10 Tips to Consider Before Buying an Artificial Tree

What you need to know before buying an Artificial Tree.

20 November 2017

10 Tips to Consider Before Buying an Artificial Tree

Are you thinking of buying an Artificial Christmas Tree?? My daughter recommended that I share what you should consider when Buying an Artificial  Christmas Tree because my knowledge helped her.  I have been in several Christmas tree manufacturing plants in different parts of the world and I learned a lot from the manufacturers.
Last December my daughter wanted to buy an Artificial Christmas Tree because she knew the following Christmas she would be moving into her own apartment. It was a good time to buy it because the trees were on sale. As it happened I needed a new tree too because we had moved and my old tree wasn’t the right size.

Of course we started looking at the options on the web so my daughter could get an idea what kind of budget she should set.  Generally what you pay for is what you get in artificial trees .  The more money equals more tips, lights, more material and height and so on. Listed below are things you must consider.

TIP #1

Size is critical, not just height but also width/ depth.
Before you do anything determine what space you have for the artificial tree.   Measure  the height of your ceiling and the foot print of the space you can give up.  The width of the tree is a big problem in some cases because you only have a small footprint.  I have 9 1/2 foot ceilings but can only have a tree around 36 inches in width. Yes, tall and thin is on my list.

Artificial Trees -Pottery Barn Selection

Artificial Trees -Pottery Barn Selection

TIP#2 

Light or no lights.
Buy artificial trees with lights on them if your are time crunched. It takes a long time to string lights on a tree and not everyone has patience to do it properly. Artificial tree manufacturers have special techniques for stringing lights and it takes them a great deal of labour to do so.
Some are very clever and you can hardly see any wires and there is  a light that sits perfectly on each tip. I will talk more about tips later but if you notice that there are a lot of tips without lights it might not be the best alternative.

Retailers will tell you how many lights are on the tree but size plays a big part on how many lights are required.   I told my daughter  to get a tree that was loaded with lights because she didn’t have many decorations so it would look more interesting.

Notice the colour of lights.  Most are LED lights that can last a long time but some can be overly vibrant or a soft white light that might be more pleasing. You may decide that clear lights are not for you and then you should consider multi-coloured lights
Some trees will have an on/off foot pedal or  a remote control. If your tree plug is difficult to reach then use a  plug- in timer so you don’t have to get stabbed by the tips each night. Plus, it will save electricity.

As a guideline, for every foot of tree you should have at least 100 lights.

Artificial Tree -from Balsam Hill

Artificial Tree -from Balsam Hill

A newer clever feature is just out and I have only seen this from Balsam Hill.   There is an easy plug connection at the base of the tree. Super easy!!

TIP#3

Determine the type or species of the artificial tree. 
You may be partial to a type of tree due to tradition or you may want something more contemporary. Determine the colour that works in your decor. Green maybe good but perhaps a more blue/green would be better. But ,maybe even a white or platinum tree might work. Beware that some trees can look dated very quickly and therefore you should watch how much it costs. Fir and Spruce needles tend to really come off as looking very natural and more timeless.

Artificial Tree - Blue Spruce

Artificial Tree – Blue Spruce

TIP#4

Watch for the tip counts on artificial trees.
The more tips, the fuller the tree and you can hang more decorations. However, if there are less tips you can easily insert very large decorations to fill the holes.  Pay attention to how the tips are finished.  If you have children or animals that might get close to the tree it should be safe. Some species lend themselves to different shapes.  So if you don’t want a traditional shape you maybe more limited in different types of species.

TIP#5

ok here is a very valuable thing to be aware of. Makers use PVC and PE for needles.
PE is usually  used in molds that create a very beautiful effect. They emulate a real needle due how they can be clustered and the weight.  A PVC needle is flat and not as pleasing to see but still does the job nicely.  To take cost out makers will put PE needles on the tips and flat PVC needles inside the branches. This is not a bad thing if you like the effect and the price.  An all PE needle tree can get expensive but it looks amazing.

Artificial tree - fir needles PE and PVC needles

Artificial tree – fir needles PE and PVC needles

TIP#6

Watch for tree embellishments on artificial trees.
Some trees have  white stuff added so it looks like snow. This is called Flocking….  Caution has to be taken with flocked trees.  Make sure the flocking is not falling off.   Big Caution too if there are berries on the tree.  Squeeze them to make sure they do not crack or pop.  You may also see  fake pine cones.  Do the squeeze test to make sure they are durable too.

TIP#7

Tree hinges are another area manufacturers can take cost out.
Again it is not all bad providing they are still durable and don’t bend so the branches don’t hang properly. The construction should be so that once the tree is up right the branches fall into place.

TIP#8

Tree stands should be metal to support the weight of a large tree. If the stand is plastic it is another cost cutting area but as long as the plastic is thick and can easily be assembled it will still work effectively providing the tree is not extremely heavy.

TIP#9

Remember to check the return policy. What if you get it home and someone didn’t measure properly? ( Who would do that????) Some retailers may offer a warranty.

TIP#10

Storage issue….Artificial trees generally come in big boxes and have to be stored in a dry area. Have a plan after the holiday season is over. Remember paying for outside storage does not make sense.  Perhaps friends or relatives can help out.  ( Yes , I do store my daughter’s tree.)

Here is some of my favorite trees.

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One response to “10 Tips to Consider Before Buying an Artificial Tree”

  1. […] it you have an artificial tree that has lights on it.) There is a post from a few weeks back on tips when buying an artificial tree that sheds light on the situation.  ( Sorry I couldn’t help […]

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