How to weigh down a christmas tree


How To Keep Outdoor Christmas Trees From Blowing Over

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Tired of your outdoor tree falling over? Learn how to keep outdoor Christmas trees from blowing over on your porch or yard.

Decorating your front porch or yard with Christmas trees is a fun way to celebrate the holidays.

But whether you are using real or artificial Christmas trees outside one of the most frustrating problems is that they blow over so easily.

That leads to broken decorations, having to set everything up over and over again, and the risk of someone getting hurt when a tree falls over.

Learning how to secure outdoor Christmas trees securely can save you a lot of time and frustration during the holidays.

These easy tricks have worked well for me in the past when I’ve decorated my yard and porch with trees.

If you live in a very windy area you may find that you need to use a combination of methods.

How To Keep Outdoor Christmas Trees From Blowing Over

Fence Post Base

Add Weights

Try An Umbrella Stand

Shepherds Hooks

Tie Straps

How To Keep Outdoor Christmas Trees From Blowing Over

Fence Post Base

ADLER Fence Post Base Brackets Heavy Duty Steel Powder-Coated Anchor Support Use for 4×4 Wood, 11” x 4.3” x 6, Black

 

A fence post base isn’t just good for fixing a leaning fence post they can be really handy in securing an outdoor Christmas tree.

These post-holders have holes in the bottom that you can screw into your porch, or use stakes to secure them into the ground.

Then place the trunk of your Christmas tree inside it, try to use one that fits snuggly, and screw through the side holes into the trunk to secure it.

This fence post brackets idea will work best with a real tree.

Add Weights

One of the main reasons artificial Christmas trees fall over outside is that their base isn’t heavy enough to keep it grounded when the wind picks up.

You can help make the base heavy by adding bags or boxes of rocks, sand, or even cat litter to the bottom of the tree.

Make it pretty by placing them inside burlap sacks so they look like mock Christmas presents under the tree and your neighbors will never know.

Try An Umbrella Stand

EliteShade Umbrella Base Water Filled Stand Market Patio Outdoor Heavy Duty Umbrella Holder

 

Umbrella stands are made to hold large outdoor umbrellas even in windy weather. This can make them a great solution for holding artificial trees outside and keeping them from blowing over.

Make sure the one you get has a pipe diameter large enough to fit the trunk of your tree inside. Then fill the base with sand and place the tree inside before tightening it down well.

This trick works well in combination with the extra bags of weights or tie straps if you are in a very windy area.

Shepherds Hooks

Ashman Shepherd’s Hooks, Black, Set of 4 Made of Premium Metal for Hanging Solar Lights, Bird Feeders, Mason Jars, Plant Hangers, Flower Basket, Christmas Lights, Lanterns, Garden Stakes and Weddings

 

Shepherds hooks used to support having baskets during the summer can also make good supports for outdoor Christmas trees.

Make sure to use a heavy duty one and drive it into the ground securely.

Then place the Christmas tree next to the post and tie them together with strong twine or zip ties.

Shepherds hooks work best for light weight artificial trees.

Tie Straps

If your outdoor tree is near a fence or railing another option is to use a ratcheting tie strap.

Place the tie strap around the trunk and the railing and secure it tightly. This option can work well for both artificial and real cut Christmas trees.

If there are no posts nearby that you can secure the tree to, another option that may work is to use tent spikes and rope that’s been pulled tight to hold the tree in place.

Just be careful when setting this up that it’s not a tripping hazard in your yard.

Of course, you can combine these ideas together to make sure your Christmas trees stay in place in windy weather so you don’t have to go outside and try to fix it.

While these ideas have worked well for me in the past to keep my Christmas trees in place if you are expecting a really bad wind storm it’s always a good idea to move the decorations to a safer place if possible.

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Kim

Kim Mills is a homeschooling mom of 6 and lives on an urban homestead in Ontario, Canada. Blogging at Homestead Acres she enjoys sharing tips to help you save money, grow and preserve your own food.

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How Do You Secure An Artificial Christmas Tree Outside? (Tips)

We love putting up our artificial Christmas tree outside every year, but it can become challenging to keep it in place during strong winds and bad weather. So what’s the best way of anchoring it?

