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10 Best Artificial Christmas Trees That Look Realistic (2021 Review)

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The best artificial Christams trees should be sturdy, ease to put up, and simple to store. But most importantly, they should look realistic!

The more branch tips the better, as it’ll give a dense, luscious look to your tree. You’ll also want to consider the height, construction of the base and if it includes lights. 

I’ve significantly researched the best realistic artificial Christmas trees for this year. Here’s what I recommend…

What is the Best Artificial Christmas Tree?

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Comparing The Best Artificial Christmas Trees

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that's most important to you.

  • Best For
  • Height
  • Weight
  • No. of Branch Tips
  • Lights Included
  • Cost
  • Our score
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In-Depth Reviews of Our Recommended Artificial Christmas Trees

6 Foot ‘Natural-Snowed’ Christmas tree6 Foot ‘Natural-Snowed’ Christmas tree

Best artificial Christmas Tree

Appearance
Sturdiness
Assembly Ease
Ease of Storage
Overall
4.625
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6 Foot ‘Natural-Snowed’ Christmas tree Review

Specifications

  • Height: 6 ft
  • Weight: 8.5 kg
  • No. of Branch Tips: 499
  • Lights Included: No

Finding a dense artificial tree which still looks natural can be challenging, but this 6 Foot ‘Natural-Snowed’ Christmas tree manages to maintain a traditional, realistic appearance without any sparse patches.

Once assembled out the box, which takes a maximum of 15 minutes to slot the three separate sections together, the plushness is easy to achieve by distributing out the wire-centred branches. This process can take a little longer, but it’s worth taking the time to separate them as it really boosts the appearance of the tree. If your family loves to get a lot of ornaments on the tree, this will likely hold the majority of baubles in your collection – there’s certainly a lot of space to hang them from!

Also, the needles are extra thick which makes it a lot easier to decorate with precision – instead of struggling to place larger baubles and ornaments like on real trees, these branches don’t buckle under the weight and hold everything in place.

And there’s no issue with decorating with lots of lights either. Whilst putting lights on an artificial tree can sometimes be concerning, the PVC plastic needles are non-flammable so there’s no heightened fire risk.

Not only are there a lot of branches, and decorative pine cones as well, it’s also decorated to look as though snow has recently fallen and settled on the imitation-pine branches. This is done in a subtle way, with a slight glitter effect that glistens in the light like real snow.

At 6 ft tall, this is a large tree that definitely makes a statement; however, it can still fit into medium sized rooms as it’s only 120 cm wide. This makes it a lot more versatile – whether you want to put it in the hall or living room, you won’t find yourself brushing past it every time you move.

It comes with a wooden cross base, which is more attractive than the metal stands that a lot of artificial trees come with. It helps that the base looks nice, because it’s relatively visible – the bottom branches of the tree do leave quite a bit of space between the base and where they start. Of course, this area can always be filled with presents so it does still have its uses…

Pros

  • A great option for medium sized living rooms
  • Very dense and thick without large spaces between the branches
  • Has a natural look, with the fake snow as a lovely finishing touch
  • Easy for one person to set up

Cons

  • The height between the lowest branches and the base is quite large - although this can be filled with presents
  • Some users have reported branches beginning to wear after a few years of use
  • Although assembly is easy, it does take a while to get all the branches looking perfect
BUY HERE →

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7ft Snow Covered Pine With Crystals7ft Snow Covered Pine With Crystals

Best festive design

Appearance
Sturdiness
Assembly Ease
Ease of Storage
Overall
4.525
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7ft Snow Covered Pine With Crystals Review

Specifications

  • Height: 7 ft
  • Weight: 10 kg
  • No. of Branch Tips: 1,000
  • Lights Included: No

If you’re looking for a tree that won’t look tiny in a high-ceiling area, this 7ft Snow Covered Pine With Crystals is a great option for landings, hallways, and lofty rooms.

