How to choose a pre lit christmas tree


The 5 Best Artificial Christmas Trees of 2022

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Photo: Michael Murtaugh

We’ve set up enough artificial Christmas trees to know that with care, decoration, and attention to detail, a lot of them can look beautiful, but the 7.5-foot National Tree Company Feel Real Downswept Douglas Fir stands out as a realistic, competitively priced, versatile, and attractive option that we recommend first among the dozen-plus trees we’ve tried since 2016. However, “competitively priced” has taken on new meaning in fall 2021, as prices for artificial trees have risen considerably. If you can wait another year, you may save some money. Artificial Christmas trees also have a higher environmental cost than live trees, a factor on the minds of a lot of people who have invested in both types and weighed the relative advantages.

Our pick

National Tree Company 7.5-foot Feel Real Downswept Douglas Fir (PEDD1-D12-75)

Realistic, full, generously sized, and versatile, this LED-lit tree can switch between all-white and multicolor modes, and its power connects as you put the sections together.

Compared with both pricier and cheaper trees, the National Tree Company Feel Real Downswept Douglas Fir (PEDD1-D12-75) strikes a good balance of cost, realism, and ease of setup. Offering nearly 2,000 lifelike polyethylene branch tips surrounding a core clad with very fake PVC “pine needles,” it has a construction similar to that of other high-quality artificial trees—but at 37% polyethylene, a higher-than-average proportion of those lifelike branches, it creates a more convincing illusion of a living tree. Its 750 built-in LED bulbs fill its branches nicely, and the lights can switch from all-white to multicolor to a mix of the two, giving it uncommon versatility. And whereas some trees require you to hunt down the light strings’ plugs among the foliage and manually connect them, this tree’s trunk-mounted PowerConnect system automatically does the job for you when you stack its three sections together. At 7.5 feet high and almost 5 feet across, the tree is generously proportioned; it’ll fill the corner of almost any living room. Finally, it’s widely available, easy to set up, and competitively priced. (For smaller homes, we recommend the 6.5-foot version.)

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Also great

Right out of the box, without any of the fluffing of branches that all artificial trees require, Puleo’s 7.5-foot Royal Majestic Douglas Fir Downswept Tree (RMDD-75QC8) looked so lifelike that a staff writer walking by commented, “It looks like a real tree.” Puleo augments its realistic polyethylene branch tips with subtle color variations such as lighter-green ends simulating new growth, creating one of the most convincing illusions we’ve seen on any artificial tree. Its lights connect automatically via wiring in the sections of trunk, making setup easy. Unlike on all our other picks, though, the lights on this tree are traditional incandescents, not LEDs, and moreover, they come only in clear. But if you prefer the warmer glow of incandescents, that’s a feature, not a bug. And unlike with some incandescent Christmas lights, the rest of the bulbs keep working even if one bulb burns out.

Upgrade pick

Balsam Hill 7.5-foot Fraser Fir Flip Tree Color + Clear LED

More lights, more realistic branch tips, more money. For a long-term investment in a truly excellent artificial tree, Balsam Hill’s most popular “species” is hard to beat.

Buying Options

Buy from Balsam Hill

*At the time of publishing, the price was $1,600.

Compared with National Tree’s Downswept Douglas Fir, Balsam Hill’s 7.5-foot Fraser Fir Flip Tree Color + Clear LED has a higher number and a greater proportion of realistic branches, which makes it appear more lifelike especially from across a room. It also has more lights (1,320 versus 750), creating an opulent display that our testers universally preferred. The lights, like the Downswept Douglas Fir’s, connect automatically via plugs within the trunk, and they too can switch between clear, color, or a mix of the two. We particularly appreciate that this tree’s base has wheels, a unique feature among our test group, as they make moving it into place and into storage much easier. The “flip” function simply tilts the lower section of the tree upright during setup—so you don’t have to lift it into place yourself—another welcome feature since the tree weighs 78 pounds in total. Like the less expensive trees we tested, it still requires you to put in some time arranging and perfecting it to make it look its best, but it can achieve a level of fullness and realism that’s truly stunning.

Also great

The National Tree Company 7.5-foot Winchester White Pine (WCHW7-300-75) is our pick for fans of kitsch or people who just want something fun and funky. It’s proudly unrealistic, sporting an all-white trunk, branches, and PVC needles lit by 500 white incandescent bulbs. But to our surprise, in our tests even those who prefer a traditional live tree loved the way it looked. It glows like a glass lantern, and it’s especially beautiful in a dark room or in a corner that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight in the daytime.

Also great

National Tree Company’s 7.5-foot Feel Real Downswept Douglas Fir Pencil Slim (PEDD4-392D-75) is a great choice for small spaces such as a foyer or apartment, or as an accent tree (in a pair flanking a fireplace or doorway, for example). At just 32 inches wide, it’s barely half the width of the Downswept Douglas Fir on which it’s based. It has the same type of (but fewer) realistic branches, and its 300 LED bulbs can shine in white, multicolor, or a mix of the two. Due to its pencil shape, it looks like no living pine we know of, but when lit and decorated, it’s pretty in its own right.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

National Tree Company 7.5-foot Feel Real Downswept Douglas Fir (PEDD1-D12-75)

Realistic, full, generously sized, and versatile, this LED-lit tree can switch between all-white and multicolor modes, and its power connects as you put the sections together.

Also great
Upgrade pick

Balsam Hill 7.5-foot Fraser Fir Flip Tree Color + Clear LED

More lights, more realistic branch tips, more money. For a long-term investment in a truly excellent artificial tree, Balsam Hill’s most popular “species” is hard to beat.

Buying Options

Buy from Balsam Hill

*At the time of publishing, the price was $1,600.

Also great
Also great

The research

  • Why you should trust us
  • Who should get this
  • How we picked
  • How we tested
  • Our pick: National Tree Company 7. 5-foot Feel Real Downswept Douglas Fir (PEDD1-D12-75)
  • Also great: Puleo 7.5-foot Royal Majestic Douglas Fir Downswept Tree (RMDD-75QC8)
  • Upgrade pick: Balsam Hill 7.5-foot Fraser Fir Flip Tree Color + Clear LED
  • Also great: National Tree Company 7.5-foot Winchester White Pine (WCHW7-300-75)
  • Also great: National Tree Company 7.5-foot Feel Real Downswept Douglas Fir Pencil Slim (PEDD4-392D-75)
  • The competition
  • On fake trees, real trees, and harming the environment
  • The facts on lead in PVC tree parts

Why you should trust us

Our crash course in artificial Christmas trees began in 2016 when Wirecutter senior staff writer Tim Heffernan visited a fake-tree manufacturer’s New Jersey headquarters. Since then we’ve shopped for trees online and in person at several big-box stores, tested several trees over the years, and spent hours examining trees at House of Holiday—New York City’s largest holiday shop—whose owner Larry Gurino “love[s] to geek out over artificial trees. ” Wirecutter supervising editor Courtney Schley has interviewed the American Christmas Tree Association, which represents artificial-tree makers, to understand the industry itself, including the manufacturing processes, sales and design trends, and statistics. For the 2019 version of this guide, Wirecutter senior editor Harry Sawyers spoke with three major tree manufacturers to identify the latest offerings and track new developments in the fake-tree world. In 2021, Tim spoke with three manufacturers, two of them new to us.

Who should get this

The best way to think about who should get an artificial Christmas tree is to compare the benefits and drawbacks of fake versus live Christmas trees.

On the plus side, artificial trees are:

Durable: A good artificial Christmas tree can last a decade, whereas live trees last a single season.

Cost-effective over the long term: Up front, artificial trees are much more expensive than live ones; in 2020, a live tree on average cost $81, according to the National Christmas Tree Association, which represents the live-tree industry. But at that average, a $400 artificial tree pays for itself after five years, and the best of them can last years more than that.

Low maintenance and low stress: There’s no need to water a fake tree or to shimmy underneath the thing to secure it in its stand. You don’t have to get to the tree lot early enough every year to hunt for a “good” one (a tradition that plenty of people enjoy). Having the tree at home ready to go once Thanksgiving wraps up means one fewer errand and one less expense at a busy, budget-straining time of year.

