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Top Of The Best Artificial Trees Reviewed In 2018Last Updated January 1, 2019
№1 – RUOPEI Potted 2ft Artificial Taro Tree with Bendable, Adjustable Branches – Decorative Fake Greenery Trees in Pots for Home, Restaurant & Office Decor,Set of 2
№2 – RUOPEI Boxwood Artificial Spiral Topiary Trees – Decorative Fake Greenery in Planter Pots for Front Porch, Outdoor Walkway, Entryway Decorating, Set of 1
№3 – 156 feet Fake Foliage Garland Leaves Decoration Artificial Greenery Ivy Vine Plants for Home Decor Indoor Outdoors (Scindapsus Leaves)
Find the right size!
Before buying a Christmas tree, you should decide where you want to display the tree. Which room will it be in? Is it intended to be the centre piece of a room? Or, is it a second tree that will go in a family room or guest room? Will you put it in a corner, along a specific wall or next to a doorway?
Now that you’ve determined the location for your tree, how much space are you looking to fill? This will help you determine the ideal Christmas tree height for you. If you want the tallest Christmas tree your room will allow, we recommend buying a tree that is at least six inches lower than your ceiling height.
One of the joys of artificial Christmas trees is that they are available in a huge range of shapes and sizes so you should be able to find the perfect Christmas tree to fit your space.
For example, slimline trees allow you to still go for a tall tree but without the width of the tree taking over your room. Or if space is particularly tight then there is the option of going for a half tree, this stands flush against a wall leaving you plenty of floor space for lots of presents!
An impressive newcomer
With more lights and more branches (but a lower proportion of realistic ones), this new-for-201GE is worth a look.
The GE 7.5’ Just Cut EZ Light Frasier Fir Dual Color LED (model 17161HD) is new for 2018, so we’re still working on a hands-on review, but several of its specs are favorable when compared with our top pick from National Tree. It’s the same height and width, but it has more branch tips for a fuller appearance (2,07versus 1,867). Like our top pick, the GE lets you switch between white and multicolor lighting modes, and the lights connect directly as you assemble the three sections of the tree. But we are especially fond of the way GE’s LED Christmas lights look—in our test, we found them closest to the familiar warm glow of incandescent bulbs. However, the GE has 600 lights, versus our top pick’s 750, meaning it falls just short of our recommended 100 bulbs per foot of tree. And at 30 percent polyethylene, versus 3percent on the National Tree pick, the GE tree has a lower proportion of ultra-realistic branch tips—and a higher proportion of fake-looking PVC “needles.” You’ll never notice a difference from across the room, but up close you may find the GE slightly more artificial-looking.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
As we learned from experience, a major drawback to owning this or any artificial tree of a similar size is that it takes up considerable storage space in the off season, and is hard to fit back into its original box.
People often overlook the fact that they’ll need to store an artificial tree for or 1months out of the year, Gurino pointed out. And lack of storage space is the main reason, he added, that city and apartment dwellers favor live trees. (He also noted that when live trees get thrown out, they often become free mulch for public parks—in effect, they’re recycled.) Our tree, after being packed up after the photo shoot, took up a corner of our test space for a month before we were able to send it off to another Wirecutter editor for long-term testing. So unless you have lots of storage room in your place, a live tree may make more sense.
And even if you have room to store an artificial tree, bear in mind that, as Gurino noted, it won’t easily go back into its original box: “Once you fluff it, it’ll never fit exactly.” After we were done with our photo shoot, I spent about half an hour painstakingly collapsing each branch of our tree, one by one, as tight as I could against the central pole, to prep the tree for shipping. My best advice: Start from the top (the shortest branches) and end at the bottom (the longest branches). First pinch the branch tips together into a sort of bundle; then fold up the branch itself. Even after I did that, though, it made some obvious bulges in the original shipping box.
The re-boxed artificial tree of this size is heavy (over 50 pounds), difficult to fit on most shelves, and has a volume comparable to a tank-style water heater. But if you have ample storage space, you don’t have to keep a tree in its original box. Rather, Gurino said, keeping it covered and dry is the main thing. You can separate the sections and flatten the branches as compactly as you can, or keep it whole; just don’t store it somewhere it’ll be trampled or moved a lot. Do cover it with a light plastic painter’s tarp or an old sheet to keep the dust off, or buy a tree bag. And a climate-controlled space (converted basement, storage closet) is always preferable to an attic or garage.
Aside from appreciating the quality, beauty, and value of our pick, we chose a National Tree model for a few other reasons, namely exceptionally wide availability (online, in national chain stores, and in mom-and-pop shops), diverse options (in lighting, height, girth, and other considerations) to fit everyone’s unique needs, consistently great reviews, and the solidity of 50-plus years of a family-run business.
But the fact is, more than one company can claim most of those qualities, and you can find great trees under numerous brand names.
