Monday, December 9, 2013

Real or Fake? 13 Reasons why or why not to use an artificial Christmas tree

Did you catch my last post on the pros and cons of real Christmas trees? Be sure check that out is addition to this post on artificial Christmas trees. 

Are you thinking of buying a new Christmas tree this year? Are you keeping up with a family tradition or starting a new one?  No matter what your plan is for a Christmas tree this year, make sure you know what to expect with either a real or fake Christmas tree. And while there really are no right or wrong answers, there certainly are real, proven pros and cons to the real vs. artificial Christmas tree.

When It Comes to Artificial Trees…

PROS of Artificial Christmas Trees

1. Convenience. Just grab the pieces from storage, snap them together and the tree is up and ready for trimming with lights and ornaments. You get to use it over and over for years to come.

2. Easy storage and maintenance. Bend branches, make it thinner, bag it up or place it in the box it came in and store it easily for next year.

3. Longer use during the season. You can set up an artificial Christmas tree as early as you want. You know how stores start putting up Christmas decorations before Halloween is even over? Now you can too!  If that's your thing. Live trees have a short 'shelf life' so your fake tree can get you in the Christmas spirit at any time during the year.  On the flip side, it can stay up until Valentine's day if you're too lazy to pack it up!

4. Minimal maintenance. No watering needed for the artificial tree. No sap. No needles all over the floor needing to be cleaned up.

5. Consistency. You always will know how the tree will fit in the same spot year after year. Figuring out the size of the real tree you need in the space available in the house is always tricky when at the tree farm.

6. Ease of trimming. Over the years, artificial trees have changed from just a plain tree to trees with lights already on them or frosted with fake snow on the branches. Pre-lit trees certainly make trimming the tree easier.


7. No smell. This is big, as fragrance is a top reason people prefer live trees.

8. Room for storage. You must store them, which takes up space you may not have. Often, it is hard to fit them back in original boxes. They are cumbersome to lug up tight attic stairs or down basement stairs. They can take up quite a bit of space.

9. Aesthetics. Most artificial trees are not as full and voluminous as real trees.

10. Environmental concern. Artificial trees are made from nonrenewable petroleum. If one catches fire, it releases toxic fumes. Some contain metals and lead as well.

11. Fake looking appearance. I've never found this to be the case, but many say it is hard to retain the shape of artificial trees that have been bent tightly and stored all year in a box. I guess it would depend on the quality of tree that you purchased. Make sure to get a good one. Hopefully you'll have it for many years to come and the cost will be worth it.

12. The initial cost. Speaking of costs, artificial trees can be a big expense, with some of the bigger, pre-lit trees running into the hundreds of dollars. Of course, when you spread that out over the lifetime of the tree, it isn't much more than a real tree.

13. Poor recycling. Many of us hang on to our trees for about 6-9 years. After that time, they go in the garbage where they get transported to a landfill and sit there for centuries. 

As you can see whether you buy a real or artificial tree is a matter of personal preference and many times a matter of family tradition that probably started many, many years ago. Which ever way you go, just do your research before hand and make sure you are making the best decision for your family, wallet, environment and home. 

Thanks for reading,


**Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree service in the Chicagoland area. We service the north shore, north suburbs and northwest suburbs of Chicago. Trees "R" Us, Inc. has 4 certified arborists on staff ready to assess your plants and tree care needs in a timely manner. Our services include tree trimming, pruning, stump grinding, emergency tree services, tree removal, cabling and bracing, fertilization and plant health care.

Trees "R" Us, Inc. can be contacted at 847-913-9069 or through our online forms**

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