Measuring 7 ft tall, it’s perfect for places that are harder to fill with smaller trees; it can be quite tricky to find a tree that will really make an impact when you’re faced by high-ceiling rooms – classic trees often end up looking a little shrunken in the corner.

And yet, despite this tree’s substantial height, it’s not impractically large either. At 120 cm wide, it can still be placed in ‘high traffic’ thoroughfare areas, like the hall, without risking everyone brushing past and knocking off baubles each time.

It’s the type of tree that can just as easily be left undecorated, as decked with the entire family collection of ornaments. It already has some decoration in its own right, with small crystals on the branches that imitate snow and frost, as well as “snow”-covered pinecones.

The branches can certainly be decorated if you wish, and are substantial enough to support some fairly large baubles. The only small factor that lets the branches down is the fact that up close the pine ‘needles’ are quite clearly fake – they are made of strips of thin plastic instead of being individually moulded to look like natural needles. It’s barely noticeable from afar, but just worth noting that there are more natural-appearing trees out there (generally for a higher price).

With the stand as well, the cheaper price is apparent – the stand is a black ‘cross’ design with four feet. It does the job, but it’s not very attractive. Using some sort of cover for the stand is probably the best option, so that it doesn’t detract from the overall appearance of the tree.

Pros

  • Very wide and dense so it looks great in larger living rooms
  • No need to hook branches onto the trunk - simply spread the branches
  • Natural looking snow-effect on branches
  • Long lasting if stored correctly

Cons

  • Although the tree has a realistic look, the branches feel very artificial
  • Tree has lots of sharp edges and wires, so care is needed and gloves should be worn
  • Not particularly sturdy on its 4 plastic feet on the base
  • Not quite as thick as the pictures suggest
BUY HERE →

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WeRChristmas Pre-Lit Craford Christmas TreeWeRChristmas Pre-Lit Craford Christmas Tree

Best branches

Appearance
Sturdiness
Assembly Ease
Ease of Storage
Overall
4.525
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WeRChristmas Pre-Lit Craford Christmas Tree Review

Specifications

  • Height: 7 ft
  • Weight: 16.2 kg
  • No. of Branch Tips: 1,682
  • Lights Included: Yes

If untangling strings of lights in order to deck out the tree is one of those jobs that you’d just rather not do, the WeRChristmas Pre-Lit Craford Christmas Tree is one of the best artificial Christmas trees to come with lights already attached.

Imagine, the number of steps this small fact helps overcome – no need to buy lights or replace them, hunt lights down in the loft and untangle them, or spend time arranging them so that everyone is happy with how they hang.

In fact, one of the nicest things about this tree is how evenly spaced the 500 warm white LED lights are; it’s probably something that would be near-impossible to achieve otherwise.

You do need a fair amount of space to fit this tree into the house, as it stands at 7 ft. It’s best suited to houses with high ceilings or tall entryways, that have a bit more room to move around in – the widest part of the tree measures 132 cm.

It’s made of a combination of PE and PVC plastic, so there are a mix of textures visible on the branches. The outer branches have more defined pine needles, whilst some of the others are covered in green plastic strips. Overall, this still results in quite a natural aesthetic, and you can arrange and fluff out the branches to get them how you want.

With a total of 1682 branch tips, some topped with mini pinecones, the effect of the tree is full, balanced and bushy. It does take a bit of time to organise all the branches to get the tree looking even, but it’s a small price to pay for a tree that will look fresh for the entire festive period (and those of subsequent years as well!).

Once the Christmas buzz is over, with bellies full of leftover turkey and that confusing sensation of ‘wait, what day is it?’ clouding the senses, there’s nothing worse than having to spend ages taking down decorations. Fortunately, this tree makes it pretty easy to ‘strike the set’, with a foldable metal stand and branches that simply fold back up to fit into the box. It’s a quick process, which isn’t too groan-inducing in the post-festivity period.

