When choosing a Christmas tree, the tree varieties that have the best shape, color and superior needle retention include: When choosing a tree, the Christmas tree varieties that have the best shape, color and superior needle retention include: Balsam fir, Canaan fir, Douglas fir, Fraser fir, Noble and Nordmann fir.Balsam fir trees have a nice shape with short, flat dark green colored needles. Their flexible branches make them easy to decorate. Canaan fir trees have sturdy branches which feature soft, round needles that are dark green on top with a silver accent underneath. The fragrance of the Canaan fir trees that makes it a great choice for your Christmas tree. Douglas firs can be purchased as forest cut trees. Forest cuts are grown naturally without shearing and shaping. Forest cuts are like "Charlie Brown" trees. Douglas firs have a nice shape, rich green color and good needle retention. They are very fragrant. You can keep that fragrance going by snipping off a small bit of some of the branches every day or two. Pick a branch that's hidden and cut off a little bit of the end. This will open the branch and release the fragrance. Fraser fir trees are noted for their shape, their dark green needles and nice scent. There is adequate space between the branches to make decorating easier. Noble firs feature upturned blue-green needles and evenly spaced branches. Nordmann firs have a very symmetrical shape, with open branches, making it easier to hang ornaments. They have very good needle retention. Regardless of the type of tree you choose, here are some basics. You’ll do well to go looking for trees knowing how tall a tree you want and how large a tree your tree stand will accommodate. Choose a tree at least a foot shorter than your ceiling. Measure the opening of your tree stand so you’ll know how big a tree base will fit in it. When choosing a tree, freshness is important. Run your fingers along the needles. They should feel soft to the touch. Shake the tree. A fresh tree will not drop a lot of needles. Adding a preservative to the water will help keep your tree fresher, longer. Placing a bag under the tree when you set it up, will help with cleanup once Christmas is over.