Artificial Christmas Tree Buying Advice Needed

Yea, I know Christmas is over but now starts the deep discount sales.

Hub is a stickler for cutting a fresh tree every year and I’d like to convince him to buy an artificial one so that we could have it up longer.

The requirements are that it has to look “full” and it has to be easy to assemble and store.

Any advice?


Isn’t this one of those socks on/off or TP roll up/down issues? Perhaps not as controversial, but if he’s a “stickler” for a live tree, I can’t imagine anything fake coming close to being mutually satisfying. I may be overreading the case, and certainly some folks are happy with either, but I daresay that a preference for a real tree may be a bit hard to overcome.

Well, assuming Rhythmdvl’s misgivings are surmountable, I recommend buying a pre-lit tree. I have an enormous 10 or 12 foot tree, and it takes hours to string the lights. The smaller tree I have I bought prelit, and it’s up in less than 20 minutes.

This second tree I got at Sears and it’s really very attractive. You just fold down the branches for 2/3 of the way up, and then pop the top on, and arrange those branches. Fake trees have come a long way and they seem to have gone to great pains to make them realistic and the branches bendable into life-like positions.

I just searched for the one I got and it doesn’t seem to be available online; you might troll through Sears to see what they’ve got left.

I always vowed that I would only have real trees - until I got my first fake one. Soooo much better.

I never had to wait for my husband to go get it or cut it or etc - we just pulled it out of the attic on Thanksgiving night and while he was at work, I could assemble it, decorate it, and not have to worry about watering it.

My tree was gotten on clearance and had color coded ends for easy assembly. It took a bit to get the hang of fluffing the branches, but just remember to use both the vertical and horizontal space. And you can always bend the ends a little if a heavier ornament seems hard to hang.

And if he’s worried about the lack of “pine tree scent” - there’s lots of little gadgets for that - sprays, ornaments, etc. (personally, I used a Yankee candle)

I think the most awesomest ornament for a mechanical tree would be a miniature cell phone antenna.

I never had any kind of tree until last year. I did a lot of comparison shopping, and finally decided on a 7-foot one from Sears. It’s pre-lit with 800 steady white lights (you can get the same tree with multicolored lights, and another one that rotates). I also added 3 strings of randomly-blinking lights, 150 bulbs each (I just got another string, which I’ll add next year). What I like about this tree is that there are two different types of branch endings. Some have short needles, and are great for hanging ornaments from; the others have long, more realistic needles, for filling out the spaces. The tree knocks down into 3 sections, and the branches fold up for storage.

This photo is from last year. It’s better this year.

I love real trees, but they set off sneezing fits in my wife, who I love even more than real Christmas trees. Therefore, I set about finding an artificial tree to my liking. I found many newer styles with polyethylene molded needles near the tips of branches, with more common PVC needles in the interior for volume, which is an arrangement I think looks very nice. I eventually settled on a slim, tall specimen from Tree Classics, which looks great in our livingroom.

Holy cow! The trees at Tree Classics are exPENsive!

I’m afraid of the pre-lit trees because several people have told me that within one or two seasons the light strings are dead anyway. Any bad experiences with the pre-lits?

I’m leaning toward LED lights as well because they appear to be less of a fire hazard. Any thoughts?

We bought our 9-footer at Costco three years ago. It is pre-lit with LED lights. No failures to report at this time.

Even though we live out in the piney woods of Oregon, we found that trees purchased at lots quickly dry out and shed needles within several days of being indoors. They lost the fresh tree smell, and made a mess and looked rather shriveled. The Costco tree looks better than a lot tree, IMO. Guests assume it’s a fresh tree until we tell them it’s a fake.

Mr. bot is a Christmas maniac; we do indeed have a 12X16 two story storage barn just to keep his Christmas decor in. If this tree passes his muster, it should suit just about anyone. My only gripe is the girth. Six feet in diameter; I would have preferred the slim-style, but he got cheap on me. sigh

Sorry for the late reply but I’ve been away a few days. Thanks, truthbot, that gives me some hope of convincing hub that an artificial tree isn’t the sacrilege that he thinks it is. We have half of a storage barns full of Christmas decor and if left to his own devices, hub would have way more. <think Clark Griswold>

Our closest Costco is 2 hours away so I may be able to convince him to take a mini-road trip next season. Does it have a brand name?

Thanks again everyone.

I’ll shoot you a PM with the brand name when Mr. bot gets around to bringing the box up to the house. No way am I wading into his sacred storage barn, I’d probably be shot for tresspassing!

This was our experience. We actually didn’t use it last year, but the year before, one section wouldn’t light, and after spending way too much time trying to fix it, I said, “Screw it,” and went out and bought a string of lights to use on the dud section. This year, none of the lights worked. I think we were on year three when we had the first light failure.

I don’t have any recollection of where we got the tree. My guess would be K-Mart.

Would he go with you to look at artificial trees and see if anything strikes his fancy? (If he secretly wants a ‘real’ tree, he may not see anything good enough.) Really nice artificial trees are quite costly, but now is the time to buy 'em… I bought a little pre-lit tabletop tree in Target last year, brought it home, and it was declared “a piece of crap!” but I wasn’t about to haul it back and try to pick out a better one. So we set it up, hung scads of decorations on it, plugged it in to turn on the lights, set out some balsam fir potpourri, and lo and behold, it was transformed into a thing of beauty. That’s all I got. I’m thrilled to death with it, and Mr. Sali agrees it looked very pretty.

Not that this might matter to you, but real trees are “greener” than fake trees that will sit in a landfill forever. Especially if you have to drive 4 hours round trip to buy it!

We alternate each year (when we’re not traveling and don’t bother)–cut a fresh tree, then the next year buy a farm-raised tree.

No problem with it staying fresh if you take care of it. And don’t leave it up three months.

Seems to work. YMMV.

ETA: Forgot to mention that we recycle the tree at the end of the season. Buffalo seem to like to eat them!

My only complaint with real trees is that they are only up for about 4 weeks before they start losing more needles than what remain on the tree. We usually go to a Christmas Tree Farm and cut out own so it doesn’t get any fresher than that.

Our community’s last day to recycle the trees is January 15th. We water daily and we keep it away from the heating ducts but dammit, it takes a loooong time to light and decorate the tree. It’s pretty and I like to savor it for a long time. I’d like to put it up the weekend after Thanksgiving and take it down in February.

<mostly unrelated anecdote>One year we hadn’t gotten outside to take the exterior decorations down during the winter months. Easter rolls around so I took tube socks and tied them to santa’s hat for ears and put an Easter basket in his hand. Maybe we’re just procrastinators.

:frowning: More tree farms are doomed to be condo complexes or strip malls.