You can secure your artificial Christmas tree outside using shepherd’s hooks, ratchet straps, rope or tie straps, an outdoor umbrella stand full of water, bags of rocks or dumbbell weights, or fence post bases.

Join us to discover how to use each of these methods to anchor your artificial Christmas tree outside this festive season…

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Can You Put Fake Christmas Trees Outside? (Is it Safe?)

Yes, you can put a fake Christmas tree outside. A fake Christmas tree can make a great addition to a porch, gazebo, or patio, creating an appealing extra seating area for the holiday season. 

You need to make sure of a few things first: is it water resistant, and are its lights and decorations suitable for outdoor use? There’s a great selection of outside fake Christmas trees at places like Home Depot and Lowe’s, which are ready-decorated with safe outdoor lights.

As well as making sure your fake tree and lights are suitable for outdoor use, you need to ensure that the tree won’t topple over. A gust of wind could easily wreck your gorgeous display, or even send your tree tumbling down the block. We’ll take a closer look at how best to anchor your fake Christmas tree.

How Do You Anchor a Fake Christmas Tree Outside So it Doesn’t Blow Over?

Artificial Christmas trees can be lighter, so they need firm anchoring to prevent them from blowing over. There are several ways you can do this, and how you choose to secure your tree depends on the type of tree and what fixing points you have available.  

You can keep it cheap and low key by weighing down a pot with rocks or sand, or try a decorative method like a weighted umbrella stand. If your porch is particularly windy, you can even use ratchet straps or ties.

Just please bear in mind that even though you can easily tie up or weigh down an outdoor fake tree, the best solution is to choose a sheltered spot in the first place. Aim to have the tree close to the house wall or away from the prevailing wind. A sheltered location combined with a weight or a tie should keep your tree standing neatly upright throughout the holiday season.

Heavy Duty Shepherds Hooks

Shepherd’s hooks are normally used for decorative purposes such as holding lanterns or hanging baskets. However, a heavy-duty shepherd’s hook can take on tougher tasks, such as helping to support your fake Christmas tree.

Shepherd’s crooks placed in buckets or pots of soil on either side of the tree can be used to tie it down (more about ties in a moment). You can also turn the pots into pretty, decorative features with evergreen plants.

Even with heavy-duty hooks, this is a solution if you just need a bit of extra support. If you think the tree is likely to get blown over, you’ll need a more robust method of support.

Ratchet Straps, Rope or Tie Straps

Ratchet straps are most commonly used in haulage, to tie down loads. So, they may not be a pretty solution, but they are effective. If you are standing your tree on a raised deck, you can thread the straps between boards. Otherwise, you may need to attach fixings to the house wall or fence to hold the strap.

The same is the case with rope and tie straps: what are you going to fix them to? If your tree is going to stand close to a fence or trellis, this is an easy fixing method; otherwise, you may have to install hooks on your wall to take the other end of the rope or strap.

Outdoor Umbrella Stand Full of Water

We really like this method, as it can look really great. Do you have a stand for your patio umbrella? Repurpose it as a Christmas tree stand. The heavy-duty ones that you fill with water are ideal: just make sure that the trunk fits before you choose this as your fixing method.

If you don’t already have an umbrella stand over-wintering in your garage or shed, you can pick them up at places like Home Depot or Target. You can even get decorative plastic ones (although these don’t weigh down as well as a water or sand-filled stand). If you don’t like the look of your plain stand, try covering it with burlap and ribbon (using water-resistant fabrics, of course).

Bags of Rocks or Dumbbell Weights

This is a cheap and effective method of weighing down your outdoor fake tree. Simply gather up some pebbles or rocks, or a few small dumbbell weights. You’ll also need two plastic store bags (tough ones, with handles that won’t pull and tear).

Place the rocks or weights in the bags, then tie the bags on either side of the Christmas tree stand. Make sure they are opposite each other so the weight is evenly balanced. This is an easy way of making sure your tree doesn’t blow away (and is an easy solution if you realize last-minute that your tree needs holding down).

It’s not the most attractive solution. We’d suggest getting a strip of burlap a few yards long, and generously wrapping it around the tree base, covering the bags. You can also disguise it with fake presents, like the ones they put around the trees in malls and stores. But, the presents themselves will need to be weighted and wrapped in something waterproof.

