlap) and keep some sort of tray under the tree to catch extra moisture from your waterings.

Christmas Tree Type #3 – Niwot Only

The Cut-Your-Own Experience Tree

Cut-Your-Own Trees are only available at our NIWOT location.

Six seasons in, we started offering a Cut-Your-Own Experience at our Niwot location, offering an assortment of sizes, prices, and varieties. Come see us: 6932 N 95th Street, Niwot CO 80504

Fun Facts:

  • We are the only Tree Farm in Colorado that not only grows our own trees to cut, but who also brings in trees (some local, some non-native), to plant in our fields just so you can cut them down!

  • It’s been six years since we started the Cut-Your-Own Experience, which means thousands of families have made this one of their most favorite Christmas traditions.
  • It’s best experienced after dark, sipping on hot chocolate, wearing a headlamp, holding your bow saw, all the while crunching on a candy cane. We provide ALL the above. Really though, it doesn’t get better than that.

  • No appointment necessary.
  • All dogs welcome! Just leash and clean up after them.

Two Different Forests For Cutting


New for 2018, we have opened up access to a special field of real, live planted spruce trees. These have been growing on site here for 10 years. There is a mix of perfectly shaped spruce, to “Charlie Brown” style tree here. Every tree is priced individually and they range between $20-$650 based on their overall appearance, shape, and fullness. Sizes range between 5-12′ tall, and most are fairly narrow. The main difference between this field and the “Cut-Your-Own Experience” field is that these have a root system and are all home-grown.


This is the 6th year CreekSide has done a “Cut-Your-Own Experience!” And while we’ve had fabulous success and joy in doing it with thousands of happy customers, we want to be crystal clear as to HOW we do this. Trust us, we LOVE a good Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, but sometimes you just want something…more. So here are the facts, explained in detail:

Most of your favorite Christmas Trees are non-native.

Many of the most popular fir tree varieties do NOT successfully grow in Colorado, so we must be bring them in from out of state. We choose extremely reputable growers in both North Carolina and Oregon for these non-Colorado grown trees, and as we are a full scale Tree Nursery year-round, we pride ourselves in the quality of our trees. We are not a pop up lot who seels trees as an accessory to their core business. Trees are our LIFE. And we maintain to have the best of the best we can find, grow, and sell to you! And to be assuredly clear, we do NOT have the same suppliers as any of the local big-box, chain retailers. We’re tree people. And this is our specialty! With all that said, we bring in pre-cut trees from in-state and out-of-state to “plant” into our growing fields solely for the “experience” of cutting them down. If you were to dig the trees up, you are correct, there would not be a root-ball as they are not “growing” there; however, they were freshly cut and will survive well through Christmas with the proper care. Because of this, we are able to replenish our “Cut-Your-Own Experience” trees much quicker, as we do not have to wait for a tree to actually grow there. =)

So why even do it if it’s technically already cut?

Well, do it because it’s fun, because it’s closer than driving into the mountains, because it’s still a “green” route, because for each tree cut three more are planted in their place, because you can get a premium Fir tree this year and not have to settle for a pokey pine, because it’s better than plastic…or do it because your children will thank you for spending more time with them on an easy hike than all the hours it takes to drive into the mountains with a permit. Or, do it the traditional way and head up to the mountains…We realize our set-up is not for everyone and we are TOTALLY okay with that. We love all that mountain air too. We do.

But I’ve heard if you cut it from the roots, it’ll last longer than a pre-cut tree, right?

Sorry to be frank, but, wrong. There is a myth that if you cut down your tree directly from its roots, the tree is much “fresher” than ones that were pre-cut a week or two (or even three) before, and thus will always last longer. It just isn’t true, though it does seem logical, so how can this be? Believe us when we say that there is a small science to growing and harvesting trees successfully so that once they’re cut, they don’t die right away. We have seen families cut trees from the forest (and even at our Tree Nursery) that last only a few short days; but we’ve also had numerous families who’ve called us in mid-January to tell us their Fresh-Cut , non-native tree from our lot was still thriving! We leave the “cutting” part to the experts: those who’ve spent their lives in the Christmas tree industry, and we focus on the nurturing and overall care of the tree. Living or cut! During this time of year, w let the professional tree-harvesters do their job so we can do ours: Provide you with a high-end, as fresh as they come, cut Christmas tree. If you want roots hanging from the trunk, then buy our Living Trees. They’re our top specialty.

Which varieties of Fresh-Cut Trees do you plant, and then offer to cut down at your Niwot location?

We carry the following Fresh-Cut Tree varieties: Fraser Fir, Noble Fir, Nordman Fir, Douglas Fir, Balsam Fir, Grand Fir, Canaan Fir, Concolor Fir, Scotch Pine, and White Pine.

Approximate Price Range:

Prices will vary tree to tree as everything is priced individually and tagged on the tree. However, our range of pricing is between $50-$650, with the most commonly sold trees at 6 to 8 feet tall, averaging between $100-160.

Colorado Cut Your Own Christmas Tree
cut your own christmas tree