Safer: A 2019 New York Times article noted that while around 160 home fires a year involved Christmas trees, the National Fire Protection Association reported that “a disproportionate share of Christmas tree fires involved natural trees. ” Also in 2019, researchers for a local CBS news station based in Washington, DC, attempted to set an artificial tree on fire (video) with a lighter but didn’t succeed until they poured around a gallon of gasoline over it. In the same test, a healthy and well-watered live tree caught on fire immediately but eventually went out—though it’s important to note that their test tree had no ornaments or lights and stood against a concrete wall. In an NFPA video, in contrast, a dry, unwatered live tree burned furiously. The NFPA also found that Christmas tree lights were the cause of close to half of all Christmas tree fires (PDF). Be sure to check any tree lights for exposed wires, and never hang ornaments directly on the wires, as the weight or the sharp points on a hanger can compromise the wires’ protective coating.

Not messy: Fake trees don’t scratch up the roof of your car in transit or cover your hands in sap when you’re moving them or setting them up. They don’t shed, and they don’t leave a sad trail of needles as you drag their withered husks out of the house after New Year’s.

On the downside, fake trees are:

A pain to store: Storage is the most important reason to skip a fake tree—if you don’t have a garage or basement where you can fit a heavy box the size of a water heater in the off-season, forget it. On top of the bulk, an artificial tree often won’t fit back into the large box it came in, and if you keep yours in an uninsulated space, both heat and dampness can damage it and shorten its lifespan. It seems wise to protect your investment with the minor additional cost of a dedicated storage bag such as the Elf Stor Premium Christmas Tree Bag (a well-reviewed item we have not personally tested over the long term).

Not beautiful out of the box: Setup is hardly effortless with a fake tree, as we saw consistently during our firsthand tests. Once you get a live tree back home and secure in the stand, you just need to put its best face forward, and it looks realistic automatically … because it is in fact real.

Not 100% realistic: Even the highest-quality fake trees still don’t appear truly lifelike viewed up close. They can be quite similar to the real thing, but their plastic branches usually have a uniform appearance and a strange shine that tells the eye they’re unnatural. That said, from a distance, they can look very, very good.

Odorless: Fake trees lack the sweet piney aroma that many people associate with Christmas.

There’s also the question of whether fake trees or real trees are better for the environment. The conclusion we reached is that live trees are considerably better in that regard, but that buying a fake tree every 10 years is a drop in the environmental bucket compared with the ecological cost of other, everyday consumption (of gasoline, electricity, gadgetry, and so on).

How we picked

You can find plenty of great artificial trees these days, in dozens of “species”—assorted firs, spruces, redwoods, and pines—in multiple heights and girths, colors, and lighting styles. For this guide, we defaulted to the most popular choices, as determined by our research into sales trends, in a quest to come up with a tree type that would please the most people. Our interviews with National Tree Company and the American Christmas Tree Association yielded a few key facts about trends in the industry. The 7.5-foot size is the most popular, as US home ceilings are usually 8 feet high, so our picks reflect that.

After years of testing trees in every price bracket, in 2021 we decided to stop recommending “budget” trees. The problem isn’t their lack of realism—we found that even the fakest-looking trees are attractive once they’re lit and decorated. It’s about their long-term decline. Their cheaper construction shows when you’re setting them up and packing them into storage, as needles shed, branches break, and the overall look goes from passable to ragged over several years. Artificial trees have a significant environmental impact and can’t be recycled, too. So we decided to recommend only those models that you can reasonably expect to last for a decade or more, as they’ll spread their impact out over time. For anyone to stick with a fake tree that long, it has to be impressive to start and then remain that way through annual wear and tear.

This change meant setting our sights only on the most convincing, lifelike artificial trees, which usually carry a correspondingly high price tag. We were surprised to find how much a good fake tree cost when we began this research several years ago, and we’ve had an eye-opening shopping experience again in 2021, as tree prices have risen across the board (subscription required) due to the widespread supply-chain issues affecting deliveries from China, where almost all artificial trees are made.

Cost and realism go hand in hand on artificial trees. Using molds often taken from actual branches, artificial-tree manufacturers shape polyethylene, or PE, to produce highly realistic branch tips. But a higher percentage of polyethylene generally means a higher price, and as with real trees, bigger sizes come with bigger costs. Well into the 2000s, the only material that manufacturers used in artificial trees was polyvinyl chloride (PVC). On most trees now, PVC appears mostly as the obviously fake, tinsel-like filler branches near the tree’s trunk. Those branches aren’t prominently visible, but they do add visual density—helping to give the impression of an especially “full” tree. PVC is cheaper to produce than PE, and it’s also a lot lighter. In looking for trees that had a good mix of realistic PE tips and internal PVC filler, we were really seeking models that balanced realism, cost, and weight.

On the topic of PVC: What was once a genuine health concern—the use of lead as a PVC stabilizer—is no longer an issue in most artificial trees sold in the US, according to National Tree Company and the American Christmas Tree Association, the latter of which represents artificial-tree companies.

Polyethylene branch tips (in the model’s palm) are highly realistic and give the tree a natural look. Branch tips made of PVC (near the model’s fingers) lack polyethylene’s realism, especially at a close distance. Photo: Michael Murtaugh

Prelit trees make up 90% of the artificial trees sold in the US, according to the American Christmas Tree Association, with most of those studded with energy-saving and durable LED bulbs. We looked for prelit trees that had roughly 100 bulbs (or more) per foot of tree height; fewer than that can make the lighting appear sparse. To cover everyone’s tastes, we looked for trees that could switch between all-white and multicolor lighting. We didn’t prioritize flashing light patterns or other visual effects: As Larry Gurino of House of Holiday told us, “Most people don’t use them—they just want to see them [advertised] on the box.”

Virtually all contemporary artificial trees have branches permanently mounted on hinges on the center pole. Thanks to this design, they unfurl into place quickly when you set them up. We avoided the outdated designs in which you snap individual branches into sockets on the center pole one by one, a time-consuming and fussy process.

Last, we looked into smart trees that folks could control via their phones, whether they’re traveling or just want to eliminate the inconvenience of turning their tree on and off manually every day. But the best way to do this currently, as is the case with most basic home goods, is to use a reliable plug-in smart outlet and control the tree through that.

The best way to make a fake tree smart

How we tested

Photo: Sarah Kobos

For the 2019 version of this guide, we brought in eight trees of various styles and levels of realism and had a diverse group of Wirecutter folks—writers, programmers, business managers, our editor-in-chief—set them up in our office in Long Island City, New York. Guide author Tim Heffernan participated in the setup of each tree to get firsthand experience with all our contenders. And we invited everyone in the office to share their preferences and impressions of the trees over the course of two weeks.

Here’s what we learned:

  1. No fake tree looks convincingly lifelike up close (say, from a distance of 6 feet or less). Living trees have color variations and other “imperfections,” and that’s part of what tells the eye that they’re real.
  2. Even inexpensive trees can look very good from across the room, and more expensive trees—those with a high proportion of realistic branch tips—can look truly real.
  3. Fake trees arrive with their branches tightly compressed from being squeezed into the shipping box; they look less like living things than they do furry green war clubs. To make a tree (of any price or level of realism) look good, you have to “fluff it,” a tedious but necessary process in which you manually separate and arrange the branch tips to give the tree more volume and a more realistic shape. And the branches can scrape your hands, so consider wearing gloves.
  4. Once we lit and decorated them all, every tree in our test looked great. When setting up one of the inexpensive, all-PVC, decidedly non-realistic trees in our test, Wirecutter staff writer Anna Perling stated flatly, “I hate this tree.” But an hour later she admitted that it looked nice. What had changed? We’d fluffed it.
  5. Hooking up the strings of lights on prelit trees can be a pain. Many trees make you hunt down the plugs on each section and either hook them together or draw them down through the tree to a common power-strip-like master plug. So we prioritized trees that run their wiring through the “trunk” (the metal pipe the branches mount to) and automatically connect when you stack the sections atop one another during initial setup. That’s a much easier way of doing it, and our testers preferred it.

Fluffing and decorating our pick—a 40-minute job for Wirecutter’s Haley Sprankle and Jordan Bowman—compressed to 23 seconds. Haley joked, “I feel like this process could break a couple up.”

Our pick: National Tree Company 7.5-foot Feel Real Downswept Douglas Fir (PEDD1-D12-75)

Photo: Michael Murtaugh
Our pick

National Tree Company 7.

