Should I Buy A Real Or Artificial Christmas Tree?

Christmas Tree with lights and presents in front of a lit fireplace

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Time to put up your Christmas tree, hang Christmas lights, light a candle in the window, and watch Frosty the Snowman and A Charlie Brown Christmas on repeat. Before you do all that though, you need to make a big decision. Will you buy a real or an artificial Christmas tree? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both to help you decide.

Family Traditions

Real: Every year you’ll get to enjoy taking the whole family to a local nursery or a Christmas tree farm to pick out a new tree. You’ll create fond memories that you’ll cherish for year’s to come. Bonus for supporting local famers and vendors.
Artificial: With an artificial tree you’ll spend an hours dragging the artificial tree out of the attic, garage, or storage closet.

Winner: Real Tree

Environmental Impact

Real: A real tree is of course bio-degradable and environmentally friendly. In addition, even though your tree is cut down, you’re helping to support the environment by keeping nurseries that will replant them in business.
Artificial: Most artificial trees are made of materials that aren’t recyclable and they will most likely end up in your local landfills.

Winner: Real Tree

Clean Up and Disposal

Real: Real Christmas trees smell great. They give your home a fresh pine scent that will create nostalgic memories. Let’s face it though, sweeping up pine needles isn’t fun. Real Christmas trees shed pine needles all season long, and when it’s time to take it down, you’re likely to have a whole trail of them leading from your front door to your curb. Plus, not all areas provide curb side pickup for recycled trees. You may have to transport the tree to a recycler yourself.
Artificial: Take it down, dismantle it, stuff it back in the box, and put it on a garage shelf until next year. Done. Since you’ll be using it again next year, there’s no disposal required.

Winner: Artificial Tree

Cost Effectiveness

Real: Initially, you’re likely to spend a little less money on a real Christmas tree than an artificial one. However, you’ll have to spend that amount every year, which can add up quickly.
Artificial: Initially you will spend a bit more money on an artificial tree that is tall with full branches, but since you can re-use it every year, you’ll recoup the investment in only two years of dodging the cost of purchasing a new tree.

Winner: Artificial Tree

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Ultimately, which option is best for you and your family depends on what you value most. If you prefer to create a family tradition and fond memories of a festive home with a fresh pine smell, a real tree is best for you. If you would rather save money and time on clean up, an artificial tree is the better option.

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