Pros

  • Lights are well spaced and just use one plug
  • Branches simply hinge up and down - no need to attach each branch
  • Multiple light settings to suit the atmosphere

Cons

  • Relatively time consuming to set up and fluff branches
  • Inner branches are cheap looking, although outer branches are more premium
  • Finding the light connectors amongst the branches is tricky
BUY HERE →

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SHareconn Premium Spruce Artificial Christmas TreeSHareconn Premium Spruce Artificial Christmas Tree

Best for sturdiness

Appearance
Sturdiness
Assembly Ease
Ease of Storage
Overall
4.525
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SHareconn Premium Spruce Artificial Christmas Tree Review

Specifications

  • Height: 6.5 ft
  • Weight: 9.24 kg
  • No. of Branch Tips: 1,178
  • Lights Included: Yes

Gone are the days of needing to put aside a couple of hours in order to head to the garden centre and pick out (or even dig!) a Christmas tree each year. The SHareconn Premium Spruce Artificial Christmas Tree is a real time saver – not only does it live in the loft ready for use, it’s easy to assemble, simple to store, and with lights already attached.

It divides into three sections which fit easily inside the box again for storage, slotting inside each other without needing force. The foldable stand makes a stable base, with metal screws provided to make sure the tree is securely affixed.

Then, there are 330 LED lights, dotted evenly amongst the 1178 PVC branch tips, which add a festive glow without the frustration of untangling any strings of lights. Being LEDs, you’ll also never run into the Christmas nightmare of having to find and replace one broken bulb –one tradition that truly won’t be missed.

Made from high-quality PVC, the branches and needles hardly shed at all, but they don’t look quite as convincing as PE branches close up. In terms of appearance, this is a slightly less high-quality tree than some of the models that have PE needles, which can look like real pine needles, but this is reflected in the price.

It’s also marginally less ‘full’ than some other trees, which is clear when comparing branch-tip numbers with more expensive models; however, as long as you put in the work to distribute the branches evenly, there’s no reason that this 6.5 ft tree shouldn’t be a great Christmas companion.

Pros

  • Very easy to get set up and disassemble
  • Branches are strong and sturdy
  • Slim and elegant so great for smaller spaces

Cons

  • Some customers in the UK have reported receiving a 2 pin plug
  • The tree isn’t particularly thick, with gaps between the branches
  • No on/off switch on lights so need to be unplugged at the wall
BUY HERE →

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Casaria Artificial Christmas TreeCasaria Artificial Christmas Tree

Best small tree

Appearance
Sturdiness
Assembly Ease
Ease of Storage
Overall
4.375
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Casaria Artificial Christmas Tree Review

Specifications

  • Height: 4.6 ft
  • Weight: 3.96 kg
  • No. of Branch Tips: 470
  • Lights Included: No

If talk of 6 ft trees has you eyeing your low ceilings with despair, you’ll be pleased to hear that the Casaria Artificial Christmas Tree is a realistic-looking tree which stands at a very manageable 4.6 ft.

In fact, even if you don’t have low ceilings but just want something that doesn’t require a stepladder to decorate, this is a good contender.

Measuring 78 cm wide, this isn’t a tree that requires a lot of space – it’ll fit into the corner of the room or in a smaller hallway without being overbearing, but there’s still enough scope for a number of ornaments.

There are 470 branch tips in total, which is plenty for hanging baubles from and draping tinsel over. However, it’s a significantly smaller tree than many featured here. The number of branch tips is still correspondent to its size though, meaning that its combination of PE and PVC branches create a full-looking tree with varying textures and some realistic-looking needles.

It splits into three parts, which are easy to put together, and it’s unlikely you’ll even need to lift the pieces above your head so it’s a good choice for those who are concerned about mobility and assembly as well.

The stand is also straight forward to assemble – a classic black folding number with four legs, it easily connects to the bottom portion of the tree.

