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Artificial vs Real Christmas trees: pros and cons of real and artificial christmas trees





neighborhood Christmas tree lot and its newly cut pines may soon be a
rare sight if a new national study is correct about the artificial
competition’s rising popularity. A decline of 36 percent was
reported for real tree sales – according to the National Christmas
Tree Association, sales dropped from 32 million to 23.4 million between
2000 and 2003.

Nine million artificial Christmas trees
were sold in 2004 according to the Association, up from 7.3 million in
2001. On average, an artificial tree lasts about six years. A fake tree
on the Internet runs anywhere from $100 to $1500, a real tree at Home
Depot costs from $25 to $50. For many families, cutting down a Christmas
tree is an annual tradition. A real tree also adds something to
Christmas that a fake tree can’t: a scent.

Putting up and decorating Christmas trees is a
time-honored tradition, and many families are faced with choosing between
artificial and real trees each year. Here are a few things to remember when
choosing which type of tree would be best suited for your needs:

  •  Artificial
    trees remove the hassle of having to choose a tree from the lot.

  •  Another
    good thing about artificial trees is that they do not need to be
    watered and the needles will not drop off and make a mess in your

  •  The
    cash you save by buying an artificial tree can be spent on more
    gifts for your family or perhaps other types of decoration.

  •  Fake
    trees won’t bother you if you are allergic to the smell of

  •  Fake
    trees can’t rot like real trees can.

  •  Artificial
    trees are easy to assemble and store away.

2005 El Pasoans said they had seen less lots compared to years past.
A more handy, safer and cost effective version may have taken their
place. The Home Depot in that community reported a rise in the sale of
prelit artificial trees. They said the Friday after Thanksgiving they
ran out of trees and had to order more. Experts also say fake trees are
safer because many of them are fire retardant.

Christmas trees can be set up much earlier and left up longer. Buying
artificial helps prevent the cutting down of a live tree. Artificial
trees are safe and flame retardant. Coarse needles will never prick you;
so artificial trees are easier to decorate. The needles on your
artificial tree will never shed. Artificial trees have a fuller,
classier look. They also last for years, which makes them more

you really need a real tree to decorate your living room? Is it right to
cut down a living tree just because it looks and smells better? 

are a variety of arguments for and against buying a live or an
artificial Christmas tree. Indeed, there are good and bad things about
each type of tree. Here are the pros and cons of each:


conifer trees in situ

Live Christmas Trees



  • Fresh scent
  • Need Constant maintenance
  • Lots of
    unique selections to choose from
  • Can
    become a fire risk if not correctly maintained
  •  The
    traditional choice
  • Shed
  • Take
    in carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gases and release fresh oxygen into the air.
  • Can only
    be left up for a limited time
  • Christmas
    tree farms help sustain the rural economy and provide jobs
  •  Less
  •  Another
    tree is planted for each one harvested to ensure a steady
    supply year after year
  • Transporting
    the tree and disposing of it after use can be difficult

Artificial Christmas Trees

fir tree


  • More
  • Can look
    phoney and synthetic
  • Flame
  • Made
    from a non-renewable resource: petroleum
  • No
    maintenance necessary
  • There is
    no advantage to the home economy, as a lot of fake trees are
    made abroad
  • Can
    be left up for as long as you like
  • Time
    required to assemble the tree
  • No
    mess from needles
  • Requires
    storage space in the home
  • Huge
    assortment to select from
  • Insects
    may get into the carton while it is stored if not packed

The First Christmas Trees

trees haven’t always been a Christmas tradition. It is generally
agreed that the Germans started using the tree as part of the Christian
Christmas celebration over 400 years ago. The Christmas tree was brought
to America by the Hessian armed forces that were paid to do battle for
the British during the Revolutionary War. One in five American families
decorated trees during Christmas by 1900, and by 1930, the tree had
become an almost universal part of the American Christmas. 

forward to the twenty-first century, when you can order any type of
artificial tree you want, in a huge variety of genus and species. Even better, you can get an
unlit Christmas tree, a flocked tree, a specialty tree, a commercial
tree, and garlands and wreaths to match. 

pre-lit christmas treeArtificial
trees in the past looked nothing like the real thing, but now they
continue to look more and more like genuine Christmas trees. Most are
made to look like different species of firs and pines.

artificial Christmas trees
save time and money, both of which are at
a premium during the holiday season. 


percent of Americans have an artificial Christmas tree, although many
still argue that they look too fake or too plastic. The first artificial
Christmas trees were tabletop models made from green-dyed goose
feathers. The modern version of the artificial Christmas tree started to
appear by the 1940s and 1950s. Choose a tree with a high branch tip
count to find the most realistic looking tree possible.

An Emerging Custom

Christmas trees could be a disappearing tradition in the USA: just don’t tell Santa. The industry blames shifting demographics, changes in
supply and pricing, customer irritation with perceived messiness and competition from ever more realistic
and over time
cheaper,artificial trees. In 2004 the industry mounted an
aggressive advertising drive to overturn the trend. 

continue to fight with the real/fake tree problem, and it has only
become harder recently as artificial trees have progressively improved.
The new trees come in easy-to-assemble pieces complete with lights
already in place, a far cry from older artificial trees that required a
road map to determine the placement of the branches. Some decorate with
small trees, even a foot tall, all over the house. And retro styles such
as the aluminium tree with the spinning color wheel (popular in the
1950s and 1960s) are making a comeback. 


Garlands and Wreaths 

Complete the Look

Christmas wreath

Artificial garlands and wreaths are two
of the most adaptable of holiday decorations. Garland has a lot of
artistic and stunning uses, whether it’s indoors or outdoors, draped
around the Christmas tree or stair railings. Tinsel not your style? Try
bead garlands. The more spectacular uses of Christmas garlands don’t
involve the Christmas tree. Swathe a classic pine bough garland along
the hearth mantel for a traditional look. Add velvet ribbons for an
extra splash of color. 

Wreaths have long been a staple of Christmas decorating. The
custom of using wreaths as Christmas decorations dates to 16th
century Germany, where Lutherans created the Advent wreath. While traditional
Advent wreaths can still be found, they’re less fashionable in today’s more
secular world. Evergreen wreaths rank among the more popular styles. Wreaths can
be hung throughout the house, but most people hang theirs on the front door.


Instead of
complaining about pine needles falling, I suggest they get swept up and
used in the garden, they are supposed to have excellent fertilizing

Daphne Lunda