Much of the situation is due to the way artificial trees are manufactured: Almost all of them come out of a handful of factories in Taiwan and China. So while the companies selling the trees specify the details of their designs, the companies making the trees use similar materials and even many of the same basic components. That means you will be able to find a great artificial tree, even if it’s not our pick.
Puleo is Larry Gurino’s favored brand at House of Holiday; like National Tree, it’s a New Jersey–based, family-run business. Unfortunately, Puleo is not as widely available as some other brands, but its quality ranks among the best. Gurino has sold Puleo trees for 20 years, and they were some of the nicest-looking trees we came across in our search. If you find one you like, you can be confident in your purchase.
Balsam Hill is the top-selling artificial-tree brand in the US, and it offers an extraordinary array of top-quality trees in three ranges of realism. After viewing and handling examples in person, we consider its Realistic line comparable overall to National Tree’s Feel Real series. Both have a mix of realistic PE branch tips and plasticky PVC filler branches. And both do a great job of fooling the eye. An exact apples-to-apples comparison isn’t possible (due to differences in lighting options, for example), but Balsam Hill’s trees tend to feature more branch tips and light bulbs at a given height-width combination.
Frontgate mostly competes with Balsam Hill in the premium category, as it focuses on super-realistic and super-expensive trees. We didn’t encounter Frontgate trees in person, but their specs—and prices—are impressive.
There are many, many more competitors than what we list here. Given the way artificial trees are produced (described in How we picked), it’s not uncommon for companies to buy trees “off the shelf” and rebrand them under their own names. So if you can’t find one of our picks or a comparable tree from the makers listed here, you can still find an excellent tree. Here’s how.
Look at the tag—most brands are eager to note the presence, number, and often the percentage of realistic polyethylene branch tips; we like to see at least 30 percent polyethylene.
Simply look at the branch tips themselves. Although highly realistic artificial trees with polyethylene branch tips are becoming the norm, most manufacturers also still produce 100 percent-PVC trees. They’re much cheaper—and they look it. Polyethylene looks like real, living branches and needles; PVC looks like thinly sliced green paper.
Selecting a Tree Size
The first thing that most people need to think about is the size of the tree they’re going to buy since the larger the tree, the more impressive it looks in your home. However, there are limits. A tree should be at least one foot to a foot and a half shorter than the ceiling height, which is eight feet in most homes. That leaves room for some sort of tree topper.In homes with cathedral ceilings, a taller tree usually looks better, as the high ceilings will make the tree appear shorter than it actually is. While putting in an 1foot tall tree is impractical for most families, an or foot tall tree will fill the area better.
Number of Points
One of the things that realistic looking trees provide is more “points” than older models of artificial trees did. The points are the individual twigs that the ornaments are hung on. In many cases, there are more than 1,000 points on a tree, providing ample space for families that have the biggest ornament collections.
Most tree manufacturers provide information on how many points their trees have. This helps in picking a tree that works well with your decorating style. Families that use themed trees will not need as many points on the tree as families which have large collections of assorted ornaments to put on their tree.
Pre-lit trees are becoming more and more common, taking over the market from unlit trees. The great advantage of these is the time that they save in not having to string the lights yourself. The problem with standard lights on trees is they only last a few years and after that, you end up having to replace them or string lights on the tree yourself; either option isn’t all that attractive.
Many of the better brands of trees have switched over to using dura-lights which keep on burning, even if some of the bulbs burn out. Your tree will keep on looking good and not have a dark section where all the lights are out. There are even a couple of artificial trees out now which have long-lasting LED lights on them, rather than the traditional incandescent bulbs. In fact, your grandchildren may end up using the same tree without having to replace the lights.
Choose hinged branches
Artificial trees come with two types of branches: hooked or hinged. Hooked branches must be attached individually to assigned spots on the central pole. Hinged branches are permanently affixed and thus easier to set up. Trees with hooked branches cost less than trees with hinged branches.
Check our Holiday Gift Ideas page for recommendations on presents for everyone on your gift list and tips on ways to save.
Get a sturdy base
If you’re a zealous ornament hanger, make sure your fake tree has not only strong branches but also a sturdy stand to ensure it won’t topple over. Tall trees also need the right stand. For example, a tree more than feet tall should have a metal stand, says an ACTA member, Thomas Harman. Some stands even come with rubber feet to protect wood floors.
Make sure the tree is fire retardant
Each year, 230 home fires in the United States can be traced to Christmas trees. Your artificial Christmas tree should be labeled “fire retardant.” When you get it home, place it at least feet away from any heat source, including fireplaces, candles, and heat vents.
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The hardiest trees
Werner performed a study six years ago in order to understand the relationship between watering a Christmas tree and its ability to retain needles. He and his students set up about 60 trees in a mall and watered half of them.
