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Realistic Artificial Christmas tree - balsam hill?

(29 Posts)
AndIAskMyself Wed 20-Sep-17 09:52:04

Every year we have a real Christmas tree. I love the look and smell. We spend so much £££ though - I think our tree last year was about £70, and it dropped about 4 days later (they did replace it).

Anyway, our son will be 17 months at Christmas, and I'm just thinking it will be most sensible to invest in a really good fake tree for the next few years to come because I know he will just pull all the decorations off. But I can't bear an ugly plastic looking tree. I want it to look real.

Doing research it seems like balsam hill gets the best reviews. Does anyone have any links and photos of their realistic fake trees? Help!

Twistmeandturnme Wed 20-Sep-17 13:55:20

Balsam hill are lovely but on price alone you are better off going fro real and getting lots of unbreakable decorations.
You can get a lovely real tree for £50 or so and a Balsam Hill will cost you at least 3 times that (ion the sale)...and of course the fakes don't get better looking as the years go on, so you can only really base its value on how it will look the first year.

If you go for the Balsam Hill remember the 'traditional' ones are like the normal shop ones: you'll need a 'realistic' or 'very realistic' to make it look like the picture.

AndIAskMyself Wed 20-Sep-17 18:12:07

Thanks twistme, but cost wise I think it will work out better to go for balsam hill if I plan to use it for at least the next 5 years or more. The one I'm looking at is 'most realistic' and is £159 at the moment. I wouldn't want o spend much more than that really.

Star2015 Wed 20-Sep-17 20:38:40

I'd be interested to see what recommendations you get... I'd really like a fake tree that looks like the real thing!

tootiredtothink Wed 20-Sep-17 20:53:30

I'm looking at the Balsalm Hill site now and have decided to go for a 6.5 - 7ft tree.

But so expensive !

Would love to have recommendations from anyone who has had one.

Especially the realistic / very realistic full varieties ?

Gingernut81 Wed 20-Sep-17 21:24:01

We got one on offer a few years ago as DH has never liked real ones. It's a 7 foot one, can't remember but I do remember thinking it was a stupid amount of money. However, it's always had loads of compliments and as artificial trees go I think it looks really lovely. I'd definitely buy it again.

tootiredtothink Wed 20-Sep-17 22:08:52

Thanks Gingernut. Has it lasted well or is it starting to show its age ?

In my head I'd expect it to last forever for these prices grin

purplecat27 Wed 20-Sep-17 23:49:01

Hi, really glad I spotted this thread, I was just about to start one on Balsam Hill! Would people say to go for the realistic/very realistic from there then rather than a traditional? I'm guessing they all have the fake needle-type leaves rather than the usual ribbon-type leaves? Also does anyone have any experience with pre-lit vs unlit?

Badcat666 Thu 21-Sep-17 00:07:18

OHHH! I've got one! a Silverado Slim Tree ,7' High ,Slim 45" Wide!!!! Tis "very realistic" IMO.

I bloody love it!! Fits into the corner of the front room. (and if you miss the smell of a real tree you can fake it with scented hanging thingies... mmmmmm)

Got it in a sale about 3 years ago for about £120, its unlit as I'm a fussy cow with chrimbo lights.. Even fooled my picky brother who thought all fake trees were crap. he kept "touching" it LOL!

Was paying about 50/60 quid for a real one each year so I'm a very happy bunny with my tree

You can ask for samples to be sent you so can have a look at the branches.

Comes in a seriously heavy duty storage bag and gloves! gloves DARRRRRRLING! So you don't hurt for delicate hands putting the tree up!

AndIAskMyself Thu 21-Sep-17 09:10:10

Thanks for the reply badcat. So it's this one you got https://www.balsamhill.co.uk/p/silverado-slim-artificial-christmas-tree?sku=5023819

Do you have any photos of it decorated? I was considering these two, but am now not sure whether to take the plunge and go for a 7'

6' Norway spruce https://www.balsamhill.co.uk/p/norway-spruce-artificial-christmas-tree?sku=2801203

6' silver fir https://www.balsamhill.co.uk/p/european-silver-fir-artificial-christmas-tree?sku=2801186

