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Real vs Artificial tree... what to do..?!!

(17 Posts)
Tummum Wed 01-Dec-10 17:22:06

OK, so I know it has been done to death, but I am in a real quandary about whether to do a real tree or invest in a fake one this year.

DH is off to the States on Monday, flying back on the 23rd, so he is really keen to do the decorations on Sunday with the DC so he gets involved with the whole thing before he goes over. If we get a real tree it will be dead by the time we get to Christmas.... but I really really love Christmas trees and just can't bring myself to buy one.

Has anyone got any recommendations for a really nice realistic type artificial tree?

Should I stick to my principals and get a real one and watch is slowly die over the next 4 weeks.... or compromise and get a plastic one.

Help me make my decision!!

blowbroth Wed 01-Dec-10 18:31:16

We have bought an artificial one this year for the first time in 10 years.
I loved the ceremony of us all going to collect the real tree every year , strap it on the car roof and drag it through the door with all the neddles dropping off! We always got ours really early, like now, but they always seem to last the whole season. However , this year we have had a radiator fitted in the bay window where our tree goes so I thought the real one would dry out/die quicker. So we have an artificial one up already!
I have to say it looks great! I searched long and hard for a good looking one but not too expensive. The expensive ones do seem to have very tight ,bushy branches and I felt our decorations wouldn't hang and dangle so I got a more open/sparse tree. It sounds a bit skinny but actually is really good. It's about 7 or 8 feet tall. I got it from a discount wharehouse/'tat' shop for about 50 quid.
So, sorry to waffle on, but I would say go for an artificial one, they're really ok.
We are on the lookout for a pine scented room fragrance though as we miss the smell!

ChippyMinton Wed 01-Dec-10 18:36:23

Go for a good-quality, non-drop variety, but make sure it has plenty of water to stand in, with a drop of bleach added(treat it like a vase of flowers). Can you turn the radiator down, or only have it on when needed?

SlightlyTubbyHali Wed 01-Dec-10 18:38:09

Buy a real one, store it outside, get your DH and children to decorate it on christmas eve. Adds to the festive excitement.

Seona1973 Wed 01-Dec-10 19:58:53

would a potted one (with roots) not last a bit longer than a cut one? We have a 6 foot artificial one and have never had a real tree - it was from tesco last year.

JetLi Wed 01-Dec-10 21:18:56

Had a real one about 11 years ago which was so utterly lovely that it made me cry to look at it - I couldn't shake the feeling it should have been still growing in a forest somewhere blush blush
It has been artificial thereafter in this house. I get sentimental enough at Christmas without getting tearful over the sodding tree as well blush

QueenGigantaurofMnet Wed 01-Dec-10 21:23:27


a real one will cost you about £50. you will have to get it home which is a nightmare and means driving with a massive trunk hangingout of your window.
you then have 3 months of pine needles all over your house.
plus you have to try and get it disposed of after christmas.

with a fake you bring home a nice square box that fits in your boot. it will cost about £50 and will last a fair few years without needing replacing. no mess or smell and after christmas you pack it away into your loft ready for next year. no hassle, not slopping around shops in the cold trying to find one the right size and shape.

Horton Wed 01-Dec-10 21:46:47

The smell is the best bit! I mean the lovely piney smell, not anything horrible. I would get a real one. If you throw enough glitter and bling at it, it will still be exciting enough for the children even when it is half dead.

Bunbaker Wed 01-Dec-10 21:51:47

I have never had a real tree for all the reasons that QueenG gives. I really can't be bothered to have to go out near Christmas to find a real tree and then deal with the faff of getting rid of it afterwards.

Every year, as close to Christmas as I can get away with, I go up into the loft to get the tree and decorations down, and every year after Christmas it all goes back into the loft again - very little hassle involved, and no needle drop.

PaisleyLeaf Wed 01-Dec-10 21:56:14

Get a live one in a pot? Can keep it in your garden between christmases.

girlywhirly Thu 02-Dec-10 08:40:01

I've had real and artificial trees over the years, and I would say, go with artificial. Even if you change your mind in following years, you can sell the artificial one.

NotFromConcentrate Thu 02-Dec-10 10:01:59

I've put my real tree up on 1st December for the past few years (after caving to pressure from the DCs!) and they've always lasted. As someone else said, buy a good quality tree with very low needle drop (Ours is a Nordman fir this year) and top the base up with water every other day

Horton Thu 02-Dec-10 10:31:24

>> the faff of getting rid of it

There is no faff! The binmen come and get it.

MooMooFarm Thu 02-Dec-10 11:31:30

I love the look of real trees but we can't have one. The one year we did, we discovered that DH was allergic to it and was covered in red, itchy hives shock.

So we bought a really nice artificial one, and I splish pine aromatherapy oil around the rooms for some real 'christmassy' smells.

The one year we had real, I hated all the needles dropping everywhere anyway (but then I am a bit OCD).

NordicPrincess Thu 02-Dec-10 12:27:28

Go to this website,

I would recommend you get a PE artificial xmas tree either the Redwood, the Kelso or the Wentworth.

We have them at work and they are amazing trees, the redwood and the wentworth have this lovely droop to the leaves and branches that look just like a real tree in the alps. They are not made of the cheap tinstle of old artificial trees. They also have the colouring and needle thickness of the Nordman spruce or nordman fir-Dark green leaves with a slight silver underside.

Delivery takes 2 working days and is free of charge.

moonbells Thu 02-Dec-10 13:37:10

As Seona1973 said, Potted.

Find your local garden nursery (not a big chain!) and see if they have either potted trees or dug-up trees with roots. The latter are cheaper (mine was less than a tenner for a 2.5' tree) but can be a bit hard to settle since they'll have had root disturbance and usually need potting up and TLC.

We have two trees now, one now so big it's in the largest pot we can lift so we got a smaller one to take over duty. They stay in for the duration and get put immediately out again. The pots have handles on either side to make shifting easier! The big tree is now about 10 years old and pushing 6' tall.

Though since DS was toddling, we have left them outside and bought shatterproof plastic baubles! Last year they froze in place thanks to the snow and we couldn't take them off until late January!

Not sure if this year the trees will be inside or out. Suspect one of each. I went and bought outdoor LEDs in case, this year.

Only thing to beware - they don't like being inside for too long or they drop leaves. Sometimes they also get spruce aphid which is yeaaugh and drops goo on the floor. You need them in a huuuuge tray so you can keep them watered. And if you are squeamish, potted can be a problem as they bring in bugs! shock Then again, so do DC, so... wink

KeepCalmAndHaveAnotherMincePie Thu 02-Dec-10 14:35:15

I always put up a real tree at the beginning of December and it lasts fine till Christmas. I'm planning to get one on Sat if I can dig the car out.

We usually have a nordman or fraser fir and have a stand that holds quite a lot of water which we top up regularly.

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