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Choosing Christmas Trees: Real vs. Artificial

If you celebrate the Christmas holiday, then chances are good that you put up and decorate a pine tree every holiday season. Whether you prefer real or artificial, there are benefits and downfalls associated with each. Here’s everything you need to know about choosing Christmas trees that are best for your needs.

choosing christmas treesArtificial Christmas Trees: Pros and Cons

When it comes to choosing Christmas trees, the American Christmas Tree Association (per a Nielson poll) says that 79% of all Americans will put up a tree, and of these, 80% will be artificial. In fact, the number of households choosing artificial trees continues to grow each year.

  • The Pros: Artificial Christmas trees are reusable, which means you can take them down after the holiday, pack them away, and use them again year after year. Aside from this, there are many color and style choices available with artificial trees; you can find them in traditional green, white, and even rainbow colors. Some artificial trees come pre-lit; others have fiber optic lighting or no lighting at all. These trees do not require watering, and you do not have to deal with pine needles or disposal of the tree when the season has ended.
  • The Cons: Artificial trees are often made from non-biodegradable plastic, which means they will end up in landfills at the end of their lifecycles. What’s more, they do not provide that “Christmas” scent of pine. Artificial trees may become damaged, and it’s difficult – if not impossible – to find replacement branches when this happens. Finally, artificial trees are usually more expensive than their real counterparts.

Real Christmas Trees: Pros and Cons

Although only 20% of American households still put up a live tree at Christmas, they often make it a tradition. Oftentimes, families enjoy choosing Christmas trees at farms, then bringing them home and decorating them together. These trees also have their own unique benefits and downfalls.

  • The Pros: Real Christmas trees can be costly, but they’re less expensive overall than artificial trees. This is especially true for very large artificial trees, which can easily cost hundreds of dollars. Real trees also provide that Christmas pine scent that homeowners love, and because they are alive, they look far more realistic than their fake counterparts. Many municipalities will collect discarded trees for free following the holiday season, which makes disposal painless.
  • The Cons: Live Christmas trees require attention. They must be watered, and they will lose needles continuously, which can be hazardous to certain pets. Real trees may have “bald” spots or brown areas which can be unsightly. As the tree dries once it has been cut, it can also become a fire hazard. It’s important to choose lights that are cool to the touch, and to make sure they are properly grounded.

As you can see, choosing a Christmas tree can be quite the challenge – especially if you’re trying to decide between a real tree or an artificial one. The information above can help you make the best choice for your family’s unique wants and needs this holiday season.

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