Fence Post Bases

Using a fence post base to attach an artificial tree to a deck is a great idea. As with the umbrella stand, you need to make sure that the trunk fits in the support. Make sure you know exactly where you want your tree to go, as you’ll need to drill holes in your decking or boards to secure the base (lookout for a fence post base with pre-drilled holes).

If you’re standing your tree on grass or dirt, you could even use a fence post itself, as a type of stake. Securely fix the post into the ground, then tie the trunk to it using any of the tying methods we mentioned above.

How Long Will an Artificial Tree Last Outside?

How long a fake Christmas tree lasts outside depends on a number of factors: how exposed it is to the elements, how good quality it is, and whether it’s designed to go outside or is simply a relocated indoor tree.

A decent outdoor tree should give you a few holiday seasons, provided you clean and dry it (and make sure it’s free from bugs) before storing it away safely on 6 January each year. If it’s been kept out of the sun and rain, your outdoor tree should do even better.

If you’re worried about exposing a smart new fake tree to the elements, Do It Yourself With Joe suggests repurposing an old artificial tree for outdoor use. If you have an old tree in your attic or basement, this is a great way of giving it a bit more useful life before eventually getting rid of it. In this short YouTube film, Joe shows you how to upcycle an old Christmas tree into a lovely new porch decoration.

As Joe says, an indoor tree won’t last long outside, which is why he advocates installing a used one. The metal parts of the stand and branches won’t be designed to withstand rust, and will deteriorate after their Christmas spent outside.

Summary

We’ve used dumbbell weights from my lifting set to anchor our outdoor Xmas tree in the past, and even tied it up one year with rope when the wind got up.

However, having looked into this in more detail I think we’ll give the umbrella stand full of water a go – or even the fence post method.

It’s important to keep that fake tree from falling over in bad weather, as it messes up all your decorations which can take ages to put up.

My kids still never let me forget that our tree went over a few years ago. 🙂

Larry James

Homeowner and property investor Larry James founded Take a Yard in 2020 to bring you the very best outdoor living content, based on his years of experience managing outside spaces. Read more >

How to save a Christmas tree from a cat: ways to protect yourself

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February 27, 2019

Contents

  • Unpleasant odors

  • Selection questions

  • Rules for safe tree installation

  • What about the toys?

  • Is it worth punishing a cat?

For pet owners, the New Year is not only a holiday, but also a time of increased attention to their pets. As a rule, they show great interest in the changes taking place in the house. Especially to the New Year tree, which cats strive to dump on the floor or leave without bright toys. How to save a Christmas tree from a cat, and a cat from a New Year's tree: read a selection of proven tips.

Unpleasant odors

Probably the easiest way to protect a Christmas tree from a cat is to use a special repellent scent that you can make yourself. The solution is absolutely safe for the animal, moreover, it will help create a delightful New Year's atmosphere.

To create a solution you will need:

  • ordinary water (50 ml),
  • a few drops of essential oils of lemon, lavender, orange,
  • any convenient sprayer.

The ingredients are mixed, and the tree itself, the floor around it and the toys are periodically irrigated with the resulting spray. In theory, cats will not come close to the New Year's beauty, exuding citrus aromas that are unpleasant for him. It happens that the method does not work, and the curiosity of the animal is stronger. In this case, the problem of how to save the Christmas tree from the cat will have to be solved differently.

​Choice questions

It is believed that an artificial Christmas tree is safer for a pet: it does not prick, needles do not fall off and the animal is unlikely to suffer from digestive problems due to swallowed needles. The smaller the size of such a tree, the better:

  • a small tree is much more stable than a large one,
  • Christmas tree made of synthetic materials, much lighter than natural
  • even if, in the heat of “hunting” for Christmas decorations, a cat drops a Christmas tree, it is unlikely that it will cause serious injury.

Christmas tree safety rules

So that the cat does not knock down the Christmas tree, when installing it, you must follow simple rules:

  • the best place is the corner of the room;
  • the tree must be reliably protected from falling, so you need to fix the trunk on a large and stable stand;
  • a bucket with something heavy and unattractive for a fluffy robber is also suitable for the role of a stand: expanded clay, stones;
  • some craftsmen attach the top to the ceiling by tying it to a pre-screwed metal ring;
  • do not install the Christmas tree near cabinets, shelves - as they can make it easier for the cat to access Christmas decorations;
  • artificial or natural pine should not be placed on a pedestal or other platform from which it can fall without the help of a cat;
  • during the cat's forced loneliness and at night, the room where the tree stands should be closed so as not to tempt fate.

