Tips for Choosing an Artificial Christmas Tree

There are some fundamentals when you start to shop for an artificial Christmas tree.  Here are some things to keep in mind.

First, choose the space where you want your tree to stand.  Decide where you will relocate any furniture.  Realize that you will still need to walk around the tree as well as the furniture.  Think about the new traffic patterns that will be created.  Remember that Christmas trees don’t necessarily need to sit on the floor.  You can place a smaller tree on a table for a different effect or to deal with an awkward space.

Now you know the space; measure it to see what size artificial Christmas tree it can accommodate.  Look at the width as well as the height.

Height and Shape

Artificial Christmas trees come as tall as 14 feet and as small as 4 feet.  When measuring the height of your space, add at least 6 to 12 inches to accommodate a nice sized topper that won’t scrape the ceiling.

When shopping for a tree, you may hear the term “profile”.  That is the overall shape of the tree.  

  • Full – This is a densely shaped tree with a gradual slope.  It is wider at the bottom than the top and will need a fair amount of floor space.  A 7-foot tree is about 60 inches at the widest part near the bottom.  They are what we most often think of in a Christmas tree.
  • Medium – This still looks like our concept of a Christmas tree but is a bit smaller.
  • Slim, Narrow or Pencil – This is a taller but narrow shape and will look nice in a corner or an area where you need to conserve floor space.
  • Flat Back or Corner – There are some manufacturers who also offer a half of a tree so that it can sit flush against a wall.

Other Considerations

Once you have decided on the size, you can move on to whether the branches are:

  • Hinged or pre-attached to the center, or Hooked so that you can place individual branches yourself.
  • Needles can be made of PVC (thin polyvinyl) or PE (polyethylene).  The PVC needles tend to be rather flat while the PE needles are more realistically molded into cylindrical shapes.
  • Pre-lit or Unlit – The pre-lit trees are definitely easier to work with and faster to set up, but the unlit trees allow you to choose the strings of lights to adorn the branches.
  • Flocked or Accented – The branches are dusted with a substance to simulate snow.  It can also be glittered or include pinecones or berries.

This should give you some basic ideas of what to look for when buying your next artificial Christmas tree.

Check out some other Christmas themed posts here