Besides providing a realistic feel, real Christmas trees help to support local growers and are highly sustainable and affordable. However, they are difficult to maintain and are often unsafe. On the other hand, fake trees are convenient, safe, and can be reused for a long time. But they are not as sustainable as real Christmas trees.
Everything about Christmas sparks joy in the minds of people. Even mundane tasks like decorating the home or preparing gifts feel enjoyable during this time.
On that note, decorating a Christmas tree is probably one of the most fun activities that you can participate in. But when it comes to the Christmas tree, there is a lingering debate among many people nowadays. This debate is regarding the use of real versus fake Christmas trees.
So, if you are curious, then keep reading to learn more about the differences between these two types of Christmas trees.
Real Vs Fake Christmas Trees
- Real Vs Fake Christmas Trees
- What Are Real Christmas Trees?
- What Are Fake Christmas Trees
- Real Or Fake Trees – Which Is Better?
- What Is The Process For Disposing Of A Real Christmas Tree?
- How Many Years Can You Expect A Fake Christmas Tree To Last?
- Which Type Of Christmas Tree Is More Cost-Effective In The Long Run?
- What Are The Different Materials Used To Make Fake Christmas Trees?
What Are Real Christmas Trees?
Let’s start off this comparison by discussing what real Christmas trees are. As you can guess, real Christmas trees are grown naturally like any other tree.
In that context, Christmas tree cultivation takes place on specialized Christmas tree farms. Farmers may use more than one species for this process, with the most common types being fir, spruce, and pine. That’s because they provide the most authentic feel for a Christmas tree. They may even use succulent plants to make miniature Christmas trees.
The farmer plants the seedling on their farm and grows it over time using high-quality fertilizer and compost. Subsequently, they take care of the tree by pruning it periodically and spraying pesticide chemicals to check the growth of pests. And once it becomes fully grown, smaller portions are chopped off and sold as Christmas trees. As you can see, the process is just like traditional agriculture.
Naturally, there are different pros and cons to using real Christmas trees, as I have discussed below.
Pros Of Using A Real Christmas Tree
1. Provide A Realistic Feel
Obviously, realism is the biggest advantage of using a natural Christmas tree. You get the natural scent of the tree, which eliminates the need to purchase additional scents to get that Christmas-y vibe. In fact, I’d argue that the evergreen fragrance of pine, spruce, or fir feels way more appealing than any artificial scent. And if you can complement it with some scented candle decorations, it will feel truly magical!
Besides, it’s not just the scent that is realistic, either. The natural green color and spread of the foliage look quite attractive and fluffy too. And once you deck it out with the traditional Christmas decorations, it will help to capture the festive feeling perfectly.
2. Reduces The Initial Costs
A real tree is not that expensive to purchase, which is another advantage. After all, it wouldn’t make sense to spend all of your money on buying a Christmas tree, would it? If you do that, you won’t have enough money to buy Christmas presents for your friends and family, and that will ruin the whole festive mood!
Warning: The price of a real tree depends on the tree species you wish to get. Normally, fir trees, or more specifically, Fraser fir trees, have a slightly higher price than spruce or pine. So, you need to keep this in mind while making the purchase.
3. Highly Sustainable
Many people believe that reusing an artificial Christmas tree is better for the environment in the long run, but I disagree. Instead, I would say that real trees are more sustainable, as they can be easily recycled. Or, if the tree is small enough, you can reuse it as a tabletop Christmas tree decoration for your home.
Most live trees are grown organically as a sustainable crop. In other words, no trees are chopped down from forests, and no harmful chemicals are used either. Moreover, if you use the tree carefully, you can reuse it for a few years.
4. Supports The Community
If you buy a live tree from one of the local tree farms near you, it will help the growers and improve the local economy. That will subsequently help in building the community, which is the true spirit of Christmas, after all!
Cons Of Using A Real Christmas Tree
1. Require A Lot Of Work
Sure, a real Christmas tree might look beautiful and fresh, but if you wish to keep the Christmas tree that way, you have to put in a lot of effort. You have to water the tree regularly, prune its branches from time to time, and sweep away any fallen leaves and needles. Such an aspect makes them disadvantageous for many people.
