Christmas Tree: Real or Artificial?

Your tree will become the centrepiece of your home at Christmas, meaning that it can feel like an important decision when it comes to deciding what type you should choose.

Will you go for the practicality of an artificial tree, especially when today’s specimens look so darned good, or would Christmas not be Christmas without the smell of pine needles in the living room (and the look of them all over your floor). To help you decide which way to go, here are some pros and cons for both.

Real Trees

They have a much lower carbon footprint. The Carbon Trust says that a typical two-metre-tall artificial tree will have a carbon footprint which is equivalent to around 40kg of greenhouse gasses. This is over double that of a live tree, which ends up in a landfill site and over ten times that of one which is burnt. However, if you reuse it ten times, then you can keep the environmental impact below that of a live tree.

There is nothing quite like the look, feel and smell of a real tree. There’s even something decidedly festive about picking out pine needles from your socks.

Choosing the tree from your local garden centre, Waitrose, B&Q or buying online can also form part of your annual festivities. It doesn’t even have to be stressful these days (no trying to stuff a 6ft tree in the back of a Mini) when you can get some great quality trees delivered direct to your door.

Artificial trees

Times have moved on and there is now so much choice when it comes to artificial trees that it’s easy to find exactly the right option for your home. Perhaps you want a ‘tree’ that is unapologetic in its ‘artificial’ design, or like the idea of a natural option that can still be packed away in the loft for use again next year.

The choice of styles is endless, as are the options for where to buy. Retailers range from the likes of Debenhams, John Lewis and Argos to Next to Littlewoods, Very and Matalan.

Another thing to consider about artificial trees is that they can be safer than real trees. Dried out live versions can become highly flammable, whilst good fake trees will be flame retardant. This might be particularly important if you’re buying a tree for your office or a public building.

There’s also no need to worry about allergies with a fake tree, nor will you risk bringing in any unwanted wildlife hidden among the branches. There’s also the cost to consider. There is no doubt that investing in an artificial tree or Christmas Trees and Lights can lead to enormous financial savings in the long term.