There are no lights included, nor decorative touches on the tree itself (frosted branches, glitter, pinecones, etc.), which might be great news for some and off putting to others. This lack of decoration is likely what keeps the cost down whilst allowing for the inclusion of some higher-quality PE branches, so it really depends what you prioritise in your search.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • The branches are easy to set up and look very dense
  • Comes with a very stable stand included
  • Lightweight at just under 4 kg so easy to move to the perfect spot

Cons

  • Some PVC needles may shed during assembly, requiring hoovering afterwards
  • Although assembly is easy, it does take a while to get all the branches looking perfect
  • Not quite as premium looking as others on the market
BUY HERE →

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WeRChristmas Nordmann Fir Christmas TreeWeRChristmas Nordmann Fir Christmas Tree

Best for easy assembly

Appearance
Sturdiness
Assembly Ease
Ease of Storage
Overall
4.5
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WeRChristmas Nordmann Fir Christmas Tree Review

Specifications

  • Height: 6 ft
  • Weight: 2.54 kg
  • No. of Branch Tips: 783
  • Lights Included: No

Of course, the main danger of buying an artificial Christmas tree is that it will look artificial; some models just haven’t quite mastered the art of realism.

In terms of an authentic appearance, the WeRChristmas Nordmann Fir Christmas Tree is one of the best artificial Christmas trees available. With a name like ‘Nordmann Fir’, it’s pretty evident that the manufacturers have put some thought into helping it resemble a real tree as well.

Its ‘trunk’ is brown and textured, simulating the roughness of a real Nordmann Fir, and the way the branches are distributed is very natural. It basically feels like the tree you’d be hoping to spot in the garden centre if you went looking for that ‘idyllic’ Christmas tree.

The mix of PVC and PE tips help it look slightly less uniform, and therefore more authentic, by combining different textures. There are 783 tips in total, which may not sound like a lot for a 6 ft tree, but having less branches can often appear more realistic. It really depends if you’re looking to have a bushier tree, and don’t mind if it looks a little artificial, or are striving to achieve that realistic look.

It still offers plenty of space to hang ornaments from, but in terms of setting up it’s more important than ever to spend time spreading out and distributing the branches. The placement of the branches and tips is crucial, as there are less of them, and it can look a little sparse if not arranged well.

Pros

  • Assembling the tree is easy as it consists of just 3 sections
  • Has a very realistic look
  • Hinged branches make disassembly quick and straight forward

Cons

  • Arranging and spreading the branches takes a long time
  • The tree stand is lightweight and may not always be particularly stable
  • Not quite as full as the pictures suggest
BUY HERE →

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SHATCHI Alaskan Pine Artificial Christmas TreeSHATCHI Alaskan Pine Artificial Christmas Tree

Best tall free

Appearance
Sturdiness
Assembly Ease
Ease of Storage
Overall
4.5
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SHATCHI Alaskan Pine Artificial Christmas Tree Review

Specifications

  • Height: 8 ft
  • Weight: 6.6 kg
  • No. of Branch Tips: 1,100
  • Lights Included: No

For Christmas parties and events, show-stopping pieces are all the rage. And, when it comes to show-stopping pieces, it doesn’t get much bigger than the SHATCHI Alaskan Pine Artificial Christmas Tree, standing at a lofty 8 ft tall.

Sure, this probably isn’t the most practical tree for most standard households, but, if you’ve got the space, it’s certainly one way to inject some of that desirable Christmas awe into proceedings.

It separates into three sections, with a foldable metal stand included as well. Therefore, setting up is pretty quick; it’s more the process of fanning out the branches that takes a while.

There are 1100 branch tips in total, which can make it look a little more sparse than some of the denser 6 ft trees which have more tips; however, this is why it’s so important to take the time to arrange the branches well.

The price is very reasonable, considering the sheer height of the tree, and is kept down by the use of PVC needles instead of PE ones. From a distance, it’s hard to tell the difference, but close up it can be a little obvious that this is an artificial tree.