AndIAskMyself Thu 21-Sep-17 09:15:30

Also, I think to make it look really the part, I'll need to get a good tree skirt. Was thinking this one

https://m.johnlewis.com/john-lewis-mitsuko-galvanised-tree-skirt-copper/p/3231967?sku=236962572&skwcid=2dx92700025424816206&tmad=c&tmcampid=2&gclid=CjwKCAjwxo3OBRBpEiwAS7X62eypIlw3ORtrLZ6kLKGVw0-7-MnQOadFeX4j13ROQwmEUyiVnnflTRoCk8UQAvDD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

But not sure if it will fit?

catwithflowers Thu 21-Sep-17 09:17:55

We had bought real trees every year until two years ago. Some were good, some were rubbish and dropped after a week and all were expensive. In 2015 we bought a very realistic 9' tree from john lewis. Cost about £150 I think but we're really pleased with it. We bought those pine scented sticks from b&m and hid them in the branches!

Will work out loads cheaper in the long run 😊

AndIAskMyself Thu 21-Sep-17 09:25:06

I was also considering this, but when I look at the close up, it looks like a crap ratio of the 'realistic' branches vs the filler ribbon type ones. Would look ok from afar, but not close up

http://www.marksandspencer.com/6ft-fraser-fir-tree/p/p22512369?prevPage=plp&pdpredirect

I had heard Homebase had a good one, but they don't seem to have anything up yet!

JellyBabiesSaveLives Thu 21-Sep-17 09:29:18

We got a "very realistic" one but foolishly picked one with fake snow. Bloody stuff goes everywhere every time, including in my lungs. Don't get one of those!

Balsam Hill supply you with gloves to wear when putting the tree up because you have to spread the branches out, and they are stiff and prickly and they hurt. You need long sleeves when decorating.

Bear in mind that you're going to get an impressive looking fake tree. It's not really going to look real. It may look lovely and fit in the room better and not die, but - still fake.

And those scented pine hanging things are awful! I bought posh ones and they smell like air freshener.

AndIAskMyself Thu 21-Sep-17 10:11:40

Good tip on the snow

Bluntness100 Thu 21-Sep-17 10:15:34

I've got the prelit balsam hill one I wouldn't say it looks real unlit, although it's close, but it looks fanastic lit, literally hundreds of lights that you wouldn't be able to do with usually fairy light strings.

As such I'd recommend the pre lit one.

RueDeDay Thu 21-Sep-17 10:22:37

AndI, here is mine from last year... Unfortunately the point of the pic was DD's present, so the tree is a bit obscured!! It's a pre-lit slim fit, about three years old, looks just as good now as it did when I got it. Still very happy with my choice.

AndIAskMyself Thu 21-Sep-17 10:33:48

Ohhh lovely.

NoParticularPattern Thu 21-Sep-17 10:42:14

I have no experience of them as sadly last year we ordered one only to end up never receiving it nor any communication. They do look really great (I've seen a few in real life which is what made me buy one) but they just didn't deliver it. No communication, no apology no nothing. Needless to say we ended up with a real one as usual and won't be considering them again!!

AndIAskMyself Thu 21-Sep-17 10:43:53

Oh no! Did you get your money back??? I hope so!

SunSeptember Thu 21-Sep-17 12:35:44

Op he may surprise you, thread age's ago on this it's mostly cat's that did damage DC strangely accepted the tree and didn't touch.

GandalfsWrinklyHat Thu 21-Sep-17 12:44:21

We have the bh pre lit norway spruce and I love it! Felt so bad chopping up live trees after Christmas, and real trees are expensive! No hoovering needles, no watering etc. Really looks the part.

AndIAskMyself Thu 21-Sep-17 12:45:45

We have two cats too - they do attack the tree if I'm not watching at all times. My nephew used to take off every decoration from my sisters tree one by one. If I had the real tree I got last year, there'd be no needles left by the 25th December 😂.

NoParticularPattern Thu 21-Sep-17 18:14:46

We did eventually get it back but communication was so poor it took a long time. A real shame as they are beautiful trees!!

3wheels Thu 21-Sep-17 18:26:31

We have one and I love it - never though I’d say that about a fake tree!
Ours is the 7ft most real looking but without the lights. I thought that something may go wrong with the lights and stop them all working so opted for one without. I wish now we’d gone for pre lit one as it would have looked amazing - better than my panic arranged lights from 4 different packets!!!
As others have said the storage bags and gloves which surprisingly you do need are a great addition.
We’ve had ours for 3 Christmas’s so it’s now been worth it. I know, or at least hope we’ll use it for years and years to come.

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