What about the toys?

Decorating a Christmas tree in the presence of a cat is a bad omen. At the sight of toys, colorful and shiny tinsel, the animal goes into ecstasy and tries to get to the Christmas tree with a vengeance.

What should be Christmas decorations:

  • matt, not swaying or eye-catching,
  • plastic: if they fall, they will not break and the animal will not be injured,
  • securely fastened with a wire, not a thread, so that the cat could not catch it with its paw and throw it to the floor,
  • The higher the Christmas decorations are hung, the safer.

What can't be done?

  • hang toys on lower branches,
  • use rain, otherwise the pet will swallow it, which can lead to serious problems with the esophagus and stomach, poisoning and even suffocation of the animal,
  • decorate the Christmas tree with a faulty garland: make sure that the light bulbs are not electric and the wires are well insulated and hidden.

Is it worth punishing a cat?

If the cat eats the Christmas tree and does not leave an attempt to pull off toys from it, then it's time to start the educational process. The greatest educational effect on the cat has a thin jet of water from a spray bottle. As soon as the pet tries to attack the New Year tree, lightly sprinkle water on it and strictly say “No!”. Harsh sounds can be used instead of water. For example, clap your hands or hit the pan with a spoon. The animal must clearly understand: the tree is not an object for entertainment and it is necessary to keep a distance from it.

Protecting the traditional New Year's attribute is a responsible and not always successful business. If, despite all your efforts, the cat knocked down the Christmas tree, then let the animal have fun from the heart. Having played enough, the pet will get fed up and sooner or later calm down, having lost all interest in the tree.

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Christmas tree.

Her ancestry. How to choose and install

New Year is the first human holiday. Hence the oldest. And therefore, all the customs and traditions that seem utterly familiar to us often have an enchanting background. This fate did not pass even the New Year tree. Its very resinous smell, ahead of tangerine by several points, is strongly associated with winter celebrations. Children's holidays are simply called "trees". But simply fabulous meanings are associated with the Russian Christmas tree.

A tree is not just a tree

All nations treated trees with special trepidation. They were considered living beings into which the souls of the dead pass. Spirits choose different trees for themselves to live in. Moreover, they prefer tall and sprawling trees, and if you establish a good connection with such a tree, then the spirits will protect a person from evil forces. Therefore, people cajoled the trees: they bowed to them, decorated the twigs, buried offerings at the roots. Sometimes the helper tree could be cut down to be carried at the front of the festive procession. And after the holiday, the dead tree did not lose its magical power: people took its branches home as amulets, and threw the trunk into the river or burned it, scattering ashes across the fields - "charged" the earth and water so that they were kind to people and fed them well .

What is good for a German...

No one knows exactly when the tree became a New Year's tree. But one thing is for sure: it happened in Germany. The ancient Germans revered spruce for its evergreen and perfect pyramidal shape. For them, it was a world tree: the roots are connected with the lower world of chthonic fiends, the trunk with the middle human world, and the branches and crown with the upper world of spirits. On the eve of the new year, the Germans came to the forest and decorated "their" Christmas tree, lit candles on it, tied colored rags on their paws, and put gifts for spirits to the trunk. And they “danced round dances” around the Christmas tree - they performed their own special rituals.

CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS OF DIFFERENT COUNTRIES

Over time, having grown bolder and lazier, the Germans began to cut Christmas trees and bring them home to set on the festive table. In the meantime, the bottom line is, the pastors of German churches have assimilated the New Year tree, creating many legends about the Christmas tree, the baby Christ and angels. Neighboring peoples liked this custom - and in the 17th and 18th centuries, Christmas trees were set up all over Europe. And not only in houses, but also in churches and city squares.

...then death for Russians

Actually, the Russian people had their own primordially favorite tree - birch. Even your favorite bath brooms are birch. But the Slavic brothers did not like spruce. This tree grew more and more in wet swampy places, with its rough, damp trunk compared to the skin of Baba Yaga. The spruce forest was dank and gloomy.