On the other hand, a nice point about this PVC construction is that the PVC is made from 100% recycled material, so there is less guilt tied up with buying a plastic model.

Finally, when it comes to decorating this tree, the branches can be a little less strong than some other models; if you have any particularly weighty baubles, you might find that they pull on these branches more than they would on some other trees.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble with its 3 sections
  • 8ft size is perfect for large sized rooms
  • Comes with a strong and well made metal stand

Cons

  • A lot thinner than others on the market
  • The branches are unable to support heavier ornaments
  • The needles are obviously plastic
  • There’s a large gap between the bottom branches and the floor
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Unomor Artificial Christmas TreeUnomor Artificial Christmas Tree

Best small tree with lights

Appearance
Sturdiness
Assembly Ease
Ease of Storage
Overall
4.35
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Unomor Artificial Christmas Tree Review

Specifications

  • Height: 4 ft
  • Weight: 3.6 kg
  • No. of Branch Tips: Not listed
  • Lights Included: Yes

Small homes don’t have to miss out on the joy of having a tree.

Even if you have no available floor space, the Unomor Artificial Christmas Tree stands at just 4 ft tall making it the best artificial Christmas tree for placing on tables or desks.

It comes with both LED lights and fibre optic strands, creating a combination of constant, warm white light alongside colour-changing optical fibres. There are several settings for the lights as well, so they can be put to flash, fade, or be permanently on, depending on the mood and level of festivities.

When it comes to changing the light settings, the 7 options can be flicked through using the control unit so it’s very easy to find one that you like. The only slightly negative is that you can’t turn the lights completely off from this unit, so the tree needs to unplugged at the wall when you don’t want the lights on. This makes plug-placement a bit more of a priority, as it can be frustrating to constantly have to access a hard-to-reach socket.

The green needles are made from PVC which is long-lasting; however, due to the tree’s shape and the arrangement of the branches it is quite clearly artificial. Of course, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing and depends on personal taste; it’s certainly still an attractive and festive decoration to have in the house.

Pros

  • The branches are sturdy enough for heavy ornaments and decorations
  • 7 light settings to choose from for any atmosphere
  • Beautiful fibre optic lights offer an elegant look
  • The included metal stand is strong and sturdy

Cons

  • Not a particularly long cable so controlling the lights is tricky
  • The fibre optic lights aren’t evenly distributed around the tree, with more at the top and bottom and less in the middle
  • No on/off switch on lights so need to be unplugged at the wall
BUY HERE →

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VEYLIN 6ft Artificial Christmas TreeVEYLIN 6ft Artificial Christmas Tree

Best natural looking tree

Appearance
Sturdiness
Assembly Ease
Ease of Storage
Overall
4.45
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VEYLIN 6ft Artificial Christmas Tree Review

Specifications

  • Height: 6 ft
  • Weight: 4 kg
  • No. of Branch Tips: 700
  • Lights Included: No

Large artificial trees can be expensive, especially if you’re after one that looks sufficiently realistic. The VEYLIN 6ft Artificial Christmas Tree strikes a good balance between value for money and realism; making it possible to get a larger tree without spending an absolute fortune.

Standing at 6 ft tall, there are 700 branch tips in total, all covered in dark green PVC plastic ‘pine needles’.

Once all of the branches are sufficiently fanned out (and this can take a while) the tree looks thick and doesn’t have any unattractive sparse patches. Of course, as mentioned, the branches are PVC, without any PE plastic mixed in to add texture or depth.

Understandably, as a budget-beating tree, there is a limit on just how realistic it looks. However, from a distance, and especially once decorated, only the plush green colour is really visible.

There are just four parts in total: three tree sections and a base, so there’s little risk of the components getting separated during those 11 months when it’s not in use. Everything fits back into the box, ready for easy storage and hassle-free re-assembly at Christmas time.

It can shed quite a lot when put up, so being prepared with a hoover on hand can help get rid of any bits of PVC that might be lying about after assembly.

