The 10 Best Artificial Christmas Trees
10. Treetopia Winter White
- includes extra bulbs and fuses
- 2-year warranty on lights
- tends to shed a bit
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
9. Ecolinear Classic Spruce
- brown-tinted stems for extra depth
- very affordable price
- included stand is a bit wobbly
|Rating||3.7 / 5.0|
8. Best Choice SKY1954
- consumes little energy
- good for offices and apartments too
- branches can't hold heavy ornaments
|Brand||Best Choice Products|
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
7. King of Christmas Prince Flock
- wide to bottom profile
- rather bulky design
- decorating it can take a while
|Brand||KING OF CHRISTMAS|
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
6. GKI Bethlehem 100024028
- stays lit even if some bulbs go out
- storage carton is crush-resistant
- not quite as full as its competition
|Brand||GKI Bethlehem Lighting|
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
5. Oncor Black Forest 33536
- can last up to 30 years
- paint-coated trunk is rust-resistant
- doesn't come with any lights
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
4. Home Heritage Wilmington Pine
- customer service is very friendly
- elegant stylish and durable
- comes in 3 sections for easy setup
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
3. National Tree Dunhill Fir
- fire-resistant and hypoallergenic
- includes a folding metal tree stand
- 7-and-a-half feet tall
|Brand||National Tree Company|
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
2. 7-Foot Codream
- 1100 easy-to-shape tips
- eco-friendly and recycled materials
- shipping box is reusable for storage
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
1. Balsam Hill Fir
- 1400 hand-strung lights
- comes with a tree stand
- foot pedal power switch
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
Why Artificial Christmas Trees Are Sprouting Everywhere
Though having been maligned and labeled with derogatory terms like fake tree, artificial Christmas trees are becoming ever more popular and accepted. And that goes beyond their use only in hotel lobbies or storefront display windows; many people are embracing these festive items in their homes, as well. There are many reasons that can help to explain the shift toward an appreciation for the artificial Christmas tree, but the primary reason is clear: many of them simply look great, which is to say they look very much like real a Fraser Fir, Virginia Pine, or White Spruce, just to name a few of the many varieties out there.
A few of the other reasons you might consider an artificial tree over a real conifer include price and carbon footprint. If you keep your artificial tree for at least three holiday seasons, it will prove significantly more eco-friendly than using a real tree. According to studies conducted by the British Carbon Trust, a real Christmas tree that ends up thrown into a dump can release as much as thirty-five pounds of CO2 into the environment, while an artificial tree's production creates around 88 pounds of CO2 (for reference, driving an average passenger vehicle one mile emits nearly one pound of carbon dioxide). Thus, your false tree becomes a carbon reducer before the third holiday season is finished.
Now that we have several solid reasons to get an artificial Christmas tree, we must turn to the all important decision of which tree is best for your home, office, hotel, or other commercial location. As a general reference point, know that in the six-to-seven-foot height range, you can find trees that cost around one hundred dollars or more than three hundred. The price differences come from differences of tree girth, realism of boughs and needles, and from whether or not they are pre-lighted. In choosing which tree suits you best, you must first decide the preferred height for the space the tree will grace.
Unlike what one can easily do with a real tree, you can next choose the width/circumference you want out of your artificial tree. There are narrow "pencil" style fake trees measuring less than three feet across and perfect for hallways, between elevators or doors, or in smaller homes, and there are thick, full trees that measure a hearty six feet across at their bottoms. In this unique category of arboreal decorations, you can choose almost the exact size specifications you want, so go ahead and be picky.
As for the decision around lighting, you can choose by balancing cost and convenience. Pre-lighted trees cost more than their "bare" counterparts, but don't require additional lights (which of course carry some cost) or effort. (You can always add more lights if you want.) Non-lighted trees leave you free to start from scratch when decorating, but that also means that at least some effort will be required to make the tree look festive. They do afford you a blank canvas, as it were, to change the lighting of the tree as you wish.
If you are willing to spend the several hundred dollars needed to obtain an artificial tree that creates a genuine facsimile of a real spruce or fir, you will of course end up saving quite a lot of money in the long run. Many high quality artificial trees are essentially lifelong purchases, so long as you store them away each year with care. Pick your tree well: you may just be choosing the centerpiece of your home's holiday decorations for decades to come.
Easy Ideas For Accentuating That Artificial Tree
For some people, the beauty of a pre-lit artificial Christmas tree is that you don't have to do anything to dress it up. For others, their false trees are simply a starting point for fully decked halls.
One of the best ways to spruce up a fake tree is to make it look fuller. This can be done in many ways, but one popular approach is to wrap a garland of pine needles around the trunk, adding a fullness and depth to the appearance of the tree without weighing down its beaches. If you use a garland woven from natural pine boughs, you will also add some of the lovely scent that people associate with the winter holidays. Most fresh garlands will stay green and fragrant for several weeks.
Perhaps the most classic, elegant approach to decorating a Christmas tree is also one of the most cost-effective: silver balls and red ribbon. You can find sets containing two dozen hanging silver spheres for less than five dollars, and you can acquire enough ribbon to make dozens of bows for about the same price. Thus, you could enjoy a sparkling, pre-lit tree hung with balls and bows for well under one hundred fifty dollars.
If you want to get the kids involved with another classic decorating technique, have them string garlands made of popcorn. You can use dental floss, a semi-blunt tapestry needle, and a non-flavored, non-salted popcorn to make a handsome and playful decoration that will last for the entire holiday season.
The Brief History Of The Christmas Tree
The first holiday trees had nothing to do with Christ -- they predated the Christian religion, in fact, and possibly by centuries. In the cold climes of the northern hemisphere, Pagans and Druids decorated their homes and places of worship with evergreen boughs or whole trees during the dark, short days of the winter, particularly noting the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, which usually fell near the date later fixed as Christmas: December 25th.
Romans also marked this darkest day of the year with celebrations, and all used evergreens to decorate the halls in which they feasted, while venerating their god of agriculture, Saturn. The adoption of Christianity as the religion of Rome led to its spread across much of the ancient world in the first centuries of the modern era, and many of the traditions of the conquered peoples -- Celts, Gauls, and more -- were adopted or co-opted by the Romans. Soon, the evergreens long used by many disparate religions became a part of Christian tradition.
By the late fifteenth century, Europeans were decorating their towns with conifers and referring to said trees as holiday decorations. The first confirmed documentation of such trees come from the countries today known as Latvia and Estonia. By the early decades of the 1500s, Christmas and New Years trees were becoming more and more ubiquitous across Europe, though they would remain outdoor decorations or be installed in large public buildings -- not in residences -- for years to follow.
Americans were slow adopters of the Christmas tree. It was not until the 1850s that its popularity began to grow in the United States. This was in part prompted by the growing number of German settlers who brought traditions with them, and partially because of the surge of Christmas tree popularity in Victorian England, a society which many Americans tried to emulate.