The Christmas Tree Debate - Real or Fake???

Calling an artificial Christmas tree "FAKE" is probably a major faux-pas but in reality that is what an artificial tree is, a FAKE.  Most people have very strong opinions on weather or not their Christmas tree will be real or not.  I think pretty much everyone loves the smell of a real Christmas tree!  I know I do :)  But depending on where you live, gaining access to quality real fresh Christmas trees can be difficult.  

We live in Southern California... not exactly the pine tree capital of the world.  Buying fresh cut Christmas trees here means that they have been cut somewhere out of state, shipped via trucks, sat in a lot waiting to be sold, and then by the time you get it home, give it a fresh cut and put it in water, you are lucky if it lasts more than a week!

I once purchased a 12 foot noble fir, which is my absolute favorite kind of tree (I like the layered effect so ornaments can be put deep into the tree).  The tree cost well over $100.  I spent a full day decorating the tree.  It was stunning!  About five days later it started getting crispy and needles were falling out.  On day seven, I went to the lot where I purchased it, told them that my tree was basically dead, and they told me to bring it back for a replacement.  I had no choice, Christmas was still two weeks away and the one I had at home was a major fire hazard!  I had to completely un-decorate the tree and haul the 12 foot beast back to the lot, where I proceeded to exchange it for a replacement.  The lot owner told me they just got a new batch of trees right off the truck and they were fresh from the grower.  He put a fresh cut on the bottom, I took it home, put it in water and spent another day decorating the new tree.  Seriously, they first time was enjoyable, but the second time decorating basically the same tree was not what I wanted to be doing!!!  I admit I was a bit irritated, but at least I had a fresh tree.

I put water in the tree stand daily.  But, a week later, I had a crispy, near dead Christmas tree in my house.  The exact same thing had happened.  The last week until Christmas we left the lights off because it was not safe to have them on. We live in Southern California and it's usually sunny and warm.  On Christmas day my husband is usually in shorts, because we really don't get much of a winter.  I guess "fresh" trees don't travel well getting here and they just don't last very long.  I prefer to have a tree up the day after Thanksgiving all the way till New Years.  One that lasts through the entire holiday season!

Needless to say my experience with real Christmas trees came to an end that year.   I have since had a couple of artificial trees. 

Artificial Christmas trees have come a long way.  There are many different qualities, styles and price ranges to choose from.  Some of the higher end trees look so realistic that you cant tell that they are fake.  Look at this picture of the pine needles from a high quality artificial tree that I found on  My dream Christmas tree would be one of these but unfortunately my budget isn't going to allow me one this high end.  However, when the day comes that I can afford one of these beauties, I would love to get one!

Look at this Sugarlands Spruce also from Balsam Hill.  The realism is amazing!

Since that Christmas trees scent is the one thing missing from fake trees, last year I used pine ScentSicles to add a Christmas tree scent to our tree.  They are little pine scented sticks that you hang near the interior of the tree to make it smell real.  They are rated pretty high as most people are very happy with their smell.  

For this year I am looking for a taller tree because our house has 9 foot ceilings, and my current tree is only six feet tall.  Although I have found a few dream trees, they aren't in my budget.  So I have been looking this past week for something that still looks real, that is tall, that I can afford.  I am hoping to find it in the next few days.  I'll update you when I do.

In the meantime, I'd love to hear your thoughts on Christmas trees, REAL vs. FAKE... Which do you prefer?



  1. We were just discussing this at my house! We live in the White Mountains of NH and believe it or not, 3 years ago we waited until 10 days before Christmas and could not find a tree anywhere! 2 days before Christmas we found a beautiful 10 foot artificial tree, originally $400 marked down to $75. We bought it with the promise that after 2 years, we would put it outside as a decoration and get a real tree for the inside. However, now I am torn. I actually loved the fake tree! I put it up the day after Thanksgiving and took it down at New Year's. No watering, no needles all over the house. As you said, the fake tree technology has really improved, and you can't tell they are fake unless you feel the branches!

  2. I love a real tree but my lungs don't. We had a real tree for 13 years and I would get sick a few days after getting the tree and stay sick until spring. The last two years the we had a real tree I had to leave the house when we removed the tree until the mold spores were out of the air before I could breath. So it's fake all the way over here and happily I have not been sick like that again.


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