The great-ancestors clearly considered the Christmas tree to be a resident of the gloomy "lower world": "They crowned the Christmas tree around, and the devils sang", "Spruce head" - a stupid person, "Look under the Christmas tree" - to be seriously ill, "to fall under the Christmas tree" - to die. The word "yols" became one of the names of the goblin, the devil: "And what kind of food do you need?" Suicides were often buried face down between two fir trees, and spruce paws covered the floor in the room with the deceased and the path of the funeral procession.

Tsar Peter tried to bring the German custom to the Russian holiday and ordered to put up Christmas trees and make "decorations from trees and branches of pine, spruce and cerebellum". But after his death, this matter was quickly hushed up. For some reason, Christmas trees continued to be set up only in drinking establishments: before the New Year, a decorated Christmas tree was placed in a tavern, and after the holiday, it was installed at the gate or on the roof as an identification mark. As a result, taverns in the people began to be called "Christmas Trees" or "Ivan Elkinima": "Let's go to Elkin", "Christmas tree (tavern) sweeps the house cleaner than a broom", "raise the Christmas tree" - to get drunk, "Elkin" - drunk. And neither Pushkin nor Lermontov knew Christmas trees - they had Christmas, masquerades and balls.

And there is no one to say thanks to

But at the end of the 1830s, apparently, one of the Russian nobles looked at the traditional elegant Christmas tree in the German settlement or abroad and thought: why am I worse? He took it and put the same tree in his house, setting a precedent for a new holiday fashion. Neighbors and acquaintances gasped, thought, and next year they organized elegant Christmas trees for themselves. And it started: Christmas trees, Christmas trees everywhere, but what is a holiday without a Christmas tree?

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Leading newspapers began to write that "we adopted the children's holiday on the eve of the Nativity of Christ from the good Germans: Weihnachtsbaum (Christmas tree)". Gritty confectioners began to sell ready-made Christmas trees in their shops, decorated with gingerbread, candies, cakes in baskets, sweets and candied fruits - such a Christmas tree cost a lot, but buying it was already a matter of status. Real Christmas tree competitions began in the capitals: the nobility decorated Christmas trees with jewelry and exclusive fabrics.

Down with the Christmas tree

But the First World War began. The Germans are the enemy. The Holy Synod immediately banned Christmas trees as a German custom. During the war, we have the Great October, and the Christmas tree was completely thrown off the stage as a "bourgeois little thing", a "savage" and "priestly" custom. And then: civil war, famine, industrialization, the 30s... It's not up to Christmas trees.

Comrade Stalin supported

Comrade Stalin had a special sympathy for Christmas trees: they began to plant these trees in front of government buildings precisely from the time of his reign (remember the Slavic associations with the Christmas tree - symbolic, right?) And when in 1935 a certain Comrade addressed him. Postyshev: “Comrade Stalin, it would be a good tradition and the people would like it, and the children would especially enjoy the Christmas tree. We now condemn it. Why not return the Christmas tree to the children? - Stalin supported him: "Take the initiative, go to press with a proposal to return the Christmas tree to the children, and we will support it."

Comrade Postyshev is credited with the merit of returning the Christmas tree to the children. When Pavlik Postyshev was little, he often peeped into the windows of the master's estate, how the "children of the rich" danced around the Christmas tree. And when Pavlik grew up and became a prominent party figure in Ukraine, he tried to arrange a Christmas tree. For all. And in 1935 I talked about this with Stalin. Returning home after a conversation, he put a small Christmas tree by the bed of his seriously ill son: "This is a New Year's gift to you and all Soviet children." The son quickly began to recover, the family said so that it was not the doctors who cured him, but the Christmas tree. But at 1938 Comrade Postyshev was taken under arrest, and a year later - by execution. The legend of "the man who returned the Christmas tree to Soviet children" was hushed up until Postyshev's rehabilitation in the 60s.

These are the ways and fates of the New Year's coniferous tree. Look: our Christmas tree has absorbed both gloomy Slavic associations, and the German spirit, and the theme of festive libations, and the motive of a well-fed, rich life, and there is even a Soviet imprint on it.

How to choose and install a Christmas tree

If you chose a real Christmas tree, then your main thing is to keep it as long as possible. A properly chosen Christmas tree can stand for two weeks or more without crumbling.

