Design Concepts wins GOOD DESIGN Award for its work on Pelvalon's Eclipse System

Are you picking the safest Christmas tree?

December 04, 2014

A few years ago, Design Concepts worked on a project that required us to test the flammability of live Christmas trees.

We did a number of glorious live fire burn tests which gave us a comparison of the combustibility of different types of trees. There was an assortment of pine, spruce and fir. The picture above shows some of them in my barn, where we dried the 40 trees that were used in testing.

We did a number of glorious live fire burn tests which gave us a comparison of the combustibility of different types of trees.

Below is a summary of what I discovered about each type of tree. And remember that whatever type you select, it is important to keep the stem in water so the end doesn’t dry out and to minimize the drying of the tree.

Pine 

It was the quickest to dry and the quickest to support a fire. It still remained somewhat soft to the touch, even when dry. The needles had a moderate tendency to fall off when dry. 

Spruce

Took longer to dry, but when it did the needles fell off very easily. Some lost their needles before we were able to test them, leaving bare skeletons of trees, reminiscent of a forest dying of some terrible scourge. The needles were prickly even before they dried out. It would be a little uncomfortable decorating this tree. 

Not to be totally negative about this tree, they have a very nice look and the small branches are stiffer, better to support the weight of ornaments.

Fir

These took the longest to dry and remained soft even when they did. Also the needles had very little tendency to fall off. When they were dry to the point of being brown the needles were still soft and don’t fall off. This is certainly my first choice as a Christmas tree.