Aside from ensuring the look lives up to your expectations, there are a host of other features to consider when deciding which faux tree best suits you:
✔️ Size: While you likely want to go big with your tree, you want to ensure you will be able to set it up with enough clearance in your home. Ideally, you should keep at least 6 inches between the top of the tree (including any topper) and your ceiling. Trees can vary tremendously in size, from a small 4.5-foot tree to one that towers above 15 feet.
✔️ Shape: Artificial Christmas trees range from compact (for tight spaces) to full (for a classic tree profile) to wide (for an even fuller profile). While your choice largely comes down to space and preference, definitely check that the widest point of the tree will readily fit in your space.
✔️ Needle Type: Most brands use PVC to simulate needles and metal for the trunk and branches. Some will include both PVC and polyethylene (PE), and in general, those with a higher percentage of PE tend to look more realistic but are more expensive.
✔️ Tree type: As noted, artificial Christmas trees have come a far way in recent years to look more realistic. You can opt for a tree that mimics a fir (dense), spruce (sharp points) or pine (sparser with thin needles).
✔️ Ease of setup: Artificial Christmas trees are compressed to allow for shipping, so it’s important to fluff the branches once assembled. Today, most can be assembled by snapping together a few segments to get an erect tree. The fluffing often takes the most time to ensure the tree has a full appearance.
✔️ Pre-lit vs. unlit: Many artificial Christmas trees today come pre-lit, making them easier to decorate. Plus, many newer Christmas trees have the ability to stay lit even when one bulb goes out. It’s advantageous to look for this feature if you are getting a pre-lit tree. The bulb type varies, and incandescent bulbs still tend to be more affordable than their longer-lasting LED counterparts. Some specialty LED trees can even be customized for color or lighting effects.
✔️ Safety: Look for pre-lit trees that have undergone third-party testing from Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to ensure they have passed safety checks. You can check the UL database or look to see if the packaging has the UL logo.
✔️ Durability: There are various industry standards that look at the durability of the tree, including ASTM B117 (corrosion test) and ASTM F963 (child safety testing).
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