5-foot Feel Real Downswept Douglas Fir (PEDD1-D12-75)

Realistic, full, generously sized, and versatile, this LED-lit tree can switch between all-white and multicolor modes, and its power connects as you put the sections together.

National Tree Company’s 7.5-foot Feel Real Downswept Douglas Fir with dual-color LEDs (PEDD1-D12-75) is our pick among artificial Christmas trees. We’ve seen much more expensive trees that look somewhat more realistic, as well as much cheaper trees that look reasonably lifelike, but the Downswept Douglas Fir strikes a sweet balance of price, realism, and ease of setup. After fluffing, it is especially full and lifelike, and its generous, 59-inch girth will fill most living rooms. The lights can switch between multicolor and a pretty champagne-gold white (plus multiple combinations of color and white and flashing or “sparkling”) to match a wide range of tastes. And in an unusual touch for a tree of its price, the light strings connect automatically when you stack the tree’s three sections together, thanks to cables and plugs that run through the “trunk. ” That’s much easier than the usual process of hunting down bare plugs among the foliage and manually hooking them together. Last, the tree is widely available: If you’d like to see it in person, Home Depot, Kohl’s, and many holiday stores typically carry it.

With 1,867 lifelike polyethylene branch tips, the Downswept Douglas Fir is thickly foliated and shows no gaps after fluffing. And at 37% polyethylene, it has a higher proportion of realistic foliage—and a lower proportion of fake-looking PVC—than many trees in its price range. Note, however, that the price of the Downswept Douglas Fir varies considerably among retailers, as we’ve seen it listed for as low as $375 and as high as $1,000; seasonal demand and availability pressures can cause huge swings. It may ease the sting to remember that you’re making at least a 10-year investment.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, even though this tree is artificial. Photo: Michael Murtaugh

The Downswept Douglas Fir, like the vast majority of contemporary prelit trees, features LED bulbs rather than traditional incandescents. They last longer, run cooler, and (in the Downswept Douglas Fir’s case) can toggle between multicolor, all-white, a mix of the two, and blinking and sparkling variations thereof. We think the ability to switch between color and all-white modes is a genuine strength of this tree. You could use all-white for a more sophisticated look during a grown-up holiday party, for example, and use the multicolor mode when the mood is more festive. Or you could do something different from year to year so that it doesn’t seem like the same tree every Christmas. And with 750 bulbs, the Downswept Douglas Fir meets our recommendation of 100 bulbs per foot of tree height. Fewer than that can look sparse, but the Downswept Douglas Fir’s lights are sufficient in number and evenly placed.

Thanks to the PowerConnect feature, you don’t need to reach into the thicket to find a power cord (while plastic pieces poke you in the face). Video: Michael Murtaugh

The Downswept Douglas Fir’s all-white settings give off a subtle straw-gold tone (versus pure white) that many of our staffers praised. And its multicolor settings, while brighter than those of traditional incandescents, are not harsh and cold as on some LED Christmas-tree lights. The choice isn’t just white or multicolor, either: You can also select a Mardi Gras–like mode with white, green, and pale purple lights. And when we set it to the “sparkling” mode on the white bulbs—in which some bulbs gently faded and then re-brightened—several people gasped in surprise and delight. There are some forgettable blinking settings (where the bulbs shut on and off as if someone were flipping a light switch), but all in all, the versatility of this color-change mode is an excellent feature worth seeking out, on this or any other National Tree species, because it really sets the tree apart from the pack of more basic alternatives. Even guide author Tim Heffernan, a committed fan of incandescent bulbs with no gimmicks, happily admitted that these are some wonderful effects.

Connecting the light strings is easy on this tree. On some artificial trees, you have to find plugs among the foliage—not easy, since the plugs and wires are green, like the foliage—and manually connect them. But the Downswept Douglas Fir features National Tree’s PowerConnect system: The wires connect automatically when you stack the tree’s three sections together, via sockets inside the “trunk” (see the GIF above). That’s a huge plus. National Tree does make a version of this tree without PowerConnect—it’s the National Tree PEDD1-312LD-75X, a model we cover in more detail in the Competition section. (Unfortunately, it usually doesn’t sell for a lower price.)

In a design common to modern artificial trees, the Downswept Douglas Fir’s branches are all permanently mounted on hinges on the center pole (older artificial trees required you to attach branches individually via sockets). And like most trees its height, it comes in three sections. As you stack the sections, the branches fold out under their own weight—though you then have to fluff them, a tedious task that can take an hour for one person working alone.

National Tree Company offers a warranty for its realistic prelit trees taller than 6. 5 feet, such as our pick, that covers manufacturer defects for five years from the date of purchase. The LEDs are covered for three years. You need proof and the date of purchase to file a claim, and you need to have treated the tree and lights with reasonable care to have your claim approved.

Accidents do happen, though, like the time a robot vacuum belonging to Ben Frumin, Wirecutter’s editor-in-chief, severed a section of his Downswept Douglas Fir’s electrical cord after gobbling up several inches of the cord near the light-controlling foot pedal. All it took was one call to customer service, a $15 charge, and 48 hours before Ben had a replacement cord in hand and the tree was merry and bright once more.

The lights are well designed, but should you experience any issues, the included troubleshooting tips (PDF) are easy to follow. An internal shunt in each bulb continues the flow of electricity if a single bulb goes out, so the rest of the strand won’t be affected—if you notice a single dark spot, simply swap the unlit bulb out with one of the included replacements. If a section of a light string malfunctions, the culprit is usually a single bulb that came loose, whether it has burned out or not. A light tester can help you find the problem bulb without the effort of removing and replacing each one. Should an entire string go dark, it likely means that a fuse in the plug has burned out, and all of the National Tree Company picks in our guide come with replacements for those, as well; again, follow the included instructions (PDF) for guidance. If all of these options fail, customer support is on hand to help, though we’ve found it extremely difficult to get through to a live agent as the holidays grow closer. The earlier you set up your tree, the better.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

As we have learned from experience, the major drawbacks to owning this tree, or any artificial tree of a similar size, are all about storage.

People often overlook the fact that they’ll need to store an artificial tree for 10 or 11 months out of the year, Larry Gurino of House of Holiday 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.) 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.” 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 possible, or you can keep it whole; just don’t store it somewhere it’ll be trampled or moved a lot. And a climate-controlled space (converted basement, storage closet) is always preferable to an uninsulated attic or garage.

Also great: Puleo 7.

5-foot Royal Majestic Douglas Fir Downswept Tree (RMDD-75QC8)

Photo: Sarah Kobos
Also great

If you’re looking for a terrifically realistic tree at a good price, the Puleo 7.5-foot Royal Majestic Douglas Fir Downswept Tree (RMDD-75QC8) is a great option. Its polyethylene branch tips exhibit subtle variations in color, becoming lighter green at their ends just as living branches are lighter at their ends, where new growth occurs. It’s a remarkably convincing technique—upon seeing the Royal Majestic for the first time, one Wirecutter writer simply said, “It looks like a real tree.” The tree has a generous 1,860 of the realistic tips, too, just shy of the Downswept Douglas Fir’s count of 1,867. The Royal Majestic has another feature that we value highly: As on the Downswept Douglas Fir and many of our other picks, its lights connect automatically when you put the tree’s three sections together, so you don’t have to hunt for plugs amid the greenery. However, the Royal Majestic is available only with clear lights, and they’re incandescent rather than LED, which makes this tree less versatile than our top pick. But the lights are at least of a more modern kind—if one bulb goes out, the rest of the string stays lit—eliminating one big drawback to old-style incandescents. If you prefer clear lights to colors, and if the warm glow of incandescents is a plus in your book, it’s a tree to consider strongly.

Besides being realistic, the Royal Majestic is notably easier to fluff than other trees we’ve tested. Its branches are made with memory wire—Puleo calls it Insta-Shape—and in theory they spring into place when you set up the tree for the first time. Other companies have a similar option; for example, the Balsam Hill Fraser Fir Flip Tree, our upgrade pick, has what the company calls Pre-Fluffed branches. But Puleo’s worked better in our testing. Guide author Tim Heffernan spent just 10 minutes or so fluffing the Royal Majestic, whereas the Balsam Hill took him almost an hour. (In fairness, the Balsam Hill also has 1,564 more branch tips to attend to, but if the ratio of tips to fluffing time were equal, it should have taken just 20 minutes.)

