Home Tip Tuesday: Tips on Choosing a Christmas Tree (Artificial and Real)

Measure ceiling height, topper, stand and tree to make sure it will fit!

Big or tall, spruce or pine, real or artificial - no matter your preference, there is an art to selecting the right Christmas tree and caring for it so it looks its best on Christmas Day. Get our best tips for picking a real or artificial holiday tree. 

Choosing a Real Tree

How tall are your ceilings? If you aren't sure, then you risk bringing home a tree that is too tall to fit in your living room or having to relegate your favorite tree topper to the mantle. Measure your ceiling height, your topper height, and your tree stand height. Your tree must be able to fit in the stand, accommodate the topper, and clear the ceiling's maximum height. 

It is also worth checking the stand's diameter since your tree trunk must fit into the stand (or you will need to purchase a larger stand). Stripping off tree bark to slim the diameter harms the tree, making it more susceptible to dying before the holiday. 

Check tree for freshness.

Now that you know the maximum tree height and trunk width, you can screen individual trees. Stand back from the tree and assess its form, which is largely a matter of personal preference. You might prefer a squat, bushy tree or a tall, lean tree, depending on your aesthetics and the size of your room at home. If space is cramped, a tabletop tree may work. 

Check the freshness of a live tree by crushing a few needles in your hand. Your fingers should smell fresh and piney. Test the branches by pinching down on a branch with your thumb and forefinger and pulling toward you. The needles should remain on the tree; if this action leaves you with a palm full of needles, the tree is past its prime. 

Selecting an Artificial Tree 

The same size considerations apply for an artificial tree as for a real tree. 

One of the main decisions you will need to make concerns the tree's appearance: Do you want an artificial Christmas tree that looks like a real evergreen, or a fake Christmas tree that is obviously artificial? Plenty of trees come with a dusting of fake snow, glitter, or other accent. Some are even made of tinsel, feathers, or other materials. The more realistic or decorated you want the tree, the more expensive it will be. 

Artificial trees should be flame retardant.

An artificial tree should be flame retardant and fade resistant for safety and durability.

If you prefer the tree look like the real deal, search for a Christmas tree made of PE instead of PVC. While both are types of plastic, PE trees fabricate the needles and branches together, so the end result looks more true to life. 

With either real or artificial trees, a little time spent picking the right tree will pay you back with holiday cheer. While you're out shopping, pick up any lights and ornaments needed to trim the tree. 

For more home decorating tips, please visit homechanneltv.com

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