The RHS said selecting a real tree is "like choosing a family pet" and that "consumers should ideally source locally produced Christmas trees and speak with their garden centre/supplier to where possible source British Christmas trees".
RHS chief horticultural advisor Guy Barter said: "At this time of the year we are all thinking about buying a tree for our homes, which for most people can be a bit of a lottery. The decision on which tree to buy is generally based on which looks the best, but getting the decision wrong can lead to days of picking needles out of the carpet over the Christmas period.
"Choosing a Christmas tree is very much like choosing a family pet, there are criteria that you want in your tree in order for it to chime with your lifestyle. The information below from the RHS will help consumers make a more informed choice and kick off the Christmas season with a wonderful tree."
The RHS list Norway spruce as number one choice, ahead of Nordmann fir, blue spruce, Korean fir and Fraser fir.
The RHS warns cut trees only have a lifespan of four weeks, suggesting that 4/5 December is the earliest time to buy one, and that "buying a tree that has been hanging around for a while will only lead to disappointment".
The society also warns that real trees should "be brought into the home for the briefest time feasible, as the warm condition will eventually kill the plant".