If you’re one of the many thousands who love braving the elements every year to choose exactly the right living tree to grace your home interior at Christmas, that’s a tradition worth embracing. If you like the idea of a tree, but would rather not start the new year vacuuming an abundance of needles that seem to snare into your carpet for months on end, there are lots of options for fake Christmas trees as an alternative to the real thing.
If you choose an artificial Christmas tree, there are arguably benefits both in terms of ease and expense. The main plus points are that fake trees can last for decades, so they work out cheaper than paying for a real tree every year (plus the more expensive range come with a guarantee), and a luxury interior designer will be able to identify the best product to suit your venue.
In terms of time-saving, they’re a sure winner over their real cousins. Most of them are pretty easily to assemble – there are even pop-up varieties. Some trees come pre-lit, or even pre-decorated, while others even boast memory shape technology. Many have extra-long cables included, which means you can place the tree pretty much anywhere without worrying about scrabbling around for extensions leads for the lights. Lots of fake trees also come in pots or stands so there’s no frantic searching for a suitable vessel, and stressful attempts to balance the tree to get its “best side.”
Because they’re designed to be perfectly symmetrical, fake trees look great from any angle; there are no needles to deal with, and no disposal issues, so you won’t have a tree wilting sadly in your front garden for several weeks after the festive season.
On the downside, although you might also think that in terms of ecology a fake tree is an environmentally friendly option, most fake trees are made in Asia, which means their carbon footprint isn’t great, plus they’re often made from non-biodegradable metal and plastic, so many end up in landfill.
Other considerations are that you need somewhere to store fake trees for the rest of the year, they can look synthetic, and there’s no lovely natural aroma…although there are scented products on the market to combat that.
There are innumerable traditional designs in the fake family — you can opt for one with realistic-looking cones or berries, a sprinkling of flocked snow or holographic glitter. Some versions even have rich, glossy needles made from the moulds of live tree cuttings. If you want to go slightly off piste, you could opt for a brightly coloured tree, or even one that hangs upside down. Just think about the impact on your interior when you consider these various options.
For interior designers looking for colour, a white Christmas tree can add a wintry charm and splendour to a contemporary setting. At the other end of the scale, a black variety is one of the most popular trees this year, evoking a more dramatic, Gothic feel. Between this spectrum is a veritable rainbow of coloured options, ranging from pastel to Neon….even grey.
For a more contemporary, Scandi look, there are dowel designs that can be easily assembled. There are also similarly pared-back varieties with a more natural feel – these feature simple, beautiful bare wintry branches, most of which have been hand-painted.
Top Tips For Picking a Fake Christmas Tree
- Generally, you get what you pay for, so it’s best to see your purchase as an investment that will last several years.
- Go for a tree with a high tip count. This refers to the number of needles – the higher the count, the fuller the tree will look.
- Aim for a tree with as realistic needles as possible – the ones that are moulded rather than cut are the best, and look realistic even close up.
- In terms of dressing your tree, a simple rule of thumb is if you have a 4ft tree, you’ll need around 90 decorations to show it off to its best.
Whatever your preference, the essence of Christmas isn’t about trees but more about the sentiment. As Charles Dickens said: “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."