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The Ultimate Buyers Guide To Choosing Your Artificial Christmas Tree.

The Ultimate Buyers Guide To Choosing Your Artificial Christmas Tree.

Buying an artificial Christmas tree can be a confusing task, with so many options and choices out there you are spoilt for choice when it comes to picking the right one to make your Christmas special. This expert guide to buying your own artificial Christmas tree should help answer all your questions and make sure you have all the information you need.

Choosing an artificial Christmas tree to be the heart of your festive decorations can be difficult, given the sheer number of sizes, shapes, types, colours and optional extras like LED or fibre optic lights, but it can also be the perfect choice for any family home. 

Artificial trees have many benefits over real trees, advancements in technology and manufacturing mean that a good, high quality tree is almost indistinguishable from the real thing now, if they are well taken care of they can last a lifetime and quite frankly it is just so much easier - and cheaper - to get one down from the attic every year. So now that we have established that artificial Christmas trees are just pretty awesome, what exactly do you need to consider before buying one?

This expert guide to choosing and buying an artificial Christmas tree will outline everything you need to know about these perennial festive favourites and help you decide which tree is best for you.

Should I really get an artificial tree or stick to a real one?

If you are contemplating buying an artificial tree but are still slightly on the fence about a real one, then let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.  

Real trees are fantastic, they really are. They are natural, they smell great, they look good and you have a good choice between the classic Nordman fir, the Fraser or Noble Firs or the Norway Spruce. All are good options, but to be blunt they are expensive and inconvenient to buy every single year, it is a pain to look after hoovering up all those needles every day and making sure it is watered, and then there is the hassle of making sure it is disposed of properly afterward too. You can’t just throw it on the landfill, that defeats the purpose of the eco argument!

Artificial trees have none of these problems. They do still need cleaning from time to time, but that takes nowhere near as much effort as cleaning up after a real tree. They also have the distinct advantage of not dying once Christmas is over, so there is no waste to dispose of, you simply pack it back in its box and put it away again for next year, which obviously makes it so much cheaper over time once you have paid for the initial tree itself. That initial investment now can get you a tree that may last you a lifetime!

The choice of course is yours, but we are guessing that if you are reading this then you are already pretty much decided on an artificial one, so check out the full collection here and see exactly what you can get!

How much should you spend on an artificial Christmas Tree?

This is really a question only you can answer as it will entirely depend on how much you can budget for. In very general terms it is always a good idea to buy the best quality you can afford and see buying an artificial Christmas tree as an investment. Remember, this is a tree that you will be getting out again and again, year after year, so it should be something that you look forward to dressing and showing off. 

No matter what budget you have and no matter what tree you get, it will look fantastic in the space you choose to put it. It will be your personal tree. The one you get out year after year, the one you decorate with family and open up presents under. No matter what you actually spend on the tree itself, that is priceless.

One other factor to consider when budgeting for your tree is decorations and lighting, and these can really add up if you aren’t careful. One advantage of artificial trees is that you can choose one that is already pre lit, which will save you spending money on lights.

What size Christmas tree should you get?

What size of tree to get is always one of the biggest decisions when it comes to getting a tree in general. How tall should it be? How wide should it be? What shape should it come in? Basically speaking what size tree you get depends almost entirely on the space you want to put it in, but there is much more to consider than that. 

First of all, you have to figure out beforehand exactly where you are going to put your tree. Most people of course put one in their living room, which will generally have to fit around a lot of other furniture, a dining room is a popular space too as long as everyone can still sit around the table without knocking all the decorations off, and if you are lucky enough to have a large hall they tend to be excellent open spaces perfect for a tree of any size, but then not everyone has that.

Once you have decided on a space you will have to think about how practical it is to have a large tree there, as this will not only determine the size of the tree, but the shape as well. A Christmas tree is the focus of all of your Christmas decorations, so it will have to be somewhere that is front and centre and visible wherever you spend most of your time. This is why in an empty corner of your living room is usually the most popular spot. You also have to consider if the tree will be in the way of any opening doors, any foot traffic, any walkways or anything else where it will essentially be an obstacle. Moving or rearranging furniture is always a possibility so make sure you factor this in too, especially if you have to place it near a power source for those essential lights and leave room for those all important presents.

Now you need to measure up, this is fairly simple and just ensures you buy the correct size for your space. All artificial trees will have exact dimensions on the website or box. Just measure floor to ceiling for your height, and then leave approximately 12 cm or so for clearance (and to make sure there is enough room for the star or fairy you want to put on top). This will be the maximum height you can buy.

Then measure the width of the area you want to put it in. Again, leave about 12 cm of clearance between the wall and any furniture on either side, you don’t want to be squashing the tree into the space. If you plan on putting a lot of presents under there, then leave enough room for that. This will be the trees width. 

Then simply look to see what trees fall within this height and width range. It really is that easy.

As a very rough standard guide without measuring, the best Christmas tree heights for each room or space are as follows:

  • 5 feet or under: Bedrooms, small tabletops, secondary spaces.
  • 5 - 6 feet: Small living rooms, flats or apartments.
  • 6 - 8 feet: Most common living rooms or spaces with average UK ceiling heights.
  • 8 - 12 feet: Any larger homes with very high ceilings, open hallways with double height ceilings.

