Things to Consider When Buying a Christmas Tree
A Christmas tree is the quintessential icon of the holiday season, but shopping for the right tree can be overwhelming. From height and shape to style and material, picking a tree to suit your space requires a bit of preparation. The construction and design of faux trees have come a long way over the years. Now more lifelike than ever, artificial Christmas trees are a great alternative if allergies or maintenance discourage you from purchasing a live one. Whether you’re looking for the nostalgia of a live tree or the convenience and versatility of an artificial one, here are a few basics to keep in mind before you hit the Christmas aisle.
1. Choose the Right Height
The first step in choosing a Christmas tree is to consider your space. Christmas trees can range from a petite 36 inches to a towering 14 feet. Ensure a good fit by determining your floor space and ceiling height before choosing a tree. It’s a good idea to leave 6 to 12 inches of space between the top of your tree and the ceiling to accommodate a decorative tree topper. If you are using a stand that elevates the tree, choose a slightly smaller tree to balance out the extra height. In large spaces, multiple trees of varying heights can be clustered together to create a woodsy look.
Popular Christmas Tree Heights
Under 3 Feet
Ideal for small spaces and tabletop displays, mini trees up to 3-feet in height are light enough to be placed on elevated surfaces like mantels and tabletops yet sturdy enough to be set on the floor. From bedroom to kitchen, these petite, tabletop Christmas trees are a simple solution for decorating in limited spaces.
3 to 6 Feet
Medium-height trees are the most versatile option when it comes to decorating for homes with low to average ceiling heights of 7- to 8-feet. Six-foot trees are especially suitable for apartments and homes with lower ceilings or limited floor space.
6 to 8 Feet
If your ceilings are in the 8- to 9-foot range, consider a larger tree to complement your space. Trees that are 6- to 8-feet tall keep a larger room balanced and have more decorative space to display all of your favorite ornaments.
Over 8 Feet
Trees taller than 8 feet are ideal for rooms with vaulted ceilings or ceilings above 9 feet. A taller tree will also have a larger circumference (unless you choose a pencil-style tree), so keep your furniture and decor in mind when selecting a space to display your tree.
2. Pick a Shape
Tree shape plays an important role in choosing the right tree for your home. Christmas trees come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit a range of living spaces. In addition to accommodating your space, look for a shape that suits your design taste. Whether you’re going for a traditional look with a fuller tree, or keeping in minimal with a sparse variety, choosing the right tree shape will help solidify your overall holiday style.
Popular Christmas Tree Shapes
An extra-full Christmas tree makes a grand statement in your holiday home. With a greater circumference and fuller branches, this lifelike tree is well-suited for larger rooms with ample floor space.
As the most common variety, a full or medium evergreen tree features a classic cone shape and full branches. This tree size is suitable for most homes and offers a traditional look that complements nearly any design style.
Slender, or pencil, trees are a versatile option if floor space is an issue for you. A skinny tree is also more budget-friendly, as it requires fewer ornaments and decorations. To achieve a more modern aesthetic, consider a slender Christmas tree.
Sparse trees are a minimalist alternative to the fuller style of traditional evergreens. Bare, crooked branches adorned with simple lights and a few ornaments will give your space a contemporary, Nordic look.
3. Find a Style
Whether you’re looking for bright hues, quirky shapes, or a traditional design, there is a range of Christmas tree styles to explore. Artificial trees have become increasingly diverse as tastes move toward a more avant-garde style. From simple, pre-lit styles to show-stopping inverted varieties, there are festive Christmas trees to suit nearly any design. When choosing a style, consider how the tree will fit with your interior decor and what kind of ornaments you want to display. Think about whether you’re looking for a tree that offers a range of decor possibilities or a version that boasts a specific aesthetic.
Popular Christmas Tree Styles
Pre-Lit Christmas Tree
Pre-lit Christmas trees are an excellent, hassle-free alternative to traditional unlit trees. Available in a variety of colorful light options, pre-lit trees make for easy assembly and breakdown, plus they remove the frustration of having to untangle lights every year. Keep in mind that pre-lit trees feature string lights that are secured to the branches which will limit your options if you like to change-up the style of lights every year.
Upside-Down Christmas Tree
If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, an inverted Christmas tree is just the ticket. Not only are these stunning trees visually striking but they are also ideal for smaller spaces. The narrower base keeps more floor space available while the bulk of the tree is suspended. Decorate upside-down trees with larger ornaments to create better visual appeal, as smaller ornaments may get lost in the hanging branches.
Flocked Christmas Tree
Flocked Christmas trees bring the beauty of the outdoors in with glittering branches kissed with snow. This whimsical style offers a neutral palette that complements a range of decor tastes. Whether you’re decking out a rustic lodge or styling a charming cottage, a flocked Christmas tree is a simple way to infuse your space with seasonal flair.
Colored Christmas Tree
Go bold with a nontraditional tree designed to make a statement. From hot pink to piercing blue, colorful artificial trees are the perfect complement to contemporary holiday decor. If you like to think outside the box, a colored tree is a simple way to achieve a quirky aesthetic bursting with holiday charm. Keep the mood festive yet playful with a unique tree that boasts your taste for the unconventional
4. Think About Materials
When choosing a Christmas tree for your home, it’s helpful to know what materials you’ll be working with. If fresh trees are not an option, you can still enjoy the beauty of a realistic tree with a quality artificial version. Most artificial trees are made of plastic in the form of PVC or PE. The type of plastic used will determine how realistic a tree appears. Keep in mind that the higher the quality, the more realistic the tree will look, but the cost may increase as well.
Popular Christmas Tree Materials
If you love the smell of fresh pine and enjoy the beauty live plants bring to your home, then consider purchasing a fresh evergreen tree. But before you hit the tree lot, there are a few things to keep in mind. Look for trees with soft needles, which will ensure a longer lasting tree. Also keep in mind that your live tree will need to be watered regularly. If you like a heavily decorated tree, look for one with enough branches to support all of your ornaments.
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
PVC is the standard when it comes to traditional tree manufacturing. Traditional faux trees feature bristly boughs that are either attached to the tree with a hinge or are manually placed with a hook. Compressed PVC is cut into strips and twisted with wire to create the furry branches of a classic evergreen tree. When viewed up close, the needles have a rectangular shape and are fairly soft to the touch. Though PVC trees tend to look more artificial than other varieties, they are the most popular, budget-friendly option.
As artificial Christmas trees become increasingly popular, manufacturers have turned to other methods to achieve a more lifelike aesthetic. Trees made with PE feature 3D needles that offer a realistic look and feel. Unlike PVC trees, PE varieties are made using an injection method where needles are molded into shape to create a more authentic appearance. While PE trees tend to be on the pricier end of the spectrum, they offer the most realistic look.
For a truly avant-garde aesthetic, consider a tree made of non-traditional materials like feathers, tinsel, fabric, metal, or resin. These decorative trees offer a festive touch while maintaining a chic look that complements your existing decor. If you don’t want to sacrifice the style of your interior to decorate for the holidays, consider a tree made of alternative materials to add a hint of Christmas charm to your living space.
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