In addition to ensuring that the look meets your expectations, there are a host of other features to consider when deciding which faux tree is best for you:
✔️ Size: While you probably want to go big with your tree, you want to make sure you can 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 greatly in size, from a small 4.5 foot tree to one towering over 15 feet.
✔️ Form: 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, make sure that the widest point of the tree will fit easily in your space.
✔️ Type of needle: Most brands use PVC to simulate needles and metal for the trunk and branches. Some will include both PVC and polyethylene (PE), and generally 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 long way in recent years to look more realistic. You can choose a tree that imitates a spruce (dense), spruce (sharp points) or pine (sparse with thin needles).
✔️ Ease of setup: Artificially Christmas trees are compressed to allow for shipping, so it is important to fluff the branches once assembled. Today, most can be assembled by clipping a few segments together to create an upright tree. The fluff often takes the most time to ensure that the tree has a full appearance.
✔️ Front lit vs. unenlightened: Many artificial Christmas trees today are pre-lit, making them easier to decorate. Additionally, many newer Christmas trees have the ability to stay lit even when one bulb goes out. It is beneficial to look for this feature if you are getting a pre-lit tree. The type of bulb varies, and incandescents still tend to be more affordable than their long-lasting LED counterparts. Some special 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 see if the packaging has the UL logo.
✔️ Durability: There are several industry standards that look at the durability of the tree, including ASTM B117 (corrosion testing) and ASTM F963 (child safety testing).