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Tips for buying artificial trees

For some families, a fresh-cut tree is not part of the holiday plan. Trees and other seasonal greens can carry mold spores, triggering allergy symptoms like sneezing and watery eyes in children allergic to mold. Or perhaps family pets make having a real tree more of a hassle than its worth.

Whatever the reason, finding a great artificial tree can be an easy task. Also, with so many varieties, you can find a tree perfect for your family that will last year after year.

If your family is buying an artificial tree this year, here are a few things to consider:


Before buying a tree, decide where it will be displayed. Which room will it be in? Will it be a centerpiece, or will it fit into a corner, along a wall, in front of a window or next to a doorway? How much space can the tree fill? Look for a tree that is six inches lower than the ceiling height. A 7.5′ tree is best for a standard 8-9 foot ceiling. This ensures that the tip of the Christmas tree does not hug the ceiling and allows space for a tree topper. For the diameter, check the widest point of the tree. The true space occupied by the tree will be about six inches less than the stated diameter.


Ninety percent of the artificial Christmas trees bought last year were pre-lit. Of the pre-lit trees, clear lights are the most popular. When shopping for a pre-lit tree, the general rule for lights-to-tree is 100 lights per foot. So a 7.5 foot tree should have at least 750 lights on it. A high-end tree will have more than 750 lights and will wind the lights up the underneath of each branch so there are no visible wires. This allows the tree-maker to put more lights on the tree. LED lights are a great way to save money as they use less electricity. They also burn cool and have plastic rather than glass bulbs, so they are safer to use and less likely to cause a fire.


A good tree should last at least 10 years. Look for a manufacturer with a warranty of no less than seven years on the tree or no less than three years on the lights.

Looking for more Christmas and Holiday fun?

Check out our Guide to Holiday Events and Seasonal Fun

Source: Balsam Hill Christmas Tree Company

Updated 2022. Original story posted 2014.

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