Typical Christmas tree

Christmas Tree Buyer's Guide

Everything you need to help you find your perfect Christmas tree

With so many places to buy artificial Christmas trees, it can be challenging to find the best tree for you. This guide will help you through the buying process, so that you can find a tree that you will be proud to display year after year.

  1. Find the right artificial Christmas tree size

    Before buying a Christmas tree, you should decide where you want to display the tree. Which room will it be in? Is it intended to be the centerpiece of a room? Or, is it a second tree that will go in a family room or guest room? Will you put it in a corner, along a specific wall or next to a doorway?

    Now that you’ve determined the location for your tree, how much space are you looking to fill? This will help you determine the ideal Christmas tree height for you. If you want the tallest Christmas tree your room will allow, we recommend buying a tree that is at least six inches lower than your ceiling height. For example, if you have a standard 8-9 foot ceiling, you should buy a 7½ foot tree. This will allow some clearance to ensure that the tip of your Christmas tree will not hug your ceiling and will allow space for a tree topper.

    In terms of floor space, measure the approximate diameter of the space you plan to reserve for the Christmas tree. As you shop for a Christmas tree, look for the varieties that will fill your space. The standard tree shape is "full"; trees that fit in tighter spaces are often designated with names such as "narrow" and "slim." However, we suggest that you consider the diameter of the Christmas tree, not the shape name, to help you pick your perfect tree. This measurement is taken at the very widest point of the tree; if you plan to have a few branches touching a wall or a piece of furniture, the true space occupied by the tree will be about six inches less than the stated diameter. The other key is to make sure that the tree looks to be a natural shape — if it is "pencil shaped, " it probably doesn't look like a real tree. (If you are looking for a space saving tree, we recommend our Fifth Avenue Flatback Tree, which is designed to look like a full tree while only taking up half the space.)

  2. Identify a high quality artificial Christmas tree How long do you expect to keep the tree?

    One of the major benefits of buying an artificial tree is that it can become a long-term investment. As long as you plan on keeping the tree for more than one holiday season, we recommend buying a high quality artificial Christmas tree.

    A high quality artificial tree should have foliage that resembles a real Christmas tree, often determined by the quantity of the branch “tips” and the design of the foliage.

    In most cases, having more branch “tips” is preferred because an abundance of needles creates a full look for the tree. However, if the Christmas tree is designed with the intention of seeing the inside of the tree (e.g., it has a faux trunk), that Christmas tree should have fewer tips than a comparable tree designed to hide the center pole. Also, if an artificial Christmas tree has long needles, fewer tips are used to prevent the tree from looking like an overgrown bush. Since it is virtually impossible to compare specific trees across manufacturers, when buying a tree online, we recommend looking at a close-up photo of the whole tree to see if it looks good. Especially for artificial Christmas trees that are described to look “full”, look closely to see if you can see the center pole of the tree — if so, that is a clear warning that it is a very low-quality tree.

    Additionally, high quality trees should come with sturdy metal stands. Avoid plastic stands or poorly constructed metal stands. A strong stand will ensure that your Chrismas tree will not topple or lean to one side, even if heavy ornaments are added to the tree. Some tree stands, like the ones offered with Balsam Hill™ trees, come with rubber feet to protect your floors.

    Finally, all of the finest artificial Christmas trees should have hinged branches to keep set-up simple. Unlike “hooked” branches where each individual branch needs to be hooked to the center pole, hinged branches are pre-attached to the center pole. During set-up, you simply pull down the branches that open like the tail of a peacock.

  3. Understand different Christmas tree foliage and needle types What will my Christmas tree foliage look like?

    Many brands of artificial Christmas trees offer different types of foliage options in their trees that are made from either PVC or PE materials. While some trees use one type of foliage exclusively, others may use a mix of foliage types to achieve a particular look. Usually, you can find out what foliage is being used by reading the description of each tree.

    Regardless of the type of foliage or type of tree you prefer, when buying a tree online, we recommend that you look carefully at the photographs of the trees you are considering. At Balsam Hill™, we always provide "super zoom" photos of the complete trees so you can look at the detail of our quality and craftsmanship. If you are considering an artificial Christmas tree from another source, make sure you can view a high-resolution photograph of the tree to gauge quality. Many Christmas trees look great at low resolution but do not look as good when you see them up-close and in-person.

    Balsam Hill™ offers three types of foliage:

    True Needle™

    Exclusive to Balsam Hill™, ultrarealistic True Needle™ evergreen foliage is created with injection-molded PE plastic and several different colors of pigment to mimic the structure, texture and color of natural evergreen needles. It is simply the best method for creating lifelike artificial evergreen foliage. A unique feature of True Needle™ foliage is...

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