Artificial Christmas Trees

Christmas is just around the corner and many people are starting to think about whether they should purchase an artificial Christmas tree or go with a traditional live tree that has been grown for this purpose. There is a tradition in many families that they must have a real tree, while other families are ok with an artificial tree  and in fact prefer to have one of these pretend trees.

Our post today is going to review some of the pros and cons of both and why you may want to chose one type of tree or the other.

Here is our list of reasons you may want to consider purchasing one tree or another. Every person will have different reasons and put different importance to each of the items below. At least if you review these ideas you can make a decision based on what you feel is right for you and your family!

  • Choosing Your Tree at the Tree Lot
  • Tradition
  • Charity
  • Allergies
  • Price
  • Lights
  • Decorating
  • The Environment
  • Cleanup & Disposal

Choosing Your Tree at the Tree Lot

This can be fun for the family especially when you have young kids. Whether you pick up a tree at a tree lot or go out and cut one down at a Christmas tree farm, the kids really get a kick out of it and so do the parents. Everyone gets a say in which tree and  believe me it takes a while before the family can agree on the perfect tree. Patience dad!


This is probably the biggest reason of all, tradition. If your family has always had a live tree or an artificial one for that matter, then you may not give it a seconds thought. You are just going to purchase the same type of tree every year! No problem with that, but let’s consider some of the following ideas.


Many tree lots that are selling live trees in the Christmas season are actually charities. They have purchased these trees from a grower who has delivered them to a lot and members of the charity group will be out there in the cold weather selling these trees. This is a great way to raise money for local charities and it is not easy work, especially if it is cold and snowy. You can support these charities by buying one of their trees.


One reason that many families purchase artificial trees is allergies. This is true of my own family. For a long time, we had a real tree and almost as soon as we brought it into the house, we all began sneezing! Apparently the pine trees do not agree with us at all. In fact when my wife was a little girl, she would spend Christmas in bed with an asthma attack brought on by the Christmas tree. Needless to say we have had an artificial tree for many years.


Price can be a big factor in which type of tree you choose. Live trees have gone up in price, however they are still less expensive than artificial trees from an initial cost perspective. However if you reuse your artificial tree and this is the whole point of buying one, then the cost per year goes way down the longer you continue to use it.

Properly packing the artificial tree at the end of the season will ensure that it will last for many years and continue to look great at Christmas. I think the current one we have is now about 10 years old which brings the average yearly cost down to less than $10!


Lights are not much of an issue in terms of which tree you purchase. They look great on either type of tree. However there are some artificial Christmas  trees that you can buy that come with the lights already on the tree, which is a huge thing in our family.

I have the job of getting the lights sorted out, making sure that they all still work and then placing them on the tree. My wife leaves the room during this process, since I find it particularly frustrating when some lights work and others do not. Sometimes it can be very difficult to figure out which light is actually burnt out when they are all off!

Anyway this will happen whether you have a real tree or an artificial one. If you do purchase a tree with the lights already on it,  and the lights begin to burn out, you have the option of adding more lights or just getting a new tree!


Decorating is about the same for either tree, however with a real tree there may be areas were a branch is missing or there is a gap of some kind. Many people will argue that this is the charm of having a live tree. After all nature is not perfect and we should accept that not all Christmas trees grow exactly the same no matter how well we chose at the lot.

Artificial trees on the other hand are always perfect with a branch in all of the right places.

The Environment

This is a huge issue for many people. Christmas trees are grown for the purpose, so there is no deforestation type issue. Disposal can also be a good thing if done properly by the city. In our neighborhood, special trucks will come around after Christmas picking up the trees and chopping them into sawdust to be used for mulch in the spring and summer.

Artificial trees do not fair as well in this case. Even when sent to the dump they are going to be around for a long time since the needles are plastic and they just do not degrade well.


Sometimes cleaning up can be more of an issue with real trees. Most people will place the stump of the tree in a pail and fill the pail with water. If you do this it keeps the tree from drying out and losing it’s needles. picking up thousands of needles off your carpet is not a fun job. So keep your tree from drying out. Of course artificial trees do not have this same issue.

Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy the season with your family.

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