It is an important decision that has to be made, yet it can be difficult, even contentious. It’s debatable whether a real or artificial tree makes the best Christmas tree; there are pros and cons of each type. Just remember: the ultimate goal is to have a beautiful Christmas tree for everyone to enjoy.
• The beauty of a real Christmas tree is simply spectacular.
• There are many species to choose from, they offer a natural pleasing fragrance and they come in a variety of textures, sizes and shapes.
• There is something to be said for the experience of going to a tree farm or nursery and picking out your very own Christmas tree. It can be made into a special family event.
• Real trees are also biodegradable and can be recycled into mulch or as a fish reef after the holidays.
• Purchasing a good-looking, better-quality tree will cost you several dollars. They aren’t cheap unless you want a cheap-looking tree. The cost you put into a real tree or two can sometimes be about the same cost of an artificial one.
• They have to be watered regularly to keep them looking good and to prevent them from drying out.
• They can potentially become a fire hazard if they dry out and are near a heat source.
• Clean-up can also be a big mess. When the time comes to take down the Christmas tree, it will likely be drier and will have started dropping lots of needles.
• There is also the problem of real trees not being recycled. Instead, they wind up out with the garbage and in the landfills.
• Convenience, convenience, convenience.
• A fake tree can be used year after year, doesn’t create much of a mess and doesn’t have to be watered and maintained.
• Many of the newer artificial trees look very realistic.
• Others come in an array of seasonal colors. Pink Tannenbaum, anyone? How about silver?
• Some fake trees come with built-in lights, or partly decorated.
• Once the holiday season is over, you can just pack it up and store it until next year.
• The biggest flaw of artificial trees is they are indeed fake. Some are cheap, look pathetic and are an embarrassment.
• They can also be sort of expensive, although in the long run they do pay for themselves.
• You have to have space to store it year after year.
• Artificial trees do not have the same effect as real trees in regards to natural fragrance and appearance.
(Allergy sufferers might count this as a “pro” instead.)
• Most are made of plastic and metals, and many don’t even come close to looking like real trees. A pole with green arms sticking out just doesn’t quite work, nor does it put you in the holiday spirit.