painless shopping

The Best Real Christmas Trees to Buy Online

Photo: 20th Century Fox

Many of us have fond memories of cutting down our own Christmas tree every year or meticulously checking every option in the fragrant lineup at our local tree stand on chilly December nights. But this year, with the restrictions of coronavirus, having a Christmas tree delivered directly to you is more appealing than ever.

Ordering Christmas trees online means your blue spruce or balsam fir won’t sit out for days or weeks before you buy it. Instead, it will be cut, shipped, and delivered to your door within days, leaving you with far less heavy lifting, no roof-rack tying, and a greater likelihood of actually getting the tree up and decorated before Santa’s arrival.

Yes, it’s still early to be thinking about Christmas trees, but this year we’ve got a hunch that most holiday items (trees included) are going to sell out fast. To help you plan ahead, we found a bunch of online retailers selling live Christmas trees and shipping nationwide. Most haven’t started sending trees out just yet (even the freshest cut won’t last you two months), but in some cases, you can buy your tree now and schedule it to arrive anywhere between early November and the week before Christmas.

Editors’ note: We’ll be updating this list as more retailers become available (and as it starts to feel more reasonable to think about the holidays), so be sure to check back as we get closer to Christmas.

If you’ve ever bought produce that went bad the day after you brought it home, you know the importance of buying freshly harvested veggies and fruit. It’s the same with Christmas trees. These Fraser fir trees (known for their full body, boughs that hold their needles, and rich fragrance) are freshly cut within a day of shipment and carefully packed to retain freshness. They are specially selected for Hammacher Schlemmer from a tree farm in North Carolina. Trees range in height from four and a half to eight feet tall. You can buy one now and have it shipped starting the week of November 9.

Home Depot sells five varieties of trees, including Fraser firs and noble firs, which have lovely blue-tinted needles. Nordmann fir trees have waxy needles that stay green longer and are good for allergy sufferers since they don’t emit as much fragrance. Grand firs are one of the tallest varieties, while Turkish firs are known for their layered foliage and strong branches that can support even the heaviest ornaments. Trees are available between five and seven and a half feet tall. You’ll just need to wait a bit for Home Depot to update its tree inventory, which will happen closer to the holiday season.

A Tree at Your Front Door has been growing Christmas trees on the same plot of land in Lake City, Michigan, for the past 40 years. The family-owned business will ship your choice of Frasier fir, balsam fir (one of the most fragrant types of Christmas trees), or white pine, which has soft, long-lasting needles. The trees range in height from five to eight and a half feet tall. Check back starting October 1 to reserve yours.

Weir Tree Farms in Colebrook, New Hampshire, sells balsam firs, Fraser firs, and a hybrid of the two that it developed, called the Fralsam fir. Trees are available from three to seven feet tall and start shipping the week of November 23.

Located in southwestern Michigan, Christmas Farms offers free shipping on all its trees: Fraser firs, balsam firs, and Canaan firs, which are considered one of the best choices for freshness and needle retention. Trees are either six or seven feet tall and are available to ship now if you just can’t wait.

Shady Rest Tree Farm has a wide variety of Christmas trees, from the Nordmann fir to the Colorado blue spruce, which has silver-tinted needles that some even say are cat resistant. Trees are available in heights between three and seven feet. Shady Rest opens for the season on November 23, and all of its trees ship free via FedEx.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

The Best Real Christmas Trees to Buy Online