I Bought a Black Christmas Tree on a Whim—and I Love It
Yes, I bought a black Christmas tree. And no, it’s not because I’m a Grinch. Here's what led to my purchasing decision, and why I'm happy I bucked the evergreen tradition.
The timing was everything. My favorite garden store in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was holding a going-out-of-business sale, and in the middle of the August heat I found myself dreamily gliding through rows of flocked and classic evergreen trees—full of Christmas wonder. I was nearing the end of the aisle when a dark and handsome tree caught my eye—skinny, 6 feet tall, and black instead of green—and stole my heart. The deep discount sealed the deal.
Decorating Black Christmas Trees
My brain turned into a Pinterest explosion of ideas as I happily carted my new tree to the car. Until that moment, I had owned only a tiny Charlie Brown tree because my apartment simply couldn’t accommodate anything larger. Now my options were endless. “You can string up orange lights and ornaments for Halloween,” offered the store associate, “or even do a Star Wars tree!” (Please, don’t get my husband’s hopes up, I silently wished.) She hit on its most alluring quality, though: a black Christmas tree affords decorators a striking blank canvas. Its dark branches make colorful ornaments pop, metallics sparkle, and whites gleam.
Another reason to love black Christmas trees: They're versatile for both traditional and modern aesthetics. Since neutrals like cream, black, gray, and warm metals punctuate my transitional decor, I decided to adorn my tree with an assortment of mixed-metal ornaments. That way, my holiday palette could feel sophisticated and cohesive with the rest of my home rather than overtly Christmas-y, and I wouldn't have to reinvent my decor during the holiday season.
Ornaments and Lights for Black Trees
When choosing decor and lighting for a black tree, consider contrast. A black tree will mute dark red, green, blue, and black ornament colors. Conversely, lighter colors like pastels and whites will stand out most. Regardless of your bold or subtle decorating approach, you'll want to camouflage light cords. Buying a pre-lit tree will save you a shopping trip. Otherwise, look for lights with black wire to blend with dark branches. White LED bulbs are a goof-proof, good-looking option for black Christmas trees, but colored lights can be useful for playing up a theme (cue the Imperial March).
Color Palettes + Themes for Black Trees
Like traditional Christmas trees, black trees usually look their best when covered with a cohesive palette of ornaments, garlands, and lights. In other words, pick a lane with your color palette or theme, and try to stick to it. Here are some other black Christmas tree decorating ideas and color palettes I contemplated when brainstorming my aesthetic.
- Yellow, white, and black
- Silver, icy blue, and white
- Black and white
- Silver, gray, and white
- Hot pinks and purples
- Jewel tones
- Rose gold, copper, and light pink
- Ombre metallic
- Star Wars
- Star Trek
- Harry Potter
- Old Hollywood Glam
- Mickey Mouse
- Pop Art
Where to Buy a Black Christmas Tree
Most big-box retailers now carry a limited number of black trees in stores and a large selection online. Here are a few of the best black Christmas trees we’ve found.
For Something Unexpected: Silver Shadow Ombre Artificial Christmas Tree, 6 Feet, Unlit
An ombre tree like this doesn't need lights to dazzle viewers as it transitions from black to silver. This slender 6-foot design comes with a white tree stand to seamlessly blend with its silver base branches.
For Small Spaces: Stiletto Black Pencil Tree
This skinny number fits into tight nooks and crannies, making it a great option for apartment and small-space dwellers.
Buy It: Stiletto Black Pencil Tree, $120
For the Wow Factor: 7.5' Black Spruce Artificial Christmas Tree + Clear Lights
If you're blessed to have tall ceilings, this sturdy 7.5-foot tree is sure to make a grand statement. It comes in three pieces for quick setup and is pre-strung with 550 lights.
Why I'm Glad I Bought It
Considering bucking the green tree tradition, too? Here are my top three reasons for crossing over to the dark side.
- It's unexpected. A black tree is a departure from traditional evergreen trees, and so far, I'm the only one of my friends to have one. I love how its dark branches accentuate gleaming metallics and vibrant colors. Black trees aren't for everyone, I know, but they can be much more striking than green trees.
- It's versatile. The trickiest aspect of buying and decorating a tree is choosing a theme or palette. There are so many ways to put your personal spin on a black tree, and you don't have to restrict yourself to Christmastime. You saw how wicked-cool a black Halloween tree can be.
- It's easy to integrate into my decor. I tend to do a little bit of holiday decorating in every room rather than a full-blown, whole-house transformation. My everyday decor set the stage for a dark tree filled with glam metallics, so the seasonal swaps I do make are minimal but impactful. Lazy or genius? Your call.
Now that I'm a card-carrying member of the black tree club, one of my favorite things to do is see how fellow black tree owners decorate for Christmas (and beyond). Here are a few inspiring real-life photos showing the versatility of black Christmas trees.
Spooky Halloween Tree
This is an example of the "more is more" technique, and it shows how versatile black Christmas trees can be. Blogger Jennifer Perkins goes all out with her quirky-cool black Halloween tree, then repurposes it for holiday time.
Shades of Blue Tree
Use a black tree to make a simple holiday palette a total standout. This blingy tree is packed with varied shades of light blue, teal, and silver ornaments. Look closely and you'll see how funky additions like disco balls and glittery stars reflect the lights on the tree.
Pink & White Tree
Black trees are an unexpected way to give pastel palettes a subtly edgy aesthetic. Silver snowflakes set among a medley of pink and white ornaments steer away from sugary-sweet territory thanks to this black backdrop. Color-coordinated gift wrap is an extra-thoughtful touch that completes the look.