There are few tips and tricks that can help you buy the perfect Christmas tree when you're left with only artificial options. Significantly more sustainable than live Christmas trees, artificial trees come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Due to the assortment of fake Christmas trees on the market, some things you'll want to consider are size, material, style, warranties, and storage.
Deciding on the Right Size
Before you go down the online shopping rabbit hole, take a second to assess where you want to set-up your Christmas tree. Break out a tape measure and find the height and width of the space that you're envisioning setting your tree up in. Though most artificial trees aren't going to pose much of a problem in the ceiling department, you want to make sure to also check your ceiling heights. You might have more space than you expected to buy the towering tree of your dreams.
Artificial Christmas trees with lights have standard heights, making them easy to purchase once you know the set dimensions. The company offers a helpful guideline for determining the perfect artificial Christmas tree height for your home.
Tabletop trees: Under 6' high (normally between the 1'-3' range) this is a good choice for a tabletop, especially if you live in a small space.
Apartment size: 6' to 6'5" range is ideal for an apartment or small condo.
Average home: 7' to 7'5" trees are the most popular heights sold for average homes.
Larger homes: 9' trees are often selected for homes with high ceilings.
Two-story ceiling heights: Homes with two-story open ceilings can accommodate 10' to 15' trees.
Tree Toppers and Tree Height
Just because you have an 8' ceiling doesn't mean you want to purchase an 8' tall artificial Christmas tree with fairy lights. Check out some of the reasons why purchasing a tree that's exactly the same height of your ceiling isn't a great idea:
If you have an existing topper, such as an angel or star, then measure its height and subtract from the ceiling height to get the maximum tree height you can use.
As a standard, allow at least 10" to 12" for a topper.
For visual aesthetics, leave at least an inch between the topper and ceiling.
Once you know how tall of a tree your space can accommodate, assess how wide your tree can be. The widths available include, full, slim, narrow and flatback (great for corners).
Add three to six inches to your measurement so the tree won't appear crammed into the space.
The more space you have around the tree or on each side, the easier it will be to decorate and place presents underneath.
Most companies provide the actual measurements of the tree's width. Be sure to check if it'll fit in your space.
Types and Materials of Fake Christmas Trees
Once you know what the height and width you need your artificial Christmas tree to be, you can start thinking about the type of tree you want your fake one to emulate and the style of tree you think would look best in your home as well as the types of christmas light and christmas decor to use.
Every retailer has specific designs for the trees that they manufacture, so there will be some variation within each artificial tree line that you look at. In fact, some of these designs are even trademarked. However, the industry generally concedes on there being three ideal choices for tree species to replicate their trees after:
Fir: The lower branches are wide and turned down with soft flat needles.
Spruce: The branches grow upturned. The needles are short, stiff and square.
Pine: The branches turn upward. The needles grow in clusters radiating from one point. White pines have five needle clusters while red pines have two.
Popular Styles of artificial Christmas Trees
Another consideration is the style of tree you like best. Here are some of the many types of styles that artificial trees come in:
Green: A green tree is the most natural, organic looking design and looks the most realistic of all the types.
Flocked: The branches appear to be covered in snow, though the amount of snowfall varies.
Tinsel/aluminum: Popular in the space age-influenced culture of the 1960s, the tinsel tree has enjoyed a nostalgic comeback. The shiny needles reflect all types of light, especially the tree lights.
Feather: Some feather trees feature real feathers, such as goose, while others are made of synthetic feathers. These come in all colors and a few even feature glitter feathers. Most of these are tabletop heights, usually no more than 30" high.
Colored Trees: One of the most fun opportunities with artificial Christmas trees is being able to purchase ones in unusual colors like purple, pink, blue, or white.
Pre-Decorated: To save time and money on ornaments, some people prefer to find pre-decorated Christmas trees; unfortunately, it does mean that you can switch up the way your tree looks every year if you enjoy doing that.
Christmas tree density refers to what you might call the 'fullness' of a tree. Things that affect the visual density of an artificial Christmas tree include how tightly packed its branches are, the number of branches it has, the shape of its leaves, and so on. To actually assess the density of an artificial Christmas tree, you determine the tree's branch tips and tip count. Take a look at how to do these calculations from home.