How to Choose the Best Artificial Christmas Tree

Artificial trees offer the convenience of no needle shedding and easy setup and storage. With remarkable realism, they provide the appearance of a fresh-cut tree without the hassle. Additionally, artificial Christmas trees come in a variety of unique styles and colors not found in nature.

Artificial Christmas Trees

Consider these factors when shopping for an artificial Christmas tree.

Tree Size and Shape

Artificial trees come in various heights, ranging from 5 feet to over 12 feet, catering to different ceiling heights. Consider the shape and circumference of the tree as well, with options including slim and full-shape trees. The ideal artificial Christmas tree isn’t necessarily the largest or fullest; rather, it should complement the available space in your room. While large, full trees offer a grand display and a realistic appearance, they are best suited for spacious, open rooms. Slim or pencil trees are suitable for decorating corners or rooms where a full-sized tree might be overwhelming or obstructive to walkways.

Artificial Christmas Trees That Look Real

To mimic the appearance of pine, fir, spruce, and other tree species, artificial pine needles are made using extruded polyvinyl chloride (PVC), molded polyethylene (PE), or a blend of both materials. Let’s explore the distinctions between them.

PVC Christmas Trees

Traditional trees feature branches made with fine strands of PVC needles that are soft and flat for a classic look. Although these type of artificial trees resemble evergreen trees, they’re the least realistic. You’ll need to shape a tree made with shredded PVC when you take it out of the box or storage.

Realistic Trees

Realistic trees are crafted using a blend of PVC and premium PE materials to achieve a naturalistic foliage effect. PVC needles are used to enhance fullness, while PE tips are strategically placed to emulate the lifelike appearance of real trees.

Lifelike Trees

Lifelike trees predominantly utilize PE needles to capture the authentic essence of a natural evergreen. The texture and color variation present on the branches and tips contribute to their remarkably realistic appearance. Due to this lifelike quality, shaping efforts may be minimized when setting up this type of tree.

Artificial Tree Setup

Seek out trees with hinged branches for easy setup and takedown. To set up the tree, simply pull down the branches, and when it’s time to dismantle it, fold the branches back up. Additionally, opt for a tree with a robust metal stand to prevent toppling or leaning once ornaments are added; plastic stands may lack stability. For added floor protection, consider a stand with rubber feet. Some trees also include a storage bag for convenient storage.

Artificial Christmas Tree Features

Many artificial trees come pre-lit, meaning lights are already integrated into the branches. Options include multicolor or color-changing lights, clear incandescent or LED lights with constant-on features, or lights with random twinkling patterns. Additional features may include on/off foot pedals and lights that remain lit even if a bulb becomes loose.

Flocked Christmas trees feature branches finished with a textured material, simulating the appearance of branches dusted or covered with snow, creating a realistic look. While unflocked trees are more common, there’s a wide variety of both options available.

Self-shaping trees are equipped with wire in the branches, allowing the tree to expand to its original shape once removed from the box.

The tip-count number gives an indication of the tree’s fullness, though tip sizes may vary. Keep in mind that certain tree varieties, like pine, naturally have a less dense appearance than others, such as fir. Let the tree’s overall appearance guide your decision.

Tree colors range from lifelike greens to decorative options like white, silver, and gold.