The pole-connecting lights (Puleo calls the design Sure-Lit) also make setup easier, just as on many of our picks—a point highlighted by the fact that the particular Royal Majestic we tested turned out to be a warehouse model from a prior year and had lights that needed to be manually connected. That led to an irritating half-hour game of hide-and-seek for Tim as he searched for the pine-green plugs among the equally pine-green foliage. Puleo’s vice president of marketing and sales, Chris Kelly, assured us that all the Royal Majestics arriving in stores this year have the Sure-Lit feature but are otherwise identical to the tree we got. But if you decide to buy one, look closely at the label or product description: Some older models may still be on the shelves.

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum, the German word for “polyethylene” is “polyäthylen. ” Photo: Sarah Kobos

The incandescent, clear-only bulbs are the Royal Majestic’s only major drawback. If you prefer colors, you’ll have to unstring the lights it comes with and string your own—there is no unlit version of the tree. On top of that, incandescents do not last nearly as long as LED bulbs do. The inevitable burnt-out bulbs won’t ruin the look of the tree because, unlike with older incandescents, they won’t make the rest of a string of lights crap out; Puleo supplies a generous number of replacement bulbs and fuses, too. (Though these are, annoyingly, tightly taped in small packets to the strings—you have to find them and then snip them off carefully so as not to nick the wires.) On the plus side, this tree has 800 lights, exceeding our 100-per-foot-of-height rule of thumb for a well-lit tree. And incandescents have a soft warmth that LEDs can’t match. If that sounds like what you want, you’ll be pleased with the Royal Majestic.

Upgrade pick: Balsam Hill 7.

5-foot Fraser Fir Flip Tree Color + Clear LED

Photo: Sarah Kobos
Upgrade pick

Balsam Hill 7.5-foot Fraser Fir Flip Tree Color + Clear LED

More lights, more realistic branch tips, more money. For a long-term investment in a truly excellent artificial tree, Balsam Hill’s most popular “species” is hard to beat.

Buying Options

Buy from Balsam Hill

*At the time of publishing, the price was $1,600.

If you want one of the very best artificial trees available, we recommend the Balsam Hill 7.5-foot Fraser Fir Flip Tree Color + Clear LED. It represents a huge step up in price from our top pick, but you definitely get more tree for the money: 1,320 white and multicolor lights (versus our top pick’s 750) and 3,424 branch tips (almost double our top pick’s 1,867), as well as an easier time setting this tree up in comparison with most others. It’s a real investment, but it’s spectacular.

Any properly fluffed tree, from the cheapest to the most expensive, looks very good when decorated and lit—all the foliage fades into a dark tree-shaped silhouette, and your eyes land on the bright lights and glinting decorations.

The Fraser Fir offers Balsam Hill’s full set of premium features, including those high bulb and branch counts. To make setup easier, it’s what the company calls a “flip tree”: Instead of a design consisting of separate bottom and middle sections that you have to stack manually, this tree combines them into a single section that flips upside down on an axle for storage (allowing the branches to flop against the trunk) and upright for display (upon which the branches, as on all modern fake trees, fall into position under their own weight). It makes setup a bit quicker, but the chief advantage is that you don’t have to lift the lower two-thirds of the tree into place yourself—all told, the tree weighs 78 pounds, so doing so would take some strength. The flip mechanism also allows Balsam Hill to put the tree on built-in casters, which make moving it into place easier. (Balsam Hill offers a nearly identical—in terms of branch-tip and light bulb numbers—non-flip version that usually sells for several hundred dollars less, so if you have the necessary muscle, it’s a way to save a bit of money. It doesn’t have wheels, however.)  But although all of Balsam Hill’s Fraser Fir models have Pre-Fluffed (as the company calls it) memory-wire branch tips, we found that they didn’t work as advertised: Fluffing the flip tree we tested still took about an hour.

Rockin’ around the Christmas tree, it’s PVC and polyeth-yleeene. Photo: Sarah Kobos

Due to the high bulb count, the Fraser Fir appears opulently lit compared with our other picks. We think the dual-color LED version of the tree offers the best value over the long term: Not only do you get the long-lasting durability of LEDs, but you also have the versatility to switch colors on all of the tree’s lights if you want to change the look from white to multicolor or a mix of both. Balsam Hill trees come with two boxes of replacement bulbs in case of individual blackouts, and per the included troubleshooting tips, if an entire section of the tree doesn’t light up, you just gently turn the “trunk” back and forth a bit at each contact point to make sure the pole-to-pole connection is secure. We’ve yet to see a review from anyone who experienced unsolvable light issues, but should it happen to you, reach out to customer service. Balsam Hill covers the tree with a three-year warranty.

When we viewed our test models as plain green trees, in natural daylight and with the tree lights off, the artificial Fraser Fir looked quite convincingly like the real thing. It also looked particularly great when lit and decorated, thanks to its extremely full appearance and the huge number of bulbs. The caveat here is that you often can’t truly appreciate the realism: Any properly fluffed tree, from the cheapest to the most expensive, looks very good when decorated and lit—all the foliage fades into a dark tree-shaped silhouette, and your eyes land on the bright lights and glinting decorations.

Please come home for Christmas, remote control we hope we don’t lose sometime around the third year of owning this deluxe fake tree. Video: Sarah Kobos

One last point: You can operate the Fraser Fir’s lights via a small remote control, whereas in contrast most prelit trees, including the Downswept Douglas Fir, make you use a button on the power cord. But the Fraser Fir has such a button, too, which is good for peace of mind. The remote is handy because it means you don’t have to root around behind the tree when you want to change the lighting modes, but we could easily see it getting lost or simply malfunctioning over the decade or more that the tree should last. Take care to keep the remote stored in a safe place in the off-season.

Also great: National Tree Company 7.5-foot Winchester White Pine (WCHW7-300-75)

Photo: Michael Murtaugh
Also great

If realism isn’t your cup of tea, or if you simply prefer the Jet Age look of a different-color tree, we recommend the National Tree Company 7. 5-foot Winchester White Pine with Clear Lights (WCHW7-300-75). Even our staffers who prefer live trees found it beautiful. Its all-white branches, trunk, and glitter-dusted all-PVC needles give it a pretty, crystalline look when the lights are off. And with the lights on, all those reflective surfaces make the tree glow from within. Whereas green foliage simply disappears into a dark silhouette once the lights are on, the Winchester White Pine transforms into a snowy lantern when lit. The effect is especially striking in a dark room or in a corner that doesn’t receive a lot of natural light in the daytime.

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas—and I mean literally, I’m dreaming of a stark-white fake tree. Photo: Michael Murtaugh

Realism obviously isn’t a point of comparison between the Winchester White Pine and our other picks. But you still have to fluff the tree to get it to look its best, a process that deposits glitter on your hands, clothes, and floor. And we found that the Winchester White Pine lost more of its needles while we were fluffing than any other tree in our test. Not a huge amount—nothing like the shower of fallen needles you get when setting up a live tree—but you need to do a sweep or vacuum afterward.

We also found that the Winchester White Pine is more sensitive to light placement than our other picks. If any of its 500 incandescent bulbs are blocked by the foliage, they create a dark patch that stands out against the internal glow of the tree. So spend a bit of time tugging individual bulbs into a position where they shed their light broadly. Do that, and you’ll wind up with a weirdly wonderful tree.

Our long-term tester of this tree reports that in its second year the glitter and needle shedding persists, and that a portion of branches has developed some slight discoloration, possibly due to heat in her storage space, but overall “it’s still as magical.”

Also great: National Tree Company 7.

5-foot Feel Real Downswept Douglas Fir Pencil Slim (PEDD4-392D-75)

Photo: Michael Murtaugh
Also great

The National Tree Company 7.5-foot Feel Real Downswept Douglas Fir Pencil Slim with Dual Color LED Lights (PEDD4-392D-75) is a great option for small spaces such as a home’s foyer or a compact apartment. It’s similar in construction to our top pick, the Downswept Douglas Fir, with a rich mix of realistic polyethylene branch tips and fake PVC filler branches. And it uses the same dual-color LED lights—only it has 350 bulbs, not 750, because there’s so much less tree to cover. At just 32 inches, it’s barely half as wide as the 59-inch Downswept Douglas Fir, so it doesn’t look like any pine you can find in nature; it’s more like a cypress. But that small girth means it can fit in spaces where a full-width tree can’t.

