Around 8.5 million real Christmas trees are sold in Britain every year. To help make your purchase easier we've put together an at-a-glance guide on how to choose a Christmas tree and find out how they 'perform'. Remember that cut trees are a bit like cut flowers - lots of people use tree holders but they last the longest if you plant them in a large pot of mud and give them about a half a litre of water every few days. And try to avoid sticking the tree next to a radiator. Now click through the gallery to discover your Christmas tree options...
Also known as the picea abies - around 1.8 million of these are sold every year in the UK. This is the traditional British Christmas tree, but it has declined in popularity because its needles tend to drop - particularly in centrally heated homes. It's a good looking tree, with a pleasant smell and easy to dress. It is also cheap. Expect to spend between £24 and £34 on a two metre-high tree.
Also known as abies nordmaniana - around six million of these are sold in the UK every year. And this tree is growing in popularity. It has a good Christmas tree shape and a good dark colour. It holds needles well, even after a few weeks. Expect to spend between £40 - £55 on a two metre-high tree. There is shortage of bigger trees - a 9ft tree (2.75m) will cost up to £100.
Also known as the abies procera - around 100,000 of these are sold a year in the UK. Attractive colour - the needles are deep green on top and blue grey underneath. Hard to obtain because they are only grown for the UK market in West Wales. Expect to spend between £45 and £50 on a two metre-high tree.
Also known as abies fraseri - around one million of these are sold a year in the UK. This is the traditional tree sold in the USA. It has silver/green needles and a strong scent. It's tall and narrow, so useful for smaller, modern homes. Expect to spend between £30 and £50 on a two metre-high tree.
Around 150,000 Lodgepole pines (pinus contora) and 200,000 Scots pines (pinus sylvestris) are sold in the UK a year - mainly in Scotland. These are attractive, but the branches are close together and slightly harder to dress. Expect to spend between £30 and £40 on a two metre-high tree
Blue Spruce (picea pungens glauca) has very attractive blue grey needles and a narrow triangular shape. This holds its needles exceptionally well. Serbian Spruce (picea omorika, pictured) has blue green needles and is a little more slender and graceful shape. Expect to spend £40 on a two metre-high spruce.
Living potted trees are increasingly popular - around one million are sold a year. These are sold in containers with the roots intact and can be planted in the garden when Christmas is over. This sounds environmentally friendly, but think carefully: do you really need a gigantic connifer in your garden - they do grow rather large. living trees cost around £10 more than an equivalent cut tree.