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Choosing an artificial Christmas Tree

Published: 21st November, 2018

Artificial christmas treesEver since the late 19th Century when the tradition of the Christmas tree really took off, people have been developing artificial alternatives. The first artificial Christmas trees were developed in Germany and were made using goose or ostrich feathers that were dyed green. These feather extravaganzas were highly fashionable in the Edwardian period.

Artificial trees have come on in leaps and bounds since then and there are countless options available, from highly convincing imitations of the real thing to spectacularly colourful, frosted and pre-lit versions.

If you want to enjoy the tradition of the Christmas tree in a convenient and maintenance-free way, with a tree that lasts year after year, then an artificial tree may be the choice for you. The number of choices of artificial Christmas trees might be overwhelming so here’s our guide to choosing the perfect one for your home.

The first thing to think about when choosing an artificial tree is size. Measure the area you are planning on putting the tree in and see how much space you have. The box should list the total height including the stand – but don’t forget about the additional height that the fairy or star on top might add! Also remember to account for the size of the tree during storage. Most trees come in sections and fold up like an umbrella for storage.

Next is to decide if you want to opt for a pre-lit tree or not. Pre-lit trees are usually a little more expensive than unlit trees but are obviously hugely convenient and mean you can avoid the hassle of struggling with strings of tangled lights each year. However, if you like to change your theme and colour scheme each Christmas, an unlit tree may be the better option.

Once you know the size and lighting you are aiming for, focus on three remaining elements- shape, needles and density.

Tree shapes range from full to space-saving slim trees and even flat backed ones for positioning against a wall. Full trees are traditional cone-shaped trees. They have a wide face that tapers up to a single branch on top. Slim trees, sometimes called Pencil trees, are much narrower at the base. There is a multitude of shapes between full and slim, so pick one that fits your available floor space.

Now that you’ve chosen your favourite tree shape, let’s move on to the tree needles. There are 2 main types of needles on artificial trees- moulded plastic and shredded plastic. Moulded plastic needles tend to look remarkably realistic while shredded needles give a more voluminous feel. Some trees use a combination of both. You may also want to consider designs that are enhanced with berries or pine cones, or a tree in a totally unique colour.

When choosing the right tree branch density, it really depends on how you like to decorate a tree. Trees that are smooth and dense are perfect for covering with loads of lights. Trees that are more layered are better suited to lots of glistening decorative baubles peeking out from between the branches.

Whatever type of artificial tree you pick, choose one that’s flame retardant and comes with a sturdy stand. The stand should have a width in proper proportion to the height of the tree and screws for adjusting the trunk to stand perfectly upright.

Henry Street Garden Centre is now stocking a large and varied selection of artificial trees, Christmas wreaths, baubles and everything you need for festive decorating.

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