How long do artificial Christmas trees last?

Good quality artificial Christmas trees can last many years if they are kept and stored properly. Provided you are careful when you take them up and put them down and give them a good clean before you put them away again, there is no reason why they shouldn’t last a lifetime.

Are artificial trees sustainable?

Yes, they are, and not for the reason many people think. One of the biggest criticisms of artificial trees is that they are not sustainable because many are commonly made out of polyethylene plastics. That is a very fair point, but that doesn’t take into account that the average artificial tree has a 10 year lifespan or more, at least 2 years more than every reputable source says that they should be kept to negate any harmful or negative environmental effects. It also assumes that all real trees come from FSC standard sustainable sources too, and many don’t. The truth is there is good and bad sides to both choices, and the fact that artificial trees can literally last a lifetime if you look after them well makes them environmentally friendly. The fact that you own something that is not disposable, take care of it and simply never have to buy another one is the very definition of sustainable.

What style of artificial tree should you buy?

There are so many styles and variations of artificial Christmas tree available now there is bound to be one that suits your individual style. From trees of every colour to fibre optic trees, half parasol trees to snow flocked trees and many more besides, you are sure to find one that fits in with your room, decor or even Christmas decoration theme.

There are artificial trees based on their real life counterpart species of fir, spruce or pine for those looking for a more traditional, realistic look, some of them even come partially decorated with realistic looking pinecones or berries for that extra bit of detail. At the more expensive end of the scale there are artificial trees that are made from injection moulded polyethylene for that full, natural look and are very difficult to tell apart from the real thing once dressed. 

Many artificial trees even allow you to move the branches to your taste, making them seem more natural as well as making it easier to hang decorations off them. Others are more rigid, but those generally tend to be more cost effective.

These realistic looking trees tend to be the best option if you plan on keeping your artificial tree for a lifetime. Themed decorations are fantastic but tastes and fashions can change over the years, classic green never will, so you can be sure that no matter what your tree will be in use many, many years from now. 

If you are the sort of person who likes to colour coordinate your Christmas theme however then there are white, champagne gold or even rose coloured options to choose from rather than the traditional green.

Which style you buy is essentially down to your own personal taste, but one thing buying an artificial tree gets you is a lot of choice!

Should I get a classic pyramid or slim tree?

Again this entirely depends on the space you have. Classic trees are popular for a reason, they are - well - classic. They are the traditional cone or pyramid shaped trees that everyone knows and loves, but they aren’t suitable for every space. Many modern homes aren’t exactly blessed with space, and sometimes you just have to work with what you have. If this is the case then a slim tree could be the perfect option for you. They are thinner than the average tree so take up less space in the corner but still give the same, festive feeling. 

Alternatively slim trees make for fantastic second tree options in a hallway or dining room if you really want to go all out this Christmas!

What is a flocked tree?

A flocked tree, sometimes called a snow flocked tree or silver tipped tree is simply an artificial tree where the green tips have been coloured with a dusting of white to give the appearance of natural snow covered branches. 

The name actually comes from the process of attaching the tiny white fibres to the tips and branches, known as flocking. These types of tree are perfect for someone who really wants minimal decorations on their tree and wants a more authentic, outdoors appearance instead.

What is a half parasol Christmas tree?

A half parasol tree is pretty much as it sounds, it is a normal Christmas tree with the lower branches cut off so that the top half remains standing on a long, bare trunk so that it essentially looks like a parasol hanging over the presents underneath. It looks strange, there is no denying that, but they are extremely popular with families with young toddlers or playful or vengeful cats who may take an interest in the lower branches of a normal tree. This keeps the top half of the tree relatively free from destructive little hands or paws while still giving a festive feel.

Should I buy a pre lit or unlit artificial Christmas tree?

Pre lit christmas trees are extremely popular, mainly because they are easier than having to deal with miles of cables, they look great and generally don’t cost extra, but if you like the tradition of dressing your tree with lights there are some downsides to that too. So what do you need to keep in mind when looking at either a pre lit or unlit Christmas tree?

Pre lit Christmas trees.

  • Come in a wide range of LED or fibre optic colours and styles.
  • Lights are fixed, meaning you have to decorate around them.
  • Easier and quicker to set up and put away.
  • Can sometimes be slightly more expensive than unlit versions of the same tree.

Unlit Christmas trees.

  • Much more versatile when decorating the tree as you can place free standing lights and decorations where you like.
  • Can be more of a hassle to set up and put away.
  • Looks much more natural on realistic trees.
  • May be more expensive as you will have to buy lights separately.

Time to decorate.

Now that you have looked at all the options, pondered all the different choices and picked out your perfect tree, it’s time for the fun part, decorating! We hope that this buyers guide has given you everything you need to know and answered all your questions on buying an artificial Christmas tree. If you still need to know more then check out our full range of artificial Christmas trees here and please feel free to get in touch with our team of friendly elves, we will be more than happy to help.