Pros

  • Thick and dense branches give it a lovely natural look
  • The thin design makes it perfect for smaller rooms
  • Compact and lightweight so very easy to store

Cons

  • The stand is fiddly to put together and a little flimsy
  • Branches aren’t sturdy enough for heavy ornaments
  • Takes a long time to properly spread the branches
  • Sheds a lot during assembly
BUY HERE →

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Snowtime Green Pine Slim Artificial Christmas TreeSnowtime Green Pine Slim Artificial Christmas Tree

Best lightweight tree

Appearance
Sturdiness
Assembly Ease
Ease of Storage
Overall
4.375
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Snowtime Green Pine Slim Artificial Christmas Tree Review

Specifications

  • Height: 5 ft
  • Weight: 2.24 kg
  • No. of Branch Tips: 236
  • Lights Included: No

The Snowtime Green Pine Slim Artificial Christmas Tree is the best slimline Christmas tree. It’s the perfect option if space is limited but you don’t want a tiny tree.

It stands at 5 ft, making it a great height, but it isn’t excessively bushy or wide so slots neatly into any corner.

With densely packed outer branches, this tree both looks and feels remarkably realistic. The folded branches require very little shaping and arrangement, and it all packs away compactly into sections.

With a sturdy plastic stand included, this 5 ft Christmas tree is a safe and stable addition to your living room.

It’s definitely going to be the best artificial Christmas tree for you if you don’t want something tiny, but are a bit short on space.

Pros

  • A great option for smaller spaces thanks to the slimline design
  • Arrives in just 2 parts so assembly is very easy
  • Plenty of space to hang decorations and ornaments

Cons

  • It's lightweight so it can be easy for children and pets to knock over
  • The area where the 2 sections join may be a little more bare than the rest of the tree
  • The top section may wobble if touched, but it's sturdy enough if left alone
BUY HERE →

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Things to Know Before Buying an Artificial Christmas Tree

Artificial Christmas trees are great for so many reasons. They’re easy to set up and lightweight, they don’t drop needles, and getting one means you don’t have to lug a real, spiky tree around.

Getting a real tree can lead to disappointment; once it’s home you might realise that it’s wonky or spindly, that the decorations won’t stay on, or that it has a ‘bald’ spot. This just simply won’t happen with an artificial tree. Once the branches are sufficiently spread out it will be bushy and full year after year, with plenty of space for decorations. Plus, there are some extremely realistic models on the market nowadays.

They might be artificial, but there’s still a forest-worth of options to choose from. There are a few things to consider when trying to choose the best artificial Christmas tree, so I’ve put together the following information to help you make an informed choice:

Buying the Right Size

I think it’s fair to say we all like the thought of having a massive Christmas tree. Our inner-child still seems to think that’s a really fun idea. But then we’re faced with the reality, and something that really doesn’t sound fun: having to squish a huge tree into the house, and maybe even needing to lop the top off so that it fits.

So, let’s avoid extra stress during the festive season, and start by getting the tape measure out.

Find out how much space you realistically have to offer your new artificial tree. A lot of us like to get the biggest tree we can, but when it’s brushing the ceiling it doesn’t tend to look very good.

You’ll want to get something which is, maximum, around six inches shorter than the ceiling.

It’s worth thinking about the width too. You don’t want your tree to over-dominate a room. It’s no good if the bushy branches cover half your TV screen – how will you watch all those classic Christmas repeats?

For this reason, slim-line trees are very popular in smaller living spaces – they make it possible to have a tree, but tuck away into corners much better than standard trees.

Also, make sure the space you’ve reserved for your tree has a plug nearby so you don’t have to trail cables for lights all around the room – this doesn’t look festive, will potentially get chewed by the dog, and people will inevitably trip over them.

Building the Tree

Most artificial trees nowadays are divided into 2 or 3 sections and don’t require any tools to put together.