Santa, baby, hurry down the chimney, with a tree skinny enough to fit through the flue. Photo: Michael Murtaugh

Placed side by side against our other picks, the Pencil Slim looks bizarre, and among our staffers it was nobody’s first (or second or third) choice. But once we set it up on its own and decorated this tree, it still looked more than realistic enough. And as with our other picks, once the lights are turned on, the tree itself disappears into the background; all you see are the lights and the glimmer of the decorations. This unusual shape also proves a broader point that we kept running across in our research—whatever size, shape, height, or style of tree you need, you can usually find a pretty good model to fit the bill.

We’re highlighting this model in particular because, as with the branch-tip construction, its lights are the same as those on our pick, the popular and widely appealing Downswept Douglas Fir. The lights have the same multiple colors and patterns (nine in total), including all-color, all-white, and the “sparkling” mode—where some bulbs gently dim and re-brighten—that our staffers found so charming. Again, it has fewer of them (350 versus 750), but the Pencil Slim still looks fully lit, because those lights are spread among so much less foliage.

As always, you have to fluff the Pencil Slim tree to make it look good. But the process is much faster due to the tree’s narrow shape.

The competition

We were excited about a 7.5-foot version of the Home Decorators Collection Swiss Mountain Black Spruce Twinkly Rainbow Christmas Tree. It’s one of a number of new trees, from multiple manufacturers, that come with app-controlled LED lights that you can program directly or set to multiple preprogrammed patterns—pushing their abilities beyond the seven or eight presets that most white-plus-color trees come with. From what we’ve found through reporting, people are now using trees with this feature as non-Christmas decorations, setting them to Halloween colors when it’s time for trick-or-treaters, for example, or to team colors for sporting events. Sadly, the tree itself was a disappointment; compared with our picks from National Tree, it had a higher proportion of cheap-looking PVC branches, and the finer polyethylene branches tended to break off during routine, delicate handling. We do love its Twinkly smart lights, though, enough so that we’ve added them to our guide to the best Christmas lights. The Home Decorators tree’s most valuable asset is the 600 Twinkly bulbs prestrung on it, which retail on their own for several hundred dollars. You’re better off buying the lights separately and adding them to a tree of your choice.

The National Tree Company PEDD1-312LD-75X, a former pick in this guide, is a great tree, but we made a mistake about one feature in recommending it previously. This model lacks the company’s PowerConnect feature, in which the lights connect when you attach the central pole. Instead, this model requires you to manually connect standard plug connectors near where the segments of the tree come together. It’s workable, but the PowerConnect feature is even better, and our top pick has that. And unfortunately, this more basic version does not usually sell for a lower price than our pick.

A reader asked about Bethlehem Lights, a tree brand that’s primarily sold through QVC. Although the quality of this line appears statistically comparable to that of a National Tree model, the overall purchase is a weaker value in comparison. On top of a nearly equivalent price, QVC charges a hefty shipping fee. One now-discontinued option we considered had fewer lights, at 600, and they were incandescent (not LED), which put it at a disadvantage in durability and total lifespan.

Frontgate mostly competes with Balsam Hill in the premium category, as it focuses on super-realistic and super-expensive trees. Their specs—and prices—are impressive. In 2021, we tested one of the company’s Fraser firs and found its build quality and realism equal to that of the Balsam Hill Fraser fir that we recommend. You won’t go wrong with any of Frontgate’s offerings, but they are pretty limited, especially if you want something other than clear-only lights: Frontgate offers only a single indoor tree (and one outdoor tree) with a multicolor feature.

Home Accents Holiday, a Home Depot house brand, is generally oriented toward inexpensive, less-realistic trees. Its 7.5-foot Dunhill Fir Unlit model was our former budget pick, and it looked nice once strung with lights and decorations despite having no realistic needles. But we no longer recommend inexpensive trees of this sort, as they tend to wear out within a few years and need replacement—adding to your out-of-pocket costs as well as the environmental cost of producing fake trees.

There are many, many more competitors than what we describe here. If you can’t find one of our picks or a comparable tree from the makers listed here, you can still get an excellent tree—use the criteria we outline in How we picked, especially regarding branch-tip count, material, and lighting. Once trees are fluffed, lit, and decorated, they can all look great in their own way.

On fake trees, real trees, and harming the environment

Between artificial and live trees, which is greener? You might not be surprised to learn that within the industry there’s no consensus answer—the American Christmas Tree Association and the National Christmas Tree Association, which represent the artificial-tree and live-tree industries, respectively, both claim the “greener” title.

But the definitive 2007 study on the subject gave the edge firmly to live trees, finding that an artificial tree would have to be used for 20 years before its carbon impact fell below that of buying a live tree annually over the same timeframe. A more recent look at the topic reached similar conclusions.

Artificial trees are manufactured mostly in China, where environmental laws tend to be less stringent. In addition, the study did not take into account the environmental cost of producing the raw materials—steel and plastics—that the trees are made of, nor the cost of shipping them across the ocean, noted Travis Wagner, professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of Southern Maine. Lastly, artificial trees cannot be recycled because it’s too difficult to separate the various materials, so they wind up in landfills when they reach the end of their working lives.

Live trees can be sustainably farmed and harvested, they absorb carbon while growing, and they provide some measure of wildlife habitat. Although live-tree farms do contribute to the consequences of fertilizer and pesticide use, they add value to land that might otherwise be valuable only to developers. At the end of their lives, live trees can be “recycled” in a number of ways, such as by being turned into mulch, used to stabilize sand dunes, or even submerged in lakes to create fish habitat.

It’s worth noting—as the 2007 study did—that simply driving a gas-powered car a few hundred miles produces more greenhouse gases than producing a typical artificial Christmas tree. So compared with the cumulative environmental cost of everyday activities and consumption, your fake tree isn’t much more than a blip. Still, taking care of it and extending its life is a way to minimize its environmental impact.

The facts on lead in PVC tree parts

Lead serves as a stabilizer in some forms of PVC. The one serious study (PDF) we’ve seen on artificial Christmas trees, published in 2004 in the Journal of Environmental Health, found that the lead levels and risk of lead exposure were generally very low, and well below federal guidelines at the time; a few models were outliers, however, and one slightly exceeded the federal limits. Lead exposure occurred in two ways: direct contact with the branches—as may occur when people are setting the trees up and decorating them—and contact with PVC dust beneath the tree, the result of physical decomposition of the “pine needles,” a particular concern for crawling infants. Significantly, new trees (new in 2004, that is) generally showed much lower levels of lead than trees manufactured in the 1980s and 1990s. The authors concluded that while the proportion of trees made with lead-stabilized PVC had “decreased only modestly” in the 20 years preceding 2004, “the amount of lead stabilizer used has apparently been reduced to a much larger extent,” suggesting a long-term trend toward low-lead or lead-free artificial trees.

We raised our concerns with the American Christmas Tree Association, which stated in response that leaded PVC is no longer used at all in its members’ products. We also asked National Tree Company about its products specifically, and representatives confirmed that the company uses entirely lead-free PVC. We have no reason to doubt those claims, but since no federal standards or tests for artificial-tree materials exist, we have no independent data to confirm or contradict them, either. In general, it seems wise to wash your hands after setting up and decorating your artificial tree, as well as to prevent kids and pets from playing underneath it or (obviously) chewing on the branches. But the risk of lead exposure from a contemporary artificial Christmas tree is likely to be minimal to nonexistent.

About your guide

Tim Heffernan

Tim Heffernan is a senior staff writer at Wirecutter and a former writer-editor for The Atlantic, Esquire, and others. He has anchored our unequaled coverage of air purifiers and water filters since 2015. In 2018, he established Wirecutter’s ongoing collaboration with The New York Times’s Smarter Living. When he’s not here, he’s on his bike.

Further reading

  • Christmas Decorating Supplies to Deck the Halls, Walls, Porch, and More

    by Harry Sawyers

    Between the tree, the lights, tools, and accessories, we’ve got your home-decoration needs covered this Christmas.

  • The Best Christmas Lights

    by Doug Mahoney and Thom Dunn

    Our recommendations for indoor, outdoor, LED, and incandescent Christmas lights.

  • How to Keep Pets Safe From Your Holiday Decor

    by Kaitlyn Wells

    ’Tis the season for sparkling lights, tinsel, and trees—these tips will help you ensure your holiday decor is pet-proof.

