Christmas trees are a nearly universal element in holiday decorating. Some people don't like the fuss and mess of a live tree, while others have allergies that preclude them from having a real evergreen. If you choose a fake tree for Christmas, consider the size, accent, and height. Use these ideas as a guide when purchasing your fake trees for the holidays.
Choosing Fake Tree Accents
- Prelit Fake Trees: Prelit artificial trees are a great way to minimize setup and cleanup (and avoid the holiday trauma of a giant ball of tangled lights). However, prelit fake trees are generally more expensive, and you can't change the size or color of the lights from year to year. Swapping burned-out lights for fresh ones may also be a challenge. If you choose a prelit fake tree, look for one that is labeled "continuous on" or "with burn-out protection." This means that if a single bulb on the strand burns out, the rest of the lights stay on.
- Flocked or Accented Fake Trees: When an artificial tree is flocked, its branches look like they have been dusted with snow or glitter. You can choose how flocked you want your fake tree to be; some are dusted more heavily than others. Additional fake tree accents also may include natural-looking elements, such as pinecones and berries. Keep in mind that these items cannot be removed, so choose flocked or accented fake trees may not match your decorating style if it changes from year to year.
Selecting Tree Height and Width
Most fake trees for the holidays come in one of three widths, generally labeled as full, slim, or pencil. Artificial trees also come in a range of heights, beginning at tabletop size and increasing usually in half-foot increments up to about 12 feet. To ensure the best fake tree for your home, measure the spot where you plan to display the artificial tree and leave enough room to maneuver around it to decorate.
- Types of Branches: Artificial trees come with two types of branches -- hinged or hook-in. Hinged fake trees, which consist of just a few parts, have permanently affixed branches and are generally easier to set up. Hook-in branches are individually hooked into a specific spot on a central tree pole. These fake trees take much more time to put together and cannot be prelit, but they also tend to be less expensive.
- Types of Material: Fake trees are made using one of two types of plastic: PVC or PE. The main difference in materials is in how the trees look. PVC needles are attached to the fake tree branches using wires. PE fake trees are fabricated, so both the needles and the branches better resemble those of a real tree. Branch tips may also be sculpted, which means they better replicate the look of a real evergreen.
- Tinsel, Feather, and Other Fake Trees: While many fake trees for Christmas are designed to resemble real evergreens, some of them are designed to fill a different decorating need. Tinsel and feather trees are two common examples; these are typically white, silver, or gold. While many are often used as tabletop trees, tinsel trees are available in full-size as well.
Note: The density or tip count indicates how full your fake tree looks. When purchasing, evaluate your fake tree's branches for sturdiness; if you have lots of ornaments, you want branches sturdy enough to hold them.
See on the next page after the video: Additional Considerations When Choosing Fake Trees.
How to Choose an Artificial Christmas Tree
-If you wanna wade to enjoy the tradition of the Christmas tree that lasts year after year, an artificial tree may be the choice for you. It's convenient, maintenance-free and as you can see, a great way to get creative with your holiday decorating. Let's take a look. When choosing an artificial tree, the first thing to think about is size. The box is almost artificial trees; list the total height including the stand. But don't forget about the additional that topper will add. You may be overwhelmed by the number of artificial Christmas trees you encounter, so try to focus on three assets- shape, needle size and density. Tree shapes range from full to slim. Full trees are traditional cone-shaped trees. They have a wide face that tapers up to a single branch on top. Slim trees, sometimes called Pencil trees are much narrower at the bases. You can find all sorts of shapes between full and slim, so pick one that fits your available floor space. Now that you've chosen your favorite tree shape, it's time to take a closer look at the tree needles. There're 2 main types of needles on artificial trees- molded plastic and shredded plastic. Thousands of shredded plastic needles are woven into wire branch frames, sometimes the shredded plastic needles are trimmed to give a more natural appearance. Molded plastic needles mimic clusters of real branches and can appear remarkably life-like. Some trees combine needle types with shredded needles on the dense interior areas, and molded needles on the tip. Now when choosing the right tree branch density, think about what's more important to you- lights or ornaments. Trees that are smooth and dense resemble cone-shaped pine trees. They're great for covering with loads of lights. Trees that are layered or have an in-and-out profile feature lots of pockets for showing off ornaments. Whatever type of artificial tree you pick, choose one that's flame retardant. Another important aspect to consider is tree construction, and how the branches attach to the trunk. Most new artificial tree branches permanently attach to the pole and fold up like an umbrella. Who says Christmas trees have to be traditional? There're so many beautiful and unique options available. Artificial trees let you get creative. Look for trees with block needles, accents like berries or pine cones. Go for a tree in a totally unique color, or even fiber optic elements. And of course, one big benefit of an artificial tree, you can buy it pre-lit with hundreds or even thousands of lights, saving you the time and stress of untangling and letting you get right to the fun part, decorating. Here's a pre-lit tree with 750 lights, after we add in more with 1,600 lights, and now with 2,500 lights. All 3 look good. It really comes down to personal preference. Here's one more thing to think about when purchasing your tree- getting it back into the original box after Christmas can be a challenge. Do to make it easy, purchase one of these canvas or heavy duty tree carriers to protect it during storage. Whatever type of artificial tree you select, you're sure to enjoy of this holiday season and for years to come. For more holiday ideas, visit bhg.com/holidays.
Continued on page 2: Additional Considerations When Choosing Fake Trees