The trees were harvested just prior to the start of the experiment, and the researchers made a second cut across the base of the tree to remove any hardened resin.
There were four species represented: Fraser fir, balsam fir, Scotch pine and white spruce.
Over the course of four weeks, the researchers measured the extent to which the trees absorbed and lost water, as well as their needle retention after being dropped from a height of feet.
The hottest holiday toys
Your guide to holiday tipping “The trees that were watered lost moisture at a lower rate than those that weren’t,” said Werner. “Initially, we found there was a rapid uptake of water, and after five or six days, a precipitous drop.”
Based on Werner’s analysis, the Fraser and balsam firs lost very few needles, even those trees that hadn’t been watered.
The Scotch pine was an “intermediate” performer, Werner said.
Spruces were the worst. “They looked like Charlie Brown’s tree,” Werner said, recalling the sad, nearly bare conifer from the holiday classic. “We didn’t have to perform the ‘drop’ test with the spruce; it already shed all of its needles.”
Close to 30 million real Christmas trees are sold every year in the U.S., according to the National Christmas Tree Association.
The Scotch pine is the top-selling and most-planted holiday tree, according to the association.
Sloterbeck will begin polling tree farmers and sellers after Thanksgiving.
In recent years, more shoppers have been buying their trees earlier in the season, starting right after Black Friday, he said. “It would suggest that people are decorating earlier and taking advantage of sales for retail goods and shopping earlier,” Sloterbeck said. “That’s a function of getting to pick the tree you want and better choice in quality.”
Local tree lots are likely your best bet for pre-cut trees.
A number of local charitable groups open tree lots every year so you can buy a tree while helping others.
Vancouver South Lions Club – the lot is run by volunteers and proceeds go back to projects supported by the Lions club including projects for kids and seniors. They’re located outside John Oliver Secondary at the corner of Fraser Street and E. 41st Avenue. Credit cards are accepted. –
Scouts Christmas Tree Lot – The North Shore Scouts host an annual tree lot to raise funds supporting a number of groups in the area. You can find them at Park Royal at the corner of Taylor Way and Clyde Avenu
Students trim the end of a trunk at Prince of Wales high school’s TREK tree lot. (Trektrees2014/Twitter)
For those in smaller homes or want a live tree, potted options might be more desirable.
Keep in mind if you plan on re-planting the trees outside after you’ve had it in your home, it can only remain indoors for up to two weeks.
Garden Centres – stores like Figaro’s Garden in East Vancouver and Art’s Nursery in Surrey have stocked up on a selection of potted trees that you can nurture year-round after the decorations come down.
Pines and Needles
Norway spruce: Very common in the UK, the Norway Spruce tree has a rich emerald green colour and strong branches. However, be aware of needle drop as they do tend to shed.
Scotch pine: The Scotch doesn’t shed needles and stays fresh for longer, so it’s relatively low maintenance. However, they are very spiky so not ideal for houses with children.
Balsam firs: These have a dark green colour and have flexible branches so are not really suitable for very heavy ornaments. It keeps its shape well and does not drop many needles.
The Nordmann fir: A favourite in the UK as this tree has soft needles that do not easily shed, and has a glassy dark-green colour that remains healthy for over weeks before beginning to dry.
What to look out for
When buying a real tree always select an unwrapped tree so you can really see how the branches sit and gauge the true width. Also make sure you give the tree a little shake and check if there is any needle loss; if there is, it is pretty much guaranteed that the tree will shed rapidly as the tree is older and less fresh.
Once Christmas trees have been cut they have begun to die, like flowers, so the longer it has been cut the faster it will begin to wither and brown. The branches should be bendy and the needles glossy as an indicator of freshness.
Check the tree base to ensure you can fit it in a stand. It should be a maximum of nine inches wide. Also beware of bugs and insects that are on the tree as these can be taken into your home.
How to care for your tree
When you get the tree home, saw about 2cms from the base before placing in a tree stand that also has a water reservoir. Make sure the water is topped up and keep the tree away from heat sources like radiators and fires to stop it from drying out. It is essential to stop the tree drying out and becoming a fire hazard. Always make sure lights are switched off when you leave the house as they can also cause a fire.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Artificial Trees wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Artificial Trees
- №1 — RUOPEI Potted 2ft Artificial Taro Tree with Bendable, Adjustable Branches – Decorative Fake Greenery Trees in Pots for Home, Restaurant & Office Decor,Set of 2
- №2 — RUOPEI Boxwood Artificial Spiral Topiary Trees – Decorative Fake Greenery in Planter Pots for Front Porch, Outdoor Walkway, Entryway Decorating, Set of 1
- №3 — 156 feet Fake Foliage Garland Leaves Decoration Artificial Greenery Ivy Vine Plants for Home Decor Indoor Outdoors (Scindapsus Leaves)