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 how you can buck the evergreen tradition too.
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.
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.
Black Christmas trees are becoming more and more mainstream. They're now available online and in brick-and-mortar stores, and it's easy to see why they're a growing trend: 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.
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: Artificial Christmas Tree, 6 Feet, Clear Lights
A tree like this proves simple is best. Plain white twinkle lights make a bold statement against the black PVC branches and provide a neutral backdrop for colorful ornaments. This slender 6-foot design comes with a black tree stand to seamlessly blend with its 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. Tinsel branches add subtle sparkle—without adding lights, ornaments, or a garland! However you style it, this tree will stand out in your Christmas living room.
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. As one reviewer said, "We wanted something out of the usual, so we bought this tree, and it was a huge hit!" It comes in three pieces and includes hinged branches for quick setup and easy storage.
Decorating Black Christmas 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).
The trickiest aspect of buying and decorating a tree is committing to a theme or color. 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 and try to stick to it.