2. Relatively Unsafe
Since the leaves in these trees are natural, they will attract bugs and accumulate allergens, which can cause health problems for many people. Apart from that, the branches and dried leaves can catch fire easily, which makes the tree a potential fire hazard.
What Are Fake Christmas Trees
As the name suggests, fake Christmas trees are manufactured artificially in factories. Due to this reason, they are also known as artificial Christmas trees.
The process of making an artificial tree is a lot quicker than growing a tree naturally on a tree plantation. Similarly, they can be produced in bulk, which makes them better suited to meet the ever-growing demand for Christmas trees.
You can choose between different types of artificial options, such as flocked and frosted trees. And you can customize the specifications of the tree before purchasing.
With that being said, here are the pros and cons of using artificial trees.
Pros Of Using An Artificial Christmas Tree
1. Can Be Reused For A Long Time
If you buy an artificial tree, you can reuse it for several years. This is the biggest advantage of using such a tree, as it eliminates the hassle of having to purchase a new tree every year.
2. Safe To Use
The artificial trees do not have natural foliage like fake trees, which means that they are free from bugs and allergens. Additionally, the tree is manufactured with fire-resistant materials, which makes them a lot safer than real trees.
3. Highly Convenient
Besides being safe, artificial trees are convenient to use as well. These trees require little to no maintenance, which makes them the preferred choice for many people. You don’t have to water or prune the trees periodically, and neither do you have to worry about cleaning up any mess left by fallen leaves.
Cons Of Using An Artificial Christmas Tree
1. Not Environmentally Friendly
When it comes to a fake tree, the lack of sustainability is the biggest complaint that people have. The manufacturing process causes water and air pollution and has a significant carbon footprint, which is not at all advantageous.
Furthermore, you will have a lot of trouble recycling these trees as well since the plastic and metal materials do not undergo biodegradation easily. Thus, it will linger in the environment as waste and pollute the atmosphere.
Real Or Fake Trees – Which Is Better?
Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of both types, it is time to address the primary question – which option is better? Well, this decision mostly comes down to personal preference.
For example, if you are a consumer who wants an authentic experience, you should get real trees. The same is applicable to those who care about the planet and are concerned about environmental issues like habitat destruction or climate change. However, if you prefer convenience over the other aspects, you can pick a fake tree.
What Is The Process For Disposing Of A Real Christmas Tree?
If you wish to dispose of a natural tree, you can mulch or compost it in a landfill. Alternatively, you can plant it in the forest in its natural environment, where it will keep growing. You can contact specialized eco-agencies and organizations to take care of this aspect. There are several of these establishments operating in the United States, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one.
How Many Years Can You Expect A Fake Christmas Tree To Last?
Most artificial Christmas trees are manufactured to last for at least 20 years. However, this is entirely dependent on the usage and maintenance of the tree. If you use it with care and store it properly after the holiday season is over, it will last longer than 20 years. Fail to do that, and the tree will become damaged within a couple of years.
Which Type Of Christmas Tree Is More Cost-Effective In The Long Run?
When it comes to the initial costs, it is advisable to buy a real tree since it is cheaper than an artificial tree. But if you can reuse an artificial tree for several years at a stretch, you won’t have to spend any money on a new one. Therefore, it is the best choice for saving money in the long run.
What Are The Different Materials Used To Make Fake Christmas Trees?
More than one material is used in the manufacturing process of an artificial tree since the tree has multiple components. In most cases, metallic materials like iron and steel are used for making the underlying stems and branches of the tree. Conversely, plastic materials like Polyvinyl Chloride are used to make the foliage and decorations of the tree.
And that is everything I had to say about the differences between real and fake Christmas trees. I hope you have been able to make up your mind regarding which one you want by now.
As you can see from the above discussions, both these types have their pros and cons. That is why you should evaluate your options carefully before making the purchase.
Here, you should keep in mind that you will have to bear the costs of packing and shipping the tree after purchasing. So, unless the seller mentions otherwise, this is an additional cost you will need to bear, no matter the type.