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Love the festive feel of an authentic Christmas tree but don’t want to deal with the needles, the cleaning, and the disposing of it after the holidays have ended? You’ll be pleased to know that artificial trees have come a long way from their flimsy, plastic forefathers.
There are now a whole host of realistic, finely-tuned artificial models to choose from, based on a broad range of evergreen species and designed to add charm to everything from small apartments to huge communal halls.
Allergy sufferers no longer need to worry about the sneezing and the sniffling that can come with real pine and your busy festive period doesn’t need to be made even more stressful by having to choose, ship, and then dispose of a live tree.
Of course, not all artificial models are created equal, and for the impressively detailed, realistic designs you may have to stretch beyond the most basic, budget products out there. But a good tree can last you the best part of a life-time and could prove to be a worthy investment, serving you for countless Christmases of the future.
If a natural feel, authentic look, and all-out realism are your priorities, we’ve gathered together 6 of the most realistic artificial trees on the market today.
We start with a front-runner of the artificial tree market. Balsam Hill pride themselves on deploying their trademarked True Needle® technology to ensure their most realistic trees are virtually indistinguishable from their living cousins.
Injection moulded polyethylene plastic provides finely crafted, three dimensional branch and leaf structures that are superior to cheaper but less authentic-feeling PVC imitators. The company also pride themselves on basing many of their moulds on samples taken from living tree species.
The Balsam Hill range covers a large variety of evergreen species, each modelled with close attention to detail. This particular model is based on the lush white spruce of Canada and New England. Its upward sloping branches are ideal for the secure hanging of ornaments.
They offer a range of sizes and prices, from $299 for a 4 ½’, unlit model all the way up to $6,999 for an 18’, LED candlelit giant.
Another frequenter of ‘Best Artificial Tree Lists’ is this douglas fir imitator, praised for its incredibly life like detail as well as the affordable quality it offers customers.
Like the Balsam Hill model, it also boasts polyethylene branch tips – 2,000 of them, in fact – surrounding a PVC needle interior to help keep the tree bushy whilst keeping costs down.
The Downswept Douglas Fir also comes fitted with 750 built-in LED bulbs, with all-white as well as multi-color modes to suit a variety of moods. Electrical connectivity is all routed through the central ‘trunk’, meaning that once you slot the tree together you don’t have to spend time searching for tiny wire connectors to link each bulb.
For an affordable, durable, and impressively life-like artificial tree, designed with a ‘Classic Christmas’ in mind, you could do worse than choose the Douglas Fir.
The 7 ½’ model is currently advertised at $499 at Home Depot or Amazon.
For those looking for a Scandinavian edge to their Christmas decorations, whilst retaining a realistic tree aesthetic, this offering from Puelo could prove a solid festive choice.
Broad sets of branches at the base taper upwards towards a sparser, thinner canopy at the peak. The designers have also included some longer, irregular looking branches in the upper third of the tree, replicating natural uneven growth and adding to the thoroughly authentic look.
The greater space between branch layers also means this is an ideal model for those keen on their Christmas hanging ornaments. There’s plenty of space for all manner of decorations here.
7 ½’ models also come in notably cheaper than some of their competitors, with prices floating around the $300 mark on Amazon.
Billed as being designed with a more ‘European’ style of Christmas in mind, this is an artificial tree that manages to do less with more. Eschewing some of the fleshier, plumper, symmetrical looks of other traditional models, its beauty is instead in the sparser arrangement of branches and greater spacing between layers.
This model also comes with wintry artificial snow, or ‘flocking’ as this method of decoration is sometimes called. This sparkling white sheen is given extra dazzle by 500 white micro LEDs, all of which come equipped with a variety of fading and blinking patterns.
The impressive thing about this tree is that, even with the additional artificial layer of white, it still retains a remarkably realistic texture and aesthetic. For those who really want to bring a majestic, wintry touch into their living room at Christmas, without resorting to tacky plastic decorations, messy powders, or cotton wool, this Flock Fir model could be the answer.
You can currently buy 7’ models direct from the retailer for $450.
If you’re looking for something a little less ordinary this Christmas, or a tree that could well prove a talking point amongst your festive guests, Northlight might have something just for you.
Warsaw twig is becoming an increasingly popular, edgy option for discerning Christmas decorators. Its rather austere, sharp-edged aesthetic can be a little disarming for some, and certainly isn’t as cosy or as plush as some of the cuddlier looking evergreens out there.
Nevertheless, this particular look can go incredibly well with a range of contemporary decors, and with this artificial model you can have something that looks as authentic as it is eye-catching. Two-tone brown and green tips spread out from a carefully modelled ‘trunk’ and there’s plenty of room for decorations.
This model also comes with LED lights, adding an extra glimmer to your festive proceedings. And for a design that boasts such a chic edge, you might be surprised to find that the smaller, 6’ models retail for around $240 on Amazon, making this one of the more affordable models on our list.
This is a plump and proud offering from Vickerman, allowing you to bring something that closely resembles a snow-decked, traditional tree into your home without you having to face the frozen dirt, sap and clean up operation afterwards.
Designed to imitate a bushy, broad bottomed Alaskan pine, this artificial model is stable and sturdy. You can deck it out with as many ornaments as you want, or leave the 800 micro lights interspersed with 45 larger bulbs to do the shining for you.
Vickerman have also designed this particular model to be as easy to assemble as possible. Despite its heavier weight, it avoids using complicated external wires to power the LEDs, meaning it can actually be erected and lit-up in less than half an hour.
The only sticking point with this durable, snow-clad beauty is the price-tag. The Vickerman is undoubtedly priced a little higher than some of its competitors, with the 7 ½’ model usually retailing at around $650 on Amazon.