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Real versus fake Christmas tree

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Within the next few days, families up and down the country will be observing the centuries old tradition of putting a festively decorated Christmas tree in the home. But will you be dragging yours out of the loft or digging it up out of a field? The real versus fake Christmas tree debate rears its head every festive season, although figures suggest it’s