Real or Artificial Christmas Tree?

David Domoney helps you choose the best Christmas tree.

There is an age-old debate over whether real or artificial is better when it comes to choosing Christmas trees. Truthfully, the tree that suits you and your home is best. Whether it’s real or artificial, traditional green or even a pink tree, whatever makes your home feel like Christmas is right for you. Here are some of my top tips and advice for choosing your tree and how to look after it to help it thrive over the festive period.  

Artificial tree

If you’re looking to buy an artificial tree, the options are endless. First things first, measure your space. They come in all shapes and sizes so whether you have a smaller space or want to fill a grand entrance, there’s a range of artificial floor trees ranging from 4-12ft in stores.  

Once you’ve decided on the height and width of the tree you need, look at what type of lighting you want to decorate it with. If you love a traditional string lighting effect, then ensure you buy the right amount to fit around your tree. Some artificial trees even come with lights built in which might be easier and more suitable for some people.

Another thing to check is the thickness of the branches of the tree. There may be some which have thinner faux foliage, which may look best padded out with plenty of decorations. On the other hand, if you like a fuller tree, make sure to check that the branches are expandable so you can create the perfect amount of volume.

Once you’ve picked right tree for your home, all that’s left to do is decorate it with the lights, baubles and decorations that suit your style. Artificial trees are perfect for those who like to have their tree up for longer, or those who have pets and children who may cause damage to a real tree. They’re also great for single households or for people who travel a lot around the holidays.

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Real tree

When it comes to getting a real tree, there are many questions about which to choose and care tips. Choosing your first real tree can sometimes be an intimidating process.  

Firstly, make sure you measure your space before purchasing a tree. Don’t be afraid to get the tape measure out and bring it with you, because you wouldn’t want to spend the money on a real tree and it not fit. No one wants to have to rearrange a living room!

When choosing a spot there are a few things to bear in mind. Such as making sure it’s not too close to the fireplace and be cautious not to put your real tree too close to open flames. Even them getting too hot can cause a fire, so it’s ideal to keep them away from radiators, so they do not dry out or turn that radiator off for the duration of the festivities.  

Next, look into what type of tree you think you’d like, there are a few classics that you may have heard of:

1) Nordmann Fir – currently the bestselling tree in the UK, it is popular in many households because it retains its foliage better than other trees. The needles tend to curl in rather than fall off completely and they tend to be wonderfully symmetrical which makes it easy to fit into different households. If you’re buying freshly cut, make sure you purchase a deep Christmas tree stand to allow plenty of water, and topping this up every 1-2 days will keep your tree looking fresh and new. 

2) Fraser Fir – this tree is larger with thicker foliage, popular for those who like a thicker fuller tree. It is also known for its amazing fragrance, filling our homes with a sweet, citrus-like scent which many people associate only with a real tree. The strong branches make it suitable if you have larger or heavier ornaments, which will hang better, and the tree will still keep its shape. To keep the needles on the tree, keep the tree regularly watered.

When opting for this tree, you can purchase them pot-grown. If you are looking for a bit more ease in the process that putting a cut tree into a stand, buying a pot grown tree is a great option. You can even put the pot into a larger container to save your carpet or flooring from potential water spills.   

3) Norway Spruce – this traditional Christmas tree has small, dark green pine needles, and the forest scent of the tree is strong, making it the perfect festive fragrance to bring a new dimension to your festive décor. Although, this tree does shed its needles more than other options. Generally, this tree grows quicker in the nurseries, meaning it’s usually cheaper to buy. 

I hope this has helped you choose the perfect Christmas Tree, for more information visit a British Garden Centre near you or visit their online shop.

Check out our guides for decorating your tree!