Should You Get a Real or Fake Christmas Tree? - Home & Texture
Decorate Christmas Trees

Should You Get a Real or Fake Christmas Tree?

October 16, 2023 at 7:02 PM PST
Decorate Christmas Trees

Should You Get a Real or Fake Christmas Tree?

October 16, 2023 at 7:02 PM PST

As the holiday season approaches, we’re often faced with a series of questions: what are you bringing to the office holiday potluck? Eggnog, yes or no? And, if you celebrate with the iconic tree—real or fake? This choice can be deeply rooted in tradition, preference, or values, or all three. If you’re on the fence, explore the pros and cons of both to help you weigh your decision.

Photo credit: Luke Hodde

Real Holiday Trees: The Pros

Real trees offer a unique and authentic experience. Here are some of the advantages.

Fresh Aroma and Appearance

Real trees exude a delightful fragrance that fills your home with the unmistakable scent of the holiday season. Their lush, green branches provide a natural, rustic charm that’s hard to replicate. The scent of fresh pine needles makes the nostalgia and all the feels bubble to the surface. It’s something truly embedded in the holiday experience.

Environmental Considerations

Many people choose real trees because they are biodegradable and can be recycled into mulch or compost after the holidays. They are a renewable resource, and their cultivation supports local economies, providing employment to tree farmers.

Tradition and Authenticity

For those who cherish tradition, a real tree represents a deep connection to the past. It keeps the age-old custom alive, creating a sense of nostalgia and authenticity in the heart of your home. The act of selecting and cutting down your own tree, or choosing one from a local tree lot, can become a cherished family tradition in itself.

The Cons


Real trees require regular watering to keep them fresh throughout the season. Neglecting this can lead to needles dropping prematurely and a shorter lifespan for your tree. A sad looking little tree isn’t exactly what most have in mind when it comes to the holiday spirit, so it’s essential to maintain a consistent water supply so your tree remains vibrant throughout the holiday season.


After the holidays, disposing of a real tree can be somewhat messy and inconvenient. You’ll need to transport it to a recycling center or arrange for curbside pickup. While this is a minor inconvenience, it’s something to consider when choosing a real tree.

Photo credit: Sandra Seitamaa

Fake Holiday Trees: The Pros

Fake trees offer a different set of advantages and disadvantages.


Artificial trees are known for their durability. Unlike real trees, they can last for many years, making them a cost-effective option in the long run. You won’t need to purchase a new tree each year, saving you money in the long term.


Fake trees require minimal maintenance. They don’t shed needles, and you don’t have to worry about watering them. Simply assemble and decorate, and you’re ready to enjoy your tree throughout the holiday season.


Artificial trees come in various sizes and styles, allowing you to choose one that suits your space and décor preferences. Whether you prefer a classic evergreen or a unique color scheme, you can find an artificial tree to match your aesthetic.

The Cons

Lack of Authenticity

Artificial trees lack the natural aroma and appearance of real trees. Some people miss the sensory experience of a genuine tree, including the scent of fresh pine and the unique look of real branches.

Environmental Impact

Manufacturers use non-biodegradable materials like plastic and metal to make most fake trees, which can contribute to environmental issues if you don’t dispose of them properly. While you can reuse them for several years, the manufacturing and eventual disposal of artificial trees have a lasting environmental impact.


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