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11 Best Artificial Christmas Trees of 2022

If you grew up decorating a real Christmas tree each year — maybe you even cut it down yourself at the nearest tree farm — the thought of going fake can feel like sacrilege. But homeowners who make the switch often get over the nostalgia faster than Santa up the chimney with a nod.

For starters, you don’t have to fork over $78 each year (the going rate for a real tree according to the American Christmas Tree Association). Your synthetic spruce or fake Douglas fir will pay for itself in a few years! You won’t have to worry about watering your Christmas tree to keep it fresh or vacuuming up pine needles. Fake trees are also less of a fire hazard, and they can be better for the environment, provided you hang on to them for at least a decade. To do that, you’ll need to choose a tree that is made to last — and looks the part with a pleasant shape and convincing needles.

The experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute have been rigorously testing artificial Christmas trees for more than 15 years, and we've seen plenty of duds on the market. But with more homeowners making the switch, fake trees continue to improve in looks and longevity. Even better, you'll find a ton of great deals cropping up on Amazon Prime Day, including trees marked down at half the price. Here are the best artificial Christmas trees for 2022, based on our latest tests.

SHOP ALL AMAZON PRIME DAY CHRISTMAS DEALS

  • 1

    Best Overall Artificial Christmas Tree

    Vermont White Spruce Balsam Hill

    $999 AT BALSAM HILL

    Read More

    $999 AT BALSAM HILL

  • 2

    Best Value Artificial Christmas Tree

    Carolina Pine Tree National Tree Company

    $366 AT AMAZON

    Read More

    $366 AT AMAZON

  • 3

    Best Realistic Artificial Christmas Tree

    BH Balsam Fir Balsam Hill

    $899 AT BALSAM HILL

    Read More

    $899 AT BALSAM HILL

  • 4

    Best Unlit Artificial Christmas Tree

    Premium Spruce Artificial Holiday Christmas Tree Best Choice Products

    $100 AT AMAZON

    Read More

    $100 AT AMAZON

  • 5

    Best Compact Artificial Christmas Tree

    Fraser Fir Pencil Artificial Christmas Tree Puleo International

    $130 AT AMAZON

    Read More

    $130 AT AMAZON

  • 6

    Best Slim Artificial Christmas Tree

    Kingswood Fir Artificial Slim Christmas Tree National Tree Company

    $104 AT AMAZON

    Read More

    $104 AT AMAZON

  • 7

    Top-Selling Artificial Christmas Tree on Wayfair

    Jack 6. 5' Green Fir Artificial Christmas Tree The Twillery Co.

    $176 AT WAYFAIR

    Read More

    $176 AT WAYFAIR

  • 8

    Best Tall Artificial Christmas Tree

    Dunhill Fir Artificial Full Christmas Tree National Tree Company

    $674 AT AMAZON

    Read More

    $674 AT AMAZON

  • 9

    Best Artificial Christmas Tree With Multi-Colored Lights

    7-Foot Artificial Christmas Pine Tree Best Choice

    $130 AT AMAZON

    Read More

    $130 AT AMAZON

  • 10

    Best No-Frills Artificial Christmas Tree

    Premium Hinged Artificial Pine Tree Best Choice Products

    $65 AT AMAZON

    Read More

    $65 AT AMAZON

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After reading more about our top picks, learn more about how we test artificial Christmas trees and what to keep in mind while shopping for one. Score even more deals by keeping an eye on all the early Black Friday Christmas tree sales, too.

      1

      Best Overall Artificial Christmas Tree

      Balsam Hill

      Vermont White Spruce

      Basalm Hill

      $999 AT BALSAM HILL

      Product Details
      Sizes 4.5 feet-18 feet
      Light Options Color + clear LED, unlit, specialty
      Included Accessories Tree stand, storage bag, extra lights, fluffing gloves
      Listed Materials PVC and polyethylene (PE)

      2

      Best Value Artificial Christmas Tree

      National Tree Company

      Carolina Pine Tree

      National Tree Company

      Product Details
      Sizes 5. 5 feet-7.5 feet
      Light Options Clear
      Included Accessories Tree stand
      Listed Material PVC

      3

      Best Realistic Artificial Christmas Tree

      Balsam Hill

      BH Balsam Fir

      Balsam Hill

      $899 AT BALSAM HILL

      Product Details
      Sizes 5.5 feet-12 feet
      Light Options Clear LED, color + clear lED, unlit, clear, specialty
      Included Accessories Tree stand, storage bag, extra lights, fluffing gloves
      Listed Materials PVC and polyethylene (PE)

      4

      Best Unlit Artificial Christmas Tree

      Best Choice Products

      Premium Spruce Artificial Holiday Christmas Tree

      Best Choice Products

      $100 AT AMAZON

      Product Details
      Sizes 6 feet-9 feet
      Light Options Unlit
      Included Accessories Tree stand
      Listed Materials PVC, Metal

      5

      Best Compact Artificial Christmas Tree

      Puleo International

      Fraser Fir Pencil Artificial Christmas Tree

      Puleo

      Product Details
      Sizes 4. 5 feet-10 feet
      Light Options Clear incandescent
      Included Accessories Tree stand, storage bag, fluffing gloves
      Listed Material Other (likely PVC)

      6

      Best Slim Artificial Christmas Tree

      National Tree Company

      Kingswood Fir Artificial Slim Christmas Tree

      National Tree Company

      Product Details
      Sizes 6.5 feet-7.5 feet
      Light Options None
      Included Accessories Stand
      Listed Materials PVC, metal

      7

      Top-Selling Artificial Christmas Tree on Wayfair

      The Twillery Co.

      Jack 6. 5' Green Fir Artificial Christmas Tree

      Sand and Stable

      $176 AT WAYFAIR

      Product Details
      Sizes 7 feet
      Light Options Unlit
      Included Accessories Stand
      Lited Materials PVC and metal

      8

      Best Tall Artificial Christmas Tree

      National Tree Company

      Dunhill Fir Artificial Full Christmas Tree

      National Tree Company

      Product Details
      Sizes 4 feet-14 feet
      Light Options Unlit
      Included Accessories Stand
      Listed Materials PVC

      9

      Best Artificial Christmas Tree With Multi-Colored Lights

      Best Choice

      7-Foot Artificial Christmas Pine Tree

      best choice products

      $130 AT AMAZON

      Product Details
      Sizes 7 feet
      Light Options Multi-color LED
      Included Accessories Stand
      Listed Materials PVC

      10

      Best No-Frills Artificial Christmas Tree

      Best Choice Products

      Premium Hinged Artificial Pine Tree

      Best Choice Products

      $65 AT AMAZON

      Product Details
      Sizes 6 feet
      Light Options None
      Included Accessories None listed
      Listed Materials PVC

      11

      Best White Artificial Christmas Tree

      National Tree Company

      Winchester White Pine Artificial Tree

      National Tree Company

      Product Details
      Sizes 7 feet
      Light Options White
      Included Accessories Stand
      Listed Materials PVC

      How we test artificial Christmas trees

      The engineers at the Good Housekeeping Institute first set up artificial trees to see how easy they are to construct and shape, including how long it takes and how easy it is to take the tree out of the box, open it up and fluff up the branches.

      Once set up, we assess how realistic the tree looks. We look at flame retardancy using our flammability chamber. We verify durability by performing our own in-Lab checks for stability including tip-over tests.

      We also look at any ASTM conformance testing for characteristics like corrosion resistance and tension. For any pre-lit trees, verify that the tree is appropriately UL listed for safety. We assess how easy it is to light the tree and how evenly distributed the lights are. And when we're done with all of that, we assess how easy it is to disassemble the tree and put it into storage.

      Jillian Sollazzo

      Here, our tester is using a force gauge to determine the amount of force it would take to knock over the Christmas tree.

      What to look for when shopping for an artificial Christmas tree

      Aside from ensuring the look lives up to your expectations, there are a host of other features to consider when deciding which faux tree best suits you:

      ✔️ Size: While you likely want to go big with your tree, you want to ensure you will be able to set it up with enough clearance in your home. Ideally, you should keep at least 6 inches between the top of the tree (including any topper) and your ceiling. Trees can vary tremendously in size, from a small 4.5-foot tree to one that towers above 15 feet.

