3 Expert Tips To Choose A Real Christmas Tree

A beautifully decorated Christmas tree should be the centerpiece of your celebrations, so you'll want to pick the perfect one! There are so many different options out there that it can be hard to choose, which is why we've created a list of some of the crucial things you'll need to consider when buying a Christmas tree.

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Should I buy a real or a fake Christmas tree?

There are many misconceptions when it comes to the real versus fake Christmas tree debate, so it's difficult to know what the right choice is! We're here to settle it once and for all, and to tell you all you need to know about the differences between these two types of Christmas trees.

Want something you can reuse every year? => Artificial

  • Artificial Christmas trees are great if you want to keep costs low as they're a one-time purchase that will last you years.

  • They don't drop their needles, so you don't have to worry about cleaning them up every couple of days.

  • Artificial trees come in a variety of colors, ranging from natural green, to white, to pink.

  • However, artificial trees are actually really bad for the environment, despite popular beliefs that they're more eco-friendly. That's because they use ten times more materials and five times more energy to manufacture, leaving behind a much more significant carbon footprint.

PRO tip: Most experts no longer recommend buying artificial trees.

Love tradition and authenticity? => Real

  • Real trees are perfect for those wanting to really indulge in the Christmas atmosphere.

  • They bring with them a beautiful pine scent that leaves for home smelling fresh for days.

  • They are often much larger than artificial trees, making them appear more luxurious and impressive.

  • As mentioned before, they're much more environmentally friendly than artificial trees.

  • A downside is that they don't last very long, so you can't buy them in advance, nor can you reuse them.

  • Purchasing a new Christmas tree each year can prove to be quite expensive, so make sure you keep this in mind if you're on a tight budget.

In this guide, we'll mostly be focusing on real trees, as they are the recommended type of tree to purchase, and have many more factors to consider before purchasing.

What variety of Christmas tree should I pick?

Real Christmas trees come in so many different varieties, it's hard to keep up! We've listed a few of the most popular varieties, along with their pros and cons, to help you pick out a favorite. 

Want a classic look and smell? => Norway Spruce

  • The Norway Spruce, also known as the 'father of Christmas trees' is a perfect choice if you relish in the beautiful smell of Christmas trees.

  • These trees have a cone shape, which makes them great for squeezing into smaller spaces.

  • However, it has quite sharp needles and it loses them very easily, so it's not recommended if you have children or pets.

Enjoy a uniquely colored tree? => Blue Spruce

  • As the name suggests, this variety of Christmas tree is a mesmerizing silver and blue color.

  • These trees are very symmetrical in shape and can easily hold heavier ornaments.

  • Their needles, however, are quite sharp and produce an unpleasant smell if broken.

Have children? => Nordmann Fir

  • This is the preferred choice for families with young children, as these trees have big, soft needles that won't hurt anyone.

  • Their branches are also quite strong, so you can easily hang larger ornaments on them.

  • Nordmann firs can get quite wide, so you'll need at 5 feet to 6 feet of horizontal space to fit one into your home.

Want to amaze your guests? => Lodgepole Pine

  • These trees are known for their large size, so you'll need a pretty wide and tall space for one.

  • Their bushy appearance and long, bright green needles make Lodgepole pines a quite impressive, and maybe even dramatic, choice.

  • Lodgepole pines can hold many more decorations than your average Christmas tree, which can add to an overall atmosphere of luxury.

  • They also retain their needles for a relatively long time, so you can decorate them early and have them last until after New Years'!

  • Some disadvantages include the large cost associated with these trees and that they're difficult to transport due to their size.

Allergic or sensitive to pine scents? => White Pine

Those with allergies may be disappointed to find that they're usually unable to have a real tree for Christmas, but we have a solution!

  • White pine trees have almost no scent, meaning they won't trigger sensitive noses or allergies.

  • Their needles are very soft to the touch and don't drop easily, so they're great if you have children or pets.

  • White pines are also quite affordable despite their large size.

  • However, these trees can't hold a lot of heavy ornaments and can wilt if you don't water them regularly.

What should I look out for when buying my Christmas tree?

Finding out that the Christmas tree you picked is somehow almost completely bare on one side or is dropping all its needles is not something you want to happen a couple of days before the big day. Here's a couple of things you need to ask yourself when choosing a tree to ensure that you're getting your money's worth!

  • Is the tree wrapped in netting?

Wrapping a tree in netting can severely damage the branches, especially if they have softer needles.

Netting is also sometimes used by sellers to hide faults in trees, such as an uneven shape or bare sides.

If you can, avoid buying trees wrapped in netting as there is too much uncertainty about what you're buying.

If you can't avoid it, make sure to unwrap the tree as soon as you can, and try to get the seller's details so you can complain if you need to.

  • What do the needles look like?

If the needles on a tree look pale, dry, or wilted, absolutely do not buy it!

If you're unsure, run your hand along a couple of the branches and see if any needles fall - most Christmas trees do drop some needles, but not in significant amounts.

You can even lift the tree and gently tap it on the ground to make sure all of the needles won't fall off.

Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.