Real or fake?

A decorated Christmas tree
So what sort of Christmas tree do you have in your house? Did you think about it or just go with habit or the first option?
I LOVE the smell and atmosphere of a real pine tree in the house, but I feel terrible cutting down a tree for a few weeks’ pleasure. So here are my thoughts on which type of tree is ‘best’.

An artificial tree is good because:

  • doesn’t kill a real tree
  • cheaper than buying a tree every year
  • doesn’t droop or go brown over December
  • no mess (pine needles can be a pain to clean up)
  • fire-retardant so safer
  • often on sturdy stands which may be safer than a tree held in a bucket by a few bricks
  • easy to access – most big shops sell them and you can even order them online!
  • it is lighter to move around – and easier when folded – than a real tree
Whereas a real tree has the smell, atmosphere and a unique character. You could use it for firewood or compost/mulch but most people struggle with getting rid of it after Christmas. So on  practical level it’s not so good but it still has a strong emotional pull…


30 Responses to Real or fake?

  • Santa's Elf says:

    Some years ago I had a small pine tree in a pot and that was a great compromise – I kept the tree alive and didn’t need an artificial one. The pot can get a bit heavy though…
    Thanks for sharing, Rohan – this is something I think about too as chopping down trees just seems so wrong…

  • Sueblimely says:

    Because Christmas Trees are replaced each year it is good for the environment to chop down the mature ones. Growing trees absorb the carbon dioxide that is causing problems and emit fresh oxygen.

  • Metarex says:

    I prefer artifical trees than a real tree for the same reasons. Chopping down a tree just for a one day event doesn’t seem right when you can get a fake tree to reuse every year. It’s also cost effective and helps the environment. Real trees are great to have in the outdoors where it can grow to its fullest.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Yes, trees outdoors are beautiful. More and more people in my area are decorating living trees in their front yards for Christmas and it looks great – it also means sharing your efforts with more people which is fun. Of course, colder climates may not be able to do as much of it but our summer encourages the decorating and the walking around looking at gardens.

  • dkramarczyk says:

    I personally prefer the artificial trees. I don’t have to kill a tree for my own pleasure, plus it makes the clean up after Christmas time a lot easier. No pine needles hiding out for years, just waiting for someone to step on it and get poked. I also enjoy how artificial trees have different color options. I especially like the white ones.

  • angeldrb says:

    We don’t grow pine trees here in our country so a lot of people just use artificial ones. We don’t do that at home, though. During Christmas time, my grandfather would chop down a couple of bamboos – there’s a bunch of them growing in our backyard – and he would craft them into a Christmas tree. We’d decorate it with Japanese paper, strings, and other ornaments, and voila! A beautiful Christmas tree! πŸ™‚

    • Santa's Elf says:

      That sounds absolutely beautiful, angeldrb πŸ™‚ And a lovely family tradition as well.

      And cutting down some bamboo – well everyone knows that will very quickly grow back!

  • angeldrb says:

    Haha, exactly! I think we have enough bamboo here to last me a lifetime of Christmas trees – plus a spare to give away to our neighbors, too! πŸ™‚

  • Nero says:

    My family used to cut down trees before, but then we started buying ones in pots, with the root. After Christmas is over, we just replant it back into the woods. It’s a great way to compromise between the “real pine tree smell and atmosphere” and not hurting the nature. And they’re not even that expensive!

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Fantastic compromise, nero πŸ™‚ SO you have woods near your house to plant the trees in? Nowhere near me would work with this idea but I’m hurting to think of a modified version of your idea to use!

  • twinsmommy says:

    We have a fake tree. It is much easier to deal with, I don’t have to worry about keeping it watered or the pine needles dropping all over the floor. Much more convenient for our family.

  • Youlovejordan says:

    I absolutely love real pine trees! Me and my family always go for the biggest ones. They smell great and their very festive. The only downside to having a real tree inside the house is the fact that they shed stems quite often so having a skirt to protect your floors are a must! I never really could get with the whole fake tree idea, it’s just not the same.

  • ACSAPA says:

    I like artificial trees and the more artificial, the better. I like colors that couldn’t possibly occur in nature. I have a white tree, a blue tree and a pink tree. They don’t shed needles, I can use them year after year, and the “fashion colors” make decorating them a lot of fun.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Do you use all three trees at once, ACSAPA? I can see them next to each other making a real statement with just a bit of tinsel over the top πŸ™‚

  • ACSAPA says:

    I do sometimes use the three trees together. Last year I put the pink one in the bedroom ,lighted like a big night light. I ended up with so many trees because they went on sale 50% off after Christmas and I couldn’t decide which weird color I liked the most. So I started collecting them. I forgot to mention the last tree I bought ,which was a 4 foot black pine tree on sale for $5. I haven’t decided whether to use it for Halloween or hang red and white ornaments on it to contrast with the black. I like having non-traditional decorations. But I decided that last year was my last year buying trees because I don’t have unlimited space to carry out my Christmas decorating fantasies. I don’t want to end up sleeping in an artificial pink and blue forest with my daughter and dog.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      hehehehe – what an image that is, sleeping in an artifical Christmas tree forrest!

      A black Christmas tree is very different – some people probably find that offputting but now you’ve mentioned it I can it see it looking very classy with the right decorations on it.

  • Fren says:

    Pine trees grow quickly and are sustainable – so it is not a problem that so many are cut down each year. the problem is what happens to them after Christmas. Here in France we can take them back to where we bought them and they are processed to make mulch, wood chips etc. Conversely, artificial trees may be made of materials that have a significant carbon footprint.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      THansk for your comment, Fren. great to hear you can take your real trees back to where you got them from – that doesn’t happen very much in Australia.

  • pocs says:

    We don’t like to cut down trees either, but I do love a real tree. Our solution was to buy potted trees. After Christmas we head to my parents for Sunday supper and plant it in their back yard. We lost a few over the years, today you can find 11 trees in their back yard. The last several years however we bought our trees from a nursery and bought another tree to replant and after we took down our tree we donated it too a mulcher, for mulch in the spring at our local park.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      They are good suggestions for aligning a desire for a real Christmas tree with the discomfort of cutting down a real tree.

      I’m assuming your parents have a big yard!

  • Magic Pixel says:

    I know what you’re talking about. I too feel a bit odd to even make a scratch on a tree. But you know one great option you can try if you need a fresh tree? You can take a small side branch instead of cutting off the entire bough. I guess that’s easy for me to say as we have some trees growing near our place.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Yes, a branch is good compromise, Magic Pixel. We did that with a gum tree a couple of years ago – the branch was weak and getting dangerous so we made the msot of it for a truly Aussie Christams tree πŸ™‚

  • pocs says:

    With having to trim up your tree, I always have branches left over. I make a swag for the door. Just bundle them all together and tie with a red velvet bow.
    Yes Santa, my parents have a large yard, because of their they have opted to decorate a tree outside, instead of having one in the house.

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