      ✔️ Shape: Artificial Christmas trees range from compact (for tight spaces) to full (for a classic tree profile) to wide (for an even fuller profile). While your choice largely comes down to space and preference, definitely check that the widest point of the tree will readily fit in your space.

      ✔️ Needle Type: Most brands use PVC to simulate needles and metal for the trunk and branches. Some will include both PVC and polyethylene (PE), and in general, those with a higher percentage of PE tend to look more realistic but are more expensive.

      ✔️ Tree type: As noted, artificial Christmas trees have come a far way in recent years to look more realistic. You can opt for a tree that mimics a fir (dense), spruce (sharp points) or pine (sparser with thin needles).

      ✔️ Ease of setup: Artificial Christmas trees are compressed to allow for shipping, so it's important to fluff the branches once assembled. Today, most can be assembled by snapping together a few segments to get an erect tree. The fluffing often takes the most time to ensure the tree has a full appearance.

      ✔️ Pre-lit vs. unlit: Many artificial Christmas trees today come pre-lit, making them easier to decorate. Plus, many newer Christmas trees have the ability to stay lit even when one bulb goes out. It's advantageous to look for this feature if you are getting a pre-lit tree. The bulb type varies, and incandescent bulbs still tend to be more affordable than their longer-lasting LED counterparts. Some specialty LED trees can even be customized for color or lighting effects.

      ✔️ Safety: Look for pre-lit trees that have undergone third-party testing from Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to ensure they have passed safety checks. You can check the UL database or look to see if the packaging has the UL logo.

      ✔️ Durability: There are various industry standards that look at the durability of the tree, including ASTM B117 (corrosion test) and ASTM F963 (child safety testing).

      Why trust Good Housekeeping?

      While she's never had a Christmas tree, real or fake, in her own home, Rachel Rothman has been testing artificial Christmas trees for Good Housekeeping for nearly 15 years, so she's become an expert at assembly and review. She has assembled dozens of them, set them on fire, attempted to tip them over and validated claims for them.

      Rachel Rothman Chief Technologist & Executive Technical Director Rachel Rothman (she/her) is the chief technologist and executive technical director at the Good Housekeeping Institute, where she oversees testing methodology, implementation and reporting for all GH Labs.

      Dan DiClerico Home Improvement & Outdoor Director Having written thousands of product reviews and how-to articles on all aspects of home ownership, from routine maintenance to major renovations, Dan (he/him) brings more than 20 years of industry experience to his role as the director of the Home Improvement & Outdoor Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute.

      How to choose a piece of yalinka? Picking up the best Christmas yalinka to Novy Roku

      17 March 2021

      If you are wondering and still don’t know how to choose a piece of yalinka for the house, then this article was spent on your eyes at an hour, even if it was not enough for the New Year pieced yalinkas are spreading like hot pies. There are more families to “switch to the dark day” of the Christmas decor (to the thought of their ancestors): buy a piece of yalinka.

      Our company has long had a principled approach to buying live yalinkas and saving a tree, which gradually dies, at home for a month or more. What can be less aesthetically pleasing, lower pebbles like falling on the ground and being broken, after step by step expending the strength of that elasticity of the dead tree's bark? Add to this place a head of water and watering the tree (singably, it was enough for the appearance of splashes) and cicadas of domestic creatures. Well yak? Did you get more sense from someone who wants to buy a piece of Yalinka?

      Luckily, we live in that hour when piece wood is easily transformed into an elegant embellishment for your booth. However, the majestic selection of these comrades is transformed into tortoises for people, just like they want, “it was beautiful at home”. At the shops there are indistinguishable rows of low and tall ones, thin ones, dark green ones, bright green ones ... and only an ear!

      Oskіlki piece yalinka is the key element of the Christmas decor, not varto stained hour and pennies for the purchase of non-yakіsny virob. We have described for you a few criteria, which will help you to choose the best decorative yalinka, having changed the traditionalist relatives yourself, so that the hour has come to switch to a more visual and practical version of the new tree.

      A piece of yalinka - how to choose a good one and a beautiful one

      When buying a new yalinka, it is necessary to take into account the following factors: height, shape, embellishment, details of the head. Below, you can also read about those, how to choose a safe piece of yalinka, so that you not only admired its beauty, but were also inspired that no one from your homeland, lovers of a superfluous middle society, could harm it. The axis of which is necessary to change us in front of when choosing a piece of wood.

      • Estimate space
        Measure the area, on which you plan to put a tree. The tip of the tree is guilty of buti for 15 cm from the steel. To that fate you want to swing, guard when choosing a tree to hang the heights of your stele. Bazhano is appointed with the rosemary of the yalinka behind the back. Show how many living areas are ready for the next month or two? Chi won't give you discomfort and take care of the overdressing of the one that pleases the eye? Good, today there are no faces of various yalinkas, beginning at the floor little ones and ending with luxurious giants.
      • Yalinka with garlands chi without?
        Why are you choosing to bathe the yalinka behind the back, adorned with vogniks, do you want to pick up the garland yourself? The yalinka is embellished - it’s handy, and now there are no other options for different colors. Just be sure that the tree is prepared in such a way that if one light bulb goes out, the pans become lit up. If you want to bring satisfaction to yourself, pick up the decor or change it, obviously, an unlit tree will be the best option for you.
      • Choose your favorite neck style
        Today there is a wide range of yalinkas with no options for heads. Deyakі arc exactly imitate the right tree. Others may not look so realistic up close, but create a larger and larger silhouette. How best to pick those who are appropriate? In the Holland online store, you can zoom in on the photo and take a closer look at the type of neck on the skin model that suits you.
      • Choose a form that suits you up to like
        Do you want to reconcile the guests, why is it a decorative yalina? But you can’t be bothered by the visible piece of wood and you just need a yalinka of the correct form? A lot of pieced yalinkas become thin, like an olive, and form shapes with warm edges: it’s not realistic, but, maybe, the stench is ideally suited for a singing mind or space. In a different way, look for more, more, organic forms, that I guess I’ll live a yalinka, like you would buy it at a fresh market.
      • Change colors
        Like a site or a store, in which you make purchases, sell products, leather in some different colors, like dark green, so light green and brown tones, you can buy tree of natural zabarvlennya. One bare green trees can be garnetted, but stench can be unrealistic.

      A piece of yalinka like a guide - myth or reality?

      Single-piece yalinka like a reference (buying a yak is not so easy, as you can) may have different characteristics among the most low-cost low-cost alternatives. A good modern yalinka can be seen both from afar and so close. Tse means that the heads and tails look as realistic as possible, while the yalinka itself looks like food, balanced and alive.

      There are three main types of trees that are vicarious for new decor:

      1. Yalina . Dense needles with flat bony necks, skin-like growths with okremo stems
      2. Yalitsa . Rough needles with single needles from stems. On the vіdmіnu vіd yalitsі maє chotiri sides and gostry points.
      3. Pine . Ridkіsnі hіlki navkol stovbur, z thin gornіnimi to the stalk in groups of two, three chi five.

      If you are surprised to the very heads, then the stench is also of different shapes:

      • Classic . Soft, flat and gnuchka needles made of PVC with a more classic look of a piece of yalinka.
      • Close to natural. Heads made of polyethylene, otrimani littam under a vise, which imitate the structure, texture and color variations of natural evergreen trees.
      • Return respect for the color of the yalinka - so you will try to know the yalinka as close as possible to natural, not to be surprised at the monotonous model. There are no such yalinkas in nature - they are rich and versatile.

      Pluses and minuses of a live yalinka

      If you want to make up your mind, then in order to overcome all the pluses of a living yalinka, stick your fingers on one hand. The main arguments of the traditionalists end with the fact that “it smells” and “the atmosphere is indescribable”. Most of them are suitable. If for you these arguments are virishal when choosing a new yalinka, then you can not read the article, but start looking at the nearest market, where you can buy a fresh new yalinka or a pine tree. From non-standard arguments for the choice of natural wood - the bark of yalina woods, as if it is holy, you can vicorize for masks or make like faces. Shiro kazhuchi, mi tse on your own did not disbelieve, but still you are a lover of experiments, yalina is alive - those who need it.

      The downsides of the living yalinka are obvious, even if they are faceless and everyone knows about them miraculously: If you have prepared olives, do you need to dance the whole evening for a long time of yalinka?