The stand usually slots into place, and the tree sections simply fit into each other. There are usually some sorts of screws or similar on the base, to secure the tree and stop it falling over.

After the initial assembly, the most important thing is to ‘fluff up’ your artificial tree. Trees fresh out of the box look sad, flat and sometimes fit for the bin, but they only need re-arranging!

Pull those branches out, spread the tips, and you’ll be amazed how it goes from a depressingly squished sight to a full and handsome tree.

Don’t rush this process – it can sometimes take a surprisingly long time, but it’s better to be thorough so that you’re happy with the results.

Lighting and Extras

The idyllic idea of decorating the Christmas tree creates lovely festive imagery: carols, mulled wine and laughter. A blissful evening enjoyed by all…

The reality can often be quite different: the kids are bored, you’re tangled in lighting, the bauble hooks are missing, and everyone’s nerves are getting more frayed by the second.

That perfect Instagram photo does not materialise because no-one is speaking.

Artificial trees could help make Christmas a bit less stressful, particularly if you get a pre-lit tree.

Pre-lit trees prevent the frustration of dealing with the lights that got slung, tangled, back into the box last year.

Plus, they automatically look good with no effort, as the lights are already artfully and perfectly arranged on the tree.

A general consensus is that you need 100 lights per foot of tree – so six-footers should have around 600 lights. It’s a matter of personal taste, but that can mean a lot of lights to buy separately.

It’s possible to find pre-lit trees with a lot of lights already attached, or a sparser covering if that’s what you prefer. Particularly useful is the fact that one pre-lit tree only requires one plug, whereas running several sets of lights on the tree can sometimes be a logistical nightmare when it comes to sockets.

Amongst the products features on the page there are also artificial Christmas trees with extras such as cones, glitter, artificial snow and other festive touches.

These trees have the added benefit or not even needing to be decorated if you don’t feel like it. Simply fluff, plug and the job’s done. Freeing up more time for more internet-shopping and mince-pie-eating…

A Sturdy Base

The appearance of the tree is important, but so are the basics like having a sturdy base. You might ultimately cover it with wrapping paper or a sleeve because you don’t like how it looks, but it’s an important part of the tree.

A flimsy base that doesn’t support its own weight will likely be a disaster. You don’t need the added stress of picking baubles off the living-room floor on Christmas morning because the cat decided to scale the tree in the night and knocked it over.

A sturdy metal stand is best for ensuring the tree won’t topple over or lean when your ornaments are in place.

The majority of artificial Christmas trees come with either a plastic or metal base. If, after a season, you feel that the base that came with your tree isn’t up to the job, you can either weight the base down, or buy a heavier one separately.

Spend As Much As You Can

Cheap artificial trees can look extremely fake and their quality is often poor. I know it’s a drain on your waning Christmas-time wallet, but the best artificial Christmas trees will last decades so it’s worth forking out a little bit more.

One of the benefits of buying an artificial tree is keeping it long-term. The better ones can last ten years or more, so it can work out cheaper in the end.

Cheap trees are packaged with a host of problems. They may not be fire retardant for starters and the flimsy tinsel branches just don’t cut the festive look. You need as many tips as possible and plenty of branches too, something often lacking with cheaper models.

That said, we don’t all have hundreds to shell out on a decorative tree and some of the cheaper trees are actually pretty good – generally, manufacturers are getting better with design and materials.

The most important thing to look out for is that the tree is fire retardant.

Secondly, try to go for a tree with a mix of PVC and PE branches – these are generally more expensive, but they look more realistic thanks to the mix of textures and branch shapes.

Flame Retardant

You must look for a flame-retardant tree. Real trees dry out and become flammable, but cheap artificial trees can cause fires too.

If the tree you’re looking at doesn’t specifically state that it is flame retardant, contact the manufacturer to ask. If you’re not sure, it’s better to give it a miss. It’s not worth the risk when there are definitely safer models out there.

