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When it comes to buying a Christmas tree online, the earlier the better really; not only will you have to participate in the post-Thanksgiving mad dash, but you’ll have your pick of the litter.
Much like selecting a gift for your friends or family, picking a Christmas tree is a big decision. For most, it is the thesis statement to their individual holiday aesthetic. You don’t want to make a rash decision, which is why we recommend getting a head start and giving yourself time to consider your options by taking a look online. You can shop at a variety of farms, or stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s for live trees, while artificial trees can be found at many different retailers online.
Christmas Tree Buying Guide
Here are some important things to consider when selecting your Christmas tree.
Artificial vs. Live: This is the biggest question to ask yourself, and there are pros and cons to both. Live trees require a lot of maintenance and upkeep as you keep the tree up throughout the season. However, they do have that classic evergreen smell and feel that many associate with the holidays. There are many people who grew up going out each year to pick out a new tree with their family. This might be a touchstone for many, but it can be expensive for some depending on your financial situation. There are some who have allergies that can be agitated by the presence of a live tree, which is also something to consider.
Artificial trees require assembly only and can be kept for years; many people only replace their artificial trees out of personal choice, not need, which saves money. But perhaps the biggest pro for an artificial tree is that you can select a variety of colors and styles that you can’t with live trees.
Tree Type: Both artificial and live trees have different types. Fir, Spruce and Pine trees are considered the most popular live options; firs are known for their distinct fragrance, flexible branches and deep green color, while pine trees have more slender needles and typically come in colors that range from yellow green and blue green. You probably could recognize the Spruce’s unique silver-blue to greenish blue color, with branches that turn upward. A lot of this will be contingent on your personal preference and also the availability in the region you’re living in.
Artificial trees also come in different types, defined by the materials they’re made out of. There are PVC trees, which has “leaves” made out of thin plastic sheets that are attached to wire “branches.” PE trees are much closer to resembling live trees, thanks to a molding process that mimics evergreen needles and sculpted branch tips. Some are so good, you can’t really tell the difference until you’re standing up close to it.
Size: This will be contingent on how big or small the space you’re looking to put your tree in is. For those living in a smaller home or apartment, an artificial tree may be the way to go; artificial trees range anywhere from 6.5-feet to 12-feet high.
Extra Features: This strictly relates to artificial trees which may come outfitted with some extra decorative items, such as artificial snow or lights already on the tree.
Caring for Live Christmas Trees
If you do decide to go the live tree route, you’ll want to evaluate it before you take it home and make sure that you continue to monitor and take care of it. Here’s what you need to know:
- Dry Christmas trees are a fire hazard, so to make sure your tree isn’t dry give it a shake and watch to see what falls. If you only see a few brown needles fall, you’re golden. But if there are a lot of green needs falling off that’s a sign you’ve got a dry tree. To avoid having a tree becoming dry, make sure you water it regularly; experts recommend a quart a day for most species.
- To avoid having water from rising inside the trunk of your tree, you’ll need to cut some of the base off. If you’re not comfortable doing so, places like Lowe’s and Home Depot can typically perform this service for you. After the cut, you’ll need to place the tree in a bucket of water for a few hours before you can place it in your tree stand (we like a tree stand that holds water, like this one here).
The Best Christmas Trees Available Online
We rounded up a list of the best Christmas trees available online. Order now and get them shipped and delivered to your team well in time for the holiday decorating season.
1. Best Choice Premium Spruce Artificial Holiday Tree
We love this tree for its classic design; it evokes all of the holiday feelings that a live tree would with much less maintenance; you also don’t have to worry about it being a fire hazard, thanks to the flame-retardant PVC branches. You can put this together in just three easy steps; simply connect the base to the large section of the tree and attach the other sections. You can easily decorate it up with some lights, garland or ornaments to give it an individualistic, but still festive, flair. You can depend on this tree for many holidays to come. Available in 6 feet, 7.5 feet and 9 feet tall.
2. Fresh Douglas Fir Christmas Tree
It’s easy to see why Douglas fir trees have been long considered the most popular Christmas tree in North America. Between the vibrant green color of the foliage and sweet fragrance what’s not to love? It’s also an optimal choice for someone with a large ornament collection thanks to the density of the needles. Available in three feet and five feet tall.
3. National Tree Company Pre-Lit Artificial Mini Christmas Tree
Having a few different sized trees spread around is a good way to accentuate the festivity in your living, and this artificial option from National Tree Company is perfect for an end table, countertop or hallway shelf. Though it only stands at two-feet tall, the craftsmanship of the needles perfectly emulate the lushness of a much larger, live option. The pre-strung LED lights are not only energy efficient, but promise to remain lit even if a bulb burns out.
4. Freshly Cut Balsam Fir Christmas Tree
If you’re all about grandeur, this 7 to 8-foot tall tree is as striking as they come. The strong, upward-sloping branches and classic pyramid shaped appearance support string lights, garland and delicate ornaments without you having to stress about decorations falling off. The tree’s spicy fragrance makes this the cherry on top of your festive sundae.
5. Sunnyglade 4-Foot Premium Artificial Christmas Tree
This artificial tree can be a great preview to the main event that is the rest of your home either on your front porch, or close by the front door as the first thing guests see when they walk in. Thanks to its smaller size, there really is no limit for possibilities of where you can put this tree. We love the elegant white design which makes the tree stand out, while still managing to function as a nice accent piece to the rest of your decorations.
6. Hammacher Freshly Cut Christmas Tree
Hammacher Schlemmer’s fresh cut Christmas trees pride themselves on being freshly cut and carefully packaged to retain the pristine condition you desire from your Christmas tree. Unlike the other live options on our list, these trees have the option of being shipped straight to your door; you don’t even have to go to the store and pick it up. And don’t worry about not seeing it before purchasing; each tree is handpicked at their tree farm in North Carolina. Available in full and slim options, from 4.5-feet to 6.5-feet tall.