Tis the season to be jolly! Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the Christmas décor
littered stores and the influx of black-Friday deals gracing our feeds daily reminds us that the holiday season is fast approaching. In keeping with the early decorating trend, I thought now would be a good time to highlight 4 things to consider when buying your next tree.
Christmas tree shopping is kind of like online dating - it can look good in a photo but can be
different story in person! This couldn’t be more true with Christmas trees. DON’T buy
based on the picture! DO buy based on the specs.
Size Matters! There, I said it. Make sure the tree you buy is the right size. What is the right size? That depends. If you have a space that is small with tall ceilings, you may opt for a “pencil-tree” or a “slim-tree” that is nice and tall. “Pencil” and “slim” are often used in descriptions of trees that are marketed as space saving solutions. Pencil and slim trees often start at 7.’
If you have a ginormous room, you will need something fuller. Depending on how big the room is, consider something with a diameter over 56”. If you have the ceiling height and you like a bit of drama, a tall, full tree is always a good idea. Full artificial trees typically mimic some sort of Fir or Spruce tree and are marketed as just that. They will often have the word “full” or “fat” in the marketing also.
Perhaps you like the look of a full tree, but you don’t have the space for it, you can opt for a
“half” tree. These trees look full of the front and sides, but actually sit flush against the wall.
They don’t continue the entire diameter of a circle, even though it looks like it would from the front. This is a great space saving solution as well.
To buy pre- lit’ or not to buy pre-lit? that is the question! No doubt pre-lit is easier. Not only is it evenly lit, but its one less step in setting up your tree. Lights on a tree are typically either incandescent or LED. LED has a longer burn life, however, they do eventually burn out. This is the perpetual conundrums of pre-lit trees. It has been my experience that I get about two seasons out of a LED pre-lit tree before one or more sections of the tree stop working.
Pre-Lit trees are also more expensive. The higher the light count, and the type of lights on the tree will often dictate its price. If you’d like to use the tree after the lights stop working, you can always strip the factory assembled lights off but full disclosure, it’s a lot of work! I just stripped a pre-lit tree of its lights, and it was a four-hour ordeal. I have war wound “needle scratches” all over my hands to prove it. If you are determined like me, go for it! It isn’t hard. It’s just time consuming and requires patience.
Tips Tips Tips!!! Every tree has a tip count which refers to the number of needles on a tree. The more tips, the fuller the tree appears. For a decent looking tree, a tip count of 4000-5000
needles on a standard 7’5” tree is a good start. Tip count is important, especially if you like a
paired back look. Tip count is important, but not nearly as important as considering my next point!
“Show me what you’re made of?” The two types of materials used in artificial tree
construction are Polyethylene and PVC. What’s the difference? The “Coles Notes” answer
would be that Polyethylene looks more realistic. Have a look at the pics below to see the
difference. Trees made of Polyethylene last longer whereas PVC trees tend to shed their
needles and eventually the branches fall apart! The price you pay for a Polyethylene tree is
often much pricier than its cheaper PVC counterpart.
Christmas tree shopping could be stressful, or it could be fun. These tips on what to look for in your next tree purchase can help you make the right decision. Buying the right size, weather pre-lit or not, the right tip count and the right material will make all the difference in its decorated outcome. Remember, a tree is an investment. The better quality your tree is, the longer your tree will last!