    1. Unsuccessful transportation : especially if you have decided to buy a big tree, you will need to report a lot of zusil, so that you can bring it home in safety and security, without destroying the tree and without spoiling its beauty.
    2. Buying a yalinka on the market is another benefit . Even more often it is not possible to pay for the sum of the seller, or for a reasonable price, but the splurge of forward-looking excitement allows you to increase prices to inadequate numbers.
    3. Skoda lisu . At the shortest slope, you buy a yalinka from a good seller, who is engaged in the arborization of trees on the cutting sites, but the Skoda does not overlap with this vineyard. At a higher vapadka, yalinka will be sold by people who do not praise the trace, which the stench fills up behind them.

    How to choose a piece of new yalinka

    If you are still unreasonable, how to choose a new yalinka, a few additional parameters, about how you need to remember:

    • Check the warehouse before buying, so that you can change, so you buy a safe yalinka.
    • Construction and stability . At this point, it is necessary to pay special respect, as you have loved ones at home or children. Navitt like a yalinka would be small, all the same, you wouldn’t want it, so that it fell on someone from you and hurt you.
    • Smell . When buying, pay attention also to those who smell like virib, even if the smell of plastic is not acceptable, to tell about the low quality of the material. Well, and obviously, you are orienting yourself to the art. Cіna goods lie in vіd yogo visoti and dimensions, so when choosing yalinki, it is necessary to vrahovuvati th cі parameters.

    How to choose a support for a yalinka

    A support for a piece yalinka - a detail, we often forget about the yak, and then, at the result, work quickly with handy materials, then we cover it all, eat it. Even if it’s the same place, where the guests and children will glance from time to time, even if there were gifts, it’s more like a place for gifts. Do not forget about the backing when choosing a yalinka, so as not to damage such an insignificant detail.

    When choosing a stand, give respect to your steadfastness and your good looks. Navit in the face of what we pragnemo aesthetics in the mustache, what will be the melancholy at the beauty of the stand, because it doesn’t show the yalinka and that hollow, at the same time with the mustache and garlands on the pidlog? For this, stіykіst zavzhd may be the first mist. Ale, if you try to show it, as if it were visible, it’s a display at once with a link and in general in an interior. It is important not to zip the big picture, substantiate it in a style that radically resonates.

    The pieced yalinka is alive - for us the choice is obvious, but for you?

    Do you doubt the choice: is the piece of yalinka alive, more is the piece of yalinka not like that, like natural? So loud! Vaughn will not be obsipatisya in a day or two after the purchase. She will also not have enlightenment between the hulks and the inconsistencies, as if it were possible to win, having sent half of all embellishments to the imperfect place. Її mіtsnі gіlki vytrimayut vaga your embellishments and do not need to worry about the stench zіpsuyutsya under the hour of fall. A piece of yalinka will spare you an hour and a penny more than one river after the purchase. In addition, you will no longer be accountable to the massive front-line demise of the lisiv and your conscience will be pure.

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    Recommendations for consumers: how to choose a Christmas tree

    There are 15 days left before the New Year, so it's time to think about buying the main symbol of the holiday, the invariable attribute and the main decoration of the New Year - a festive tree. And you need to choose it correctly so that it pleases you for a long time.

    First of all, we advise you to purchase felled coniferous trees only at an officially established place, since the sale in this case will be legal, and the goods sold are subject to control.

    New Year's fairs open in mid-December in retail markets and in areas adjacent to shopping centers. It is illegal to buy Christmas trees "from hands", from the so-called "black lumberjacks". To avoid buying an illegally cut down Christmas tree, buy a tree only at official points of sale, if the seller has an agreement with the spruce nursery on the purchase of trees.

    The best time to go for the Christmas tree is on the twentieth of December. A Christmas tree bought earlier will crumble long before the end of the New Year holidays.

    Like any other product, the sale of Christmas trees is subject to provisions of the Law "On Protection of Consumer Rights" and Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of December 31, 2020 N 2463 "On Approval of the Rules for the Sale of Goods under a Retail Sale Agreement, a List of Durable Goods which are not subject to the consumer's requirement to provide him with goods with the same basic consumer properties free of charge for the period of repair or replacement of such goods, and the list of non-food products of good quality that are not subject to exchange, as well as to amend certain acts of the Government of the Russian Federation "

    In the outlet where you are going to buy a Christmas tree, a sign with information about the enterprise (individual entrepreneur) carrying out activities should be placed, and the opening hours of the outlet should be brought to the attention of customers.

    Also, the seller is obliged to ensure the availability of uniform and clearly defined price tags for the goods sold. It is allowed to issue price tags on paper or other information carrier visually accessible to buyers, including those with electronic display of information, using slate boards, stands, light panels.

    In addition, the seller must have a consignment note confirming the legality of the purchase of goods, as well as phytosanitary documents guaranteeing that no harmful insects were brought along with the tree, which you have the right to familiarize yourself with upon purchase. If you are refused to provide these documents for review, consider purchasing a Christmas tree at this outlet.

    Here are some tips to keep in mind when buying:

    • · fresh wood, fluffy and fragrant. Also, good spruce needles are slightly oily to the touch, and old trees break off with a dry crackle;
    • · Inspect the barrel for mold and mildew. They shouldn't be;
    • · Choose a tree with a smooth, sufficiently thick trunk without cracks. A tree with a thin trunk will not last long.
    • Branches must be flexible. If the branches are dry and break with minimal effort, you should not take a Christmas tree.
    • Needles should be a rich emerald color, elastic and firmly attached to the branches. Hit the tree trunk on the ground, or lightly shake the tree - if the needles fall off a lot, this is a bad sign.
    • Rub a few needles in the palms of your hands - you should feel the characteristic smell of needles. Dry, yellowed, crumbling needles and lack of aroma are signs of a long-cut tree.
    • Choose a tree with one top. If there are two, three tops, or it is cut off, you do not need to buy such a tree.

    Ask the seller to wrap the tree in a plastic mesh sleeve. At home, be sure to let the tree gradually adapt to the heat by placing it in a cool place for 2-3 hours, for example, on a balcony.

    If you prefer living spruce, then do not bring it from the cold street directly into the house: this will most likely cause its needles to fall off (for the same reason, do not put the tree near the radiator). In addition, before putting up the tree, do not forget to clean the bottom of the trunk from the bark.

    If you prefer a practical option with artificial wood, then pay attention to the fire resistance of the material. A good Christmas tree should be accompanied by a certificate of fire safety of the product.

    The branches must be securely fastened, the needles on the branches must also be firmly attached. Lightly pull on the needles, they should not come off. Run your palm along the branch against the growth of needles, squeeze the branch in your palm, while high-quality needles will quickly take their original shape and will not crumble. At the ends of the branches there should be no sharp edges, bare wire, notches.

    A slight, characteristic plastic odor may be present for a short time. A pungent chemical smell indicates the use of materials that do not meet the standards.

    When choosing artificial Christmas trees, the main condition to pay attention to is environmental safety. The Christmas tree should not exude an unpleasant chemical smell, and also contain substances harmful to health. Poor-quality materials, artificial dyes, flavors, odor simulators can cause allergies, and even poisoning. Therefore, when buying, carefully read the information on the product packaging, which indicates what materials the spruce is made of.

    It's not worth saving on buying an artificial Christmas tree. Saving when choosing can turn into big trouble. Low-quality artificial materials emit phenol and formaldehyde under the influence of temperature - volatile substances that can cause dizziness, provoke headaches and feel unwell.

    A high-quality and safe Christmas tree must be made of fire-resistant materials or treated with special compounds that prevent fire. On the packaging of the Christmas tree, there must be information about fire safety. If the material from which the Christmas tree is made is flammable, it is very dangerous.

    When choosing a Christmas tree, pay attention to the date of manufacture, the rules and conditions of use and storage, the material from which the product is made, the data of the manufacturer and the company accepting claims. All information must be printed on the label in Russian.

    The tree must be in the package. It should contain information about the manufacturer and information about the main consumer properties of the product.

    It is better to buy an artificial Christmas tree in official outlets - large supermarkets and shops. When buying a product, ask the seller for accompanying documents confirming the quality and safety of the goods presented.

    Poor quality artificial Christmas tree can be replaced within 14 days. To do this, it is necessary that its presentation, label, receipt be preserved. The fact that the consumer does not have a sales receipt or a cash receipt or any other document confirming payment for the goods does not deprive him of the opportunity to refer to witness testimony.


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