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Artificial Christmas Tree FAQs

Are artificial Christmas trees better for the environment?

You might think that real trees are better for the environment, but this isn’t necessarily the case.

Artificial trees don’t leave huge carbon footprint – they can be used for ten years or more which offsets its transport and construction costs. On the other hand, real trees create a yearly carbon footprint. Not everyone lives near a garden centre and all those trips to buy a real tree add up.

Am I allergic to my Christmas tree?

Quite possibly.

Real trees can emit scent and pollen when they warm up even during winter.

If you find your eyes are watering, or you’re sneezing and itching at home then it’s time to try an artificial tree.

What are ‘tips’ on an artificial tree?

Tips refer to branch off-shoots and their combined density on a tree. More tips mean a fuller denser look, fewer tips means its less bushy.

In general, more tips are better, but if you have lots of decorations a lower tip count is just fine.

It’s worth checking the material of those tips too. They are usually made from PE or PVC. PVC needles are attached to branches, whereas PE tips are part of the whole tree. PE usually looks more natural and lasts longer, depending on how you look after the tree.

How do I put my artificial Christmas tree together?

This depends on the type of tree you purchase. Most artificial trees will dismantle into a few separate parts that can be slotted together. Put the bottom of the tree into the stand, then add the remaining ‘trunk’ sections on top. These are often labelled, so you know which order to stack them in.

Fluff the branches by separating the wires evenly. Attach the branches to the stand, using the smallest branches at the very top of the tree. Take a step back to see if there are any sections that look uneven.

How should I put lights on my artificial Christmas tree?

Putting lights on the Christmas tree is the source of many family fall outs, but this task is actually relatively simple. For a standard light display, you should use 100 lights for every 1 ft of tree. A 4 ft tree looks great with 400 lights.

Divide the tree into 3 equally-sized triangle sections. Plug in the first set of lights and put the last bulb at the very top of the tree. Weave the lights back and forth across a small vertical section of the tree. Once you reach the bottom, plug in the next set of lights and do the same for another section until the whole tree is covered in lights.

How can I clean my artificial Christmas tree?

Artificial trees can accumulate dust from standing in storage, so they will need cleaning before you decorate. Use an upholstery bristle brush attachment on your vacuum if you have one.

Test a small section at the bottom to check the brush can clean the tree without damaging the tips. Handheld vacuums are better as they have less power.

Start vacuuming from the top of the tree to the bottom, gently removing dust without allowing any part of the tree to be sucked into the hose.

If you don’t want to vacuum your tree or you don’t have a handheld vacuum, wipe down the tree using mild soap and water. Wipe the branches and the trunk, working from top to bottom and rinsing the cloth regularly.

Where should I store my artificial tree?

We all tend to put our fake Christmas trees in the loft, but this is the worst place for them.

Temperature changes up there cause problems. It’s boiling in the summer, freezing in the winter and everything in between during spring and autumn. These changes create condensation which damages the plastic and metal components.

You may also have rodents or other visitors up there that chew or nest in the cosy branches. This leads to a tatty looking tree in December.

The best places to store your artificial Christmas tree will be a cupboard with a steady temperature (under the stairs for example) or beneath a bed.

How to dispose of an artificial Christmas tree?

Artificial trees can’t be recycled as they are made up of too many different materials. It’s important you try to get as much use out of your tree as you can, as it will most likely end up in a landfill.

You don’t want to have a negative impact on the environment just because you’ve decided you’re done with your artificial tree.

Many people choose to donate their artificial tree to a charity shop if they are still in a relatively good condition.

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Sources

  1. Garofoli, Joe. “O Christmas tree, are ye real or fake?,” San Francisco Chronicle
  2. Palmer, J. B. (2008, December 3). Choices Abound for PVC Christmas Trees This Season. Retrieved from Vinyl News Service: “Tree Choices”
  3. Langer, Gary. “Poll: Fake Christmas Trees Grow Popular,” ABC News

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