  • First, the dimensions of the Christmas tree must match the dimensions of the room where it will be placed. Secondly, the tree must be “fresh”: dry in two or three days, it will begin to crumble. On a fresh Christmas tree, the branches are elastic - it is not easy to break them off, while on a dry one they break off easily and with a bang.
  • If the tree has a thin trunk, this is a sign of illness. A healthy rather big Christmas tree has a "waist" in girth of at least 6 cm, and a coniferous outfit is bright green. If you gently rub the needles, your fingers will become oily, fragrant. If you did not feel the smell of pine needles, and the needles are dry to the touch, then the tree is frostbitten.
  • In order not to break off the branches on the way home, it is best to wrap the Christmas tree and tie it with a rope.
  • In many families, they like to put a Christmas tree near the window, but that's where the batteries go, and they are simply detrimental to the tree. After two weeks, all the needles can fall off from it. Do not overload the branches with tinsel and rain - this can also accelerate shedding.

    There is a simple way to prolong the life of Christmas trees in a city apartment.

    A bucket of water is taken, the bottom of the tree trunk is freed from the bark and slightly chopped and even split a little so that the tree absorbs moisture better.

    The tree is placed in the water, strengthening the trunk with the help of planks installed in the bucket (like in the picture), and a couple of large stones are placed on the bottom of the bucket, which will not only hold the trunk, but also make the bucket heavier, reducing the risk of falling.

    Dissolve one of three agents in water:

    • a teaspoon of garden fertilizer;

    • an aspirin tablet, a teaspoon of granulated sugar and a pinch of salt;

    • teaspoon of glycerin.

An important question is when to buy a Christmas tree

A week before the New Year, thick, beautiful trees begin to be sold, but what will remain before the holiday itself is unknown. Therefore, if you have any cold room or balcony, then you must definitely buy it in advance.

By the way! In the past few years, experts have noted an increase in demand for artificial Christmas trees in defiance of the present.

And there is something very correct in this: a living Christmas tree should stand in the forest. At the same time, modern industry produces fluffy beauties that are almost as good as forest Christmas trees. And if you miss the smell of pine needles, you can put pieces of cotton wool on the branches and drip essential oil (spruce, pine, fir, cedar) on them. But it is even more difficult to choose an artificial Christmas tree than a real one, because it should serve you for more than one New Year.

Experts advise choosing an artificial Christmas tree, focusing on the strength of branches and needles, as well as its fire resistance.

The cost of artificial Christmas trees depends on many parameters. The main one is the country of origin. The most expensive spruces are brought from Germany, Italy and Holland. Middle-class Christmas trees are brought from Taiwan and Thailand, the cheapest ones are Chinese products. In Russia, the production of Christmas trees has also been established, the quality of which, although not reaching German, is growing every year. The second factor that determines the price is the height of the tree and the environmental friendliness of the materials. The assembly method also affects the price: expensive Christmas trees are laid out like an umbrella, cheap ones are collected by branches. Each additional “bells and whistles”: fluffiness, original colors, cones and snow on the branches also affects the price.

You can test the Christmas tree like this: you need to stroke the soft needles “against the grain”, and pull the needles on the hard needles.

If the needles did not crumble and quickly returned to their original position, the exam was passed. But the packaging should indicate that the Christmas tree is made of special refractory polyethylene or plastic. The best synthetic Christmas trees are now made from polymers with the addition of so-called flame retardants - substances that prevent fire. Such Christmas trees do not burn, in the worst case they only smolder.

THE BEST CHRISTMAS TREES OF MOSCOW

Another important point: even at room temperature, various substances - plasticizers - can be released from artificial needles. Under the influence of the heat of a candle or electric bulbs of a Christmas tree garland, this release increases, and all this is harmful to children's and adult organisms. A quality certified Christmas tree is virtually free of these shortcomings, so ask for a certificate when buying.

Molded plastic trees - the most expensive to manufacture, but they look more natural than any others. The secret is that each branch is cast separately in special molds. They are not produced in Russia, but German products of this class are enough to decorate the windows of jewelry boutiques and offices on the main streets.

Christmas trees made of PVC film with an aluminum shaft are more widely represented in stores than others. PVC does not burn or decompose, making them safe. They look quite natural, and at the same time they cost much less than cast ones.

There are also Christmas trees based on light-conducting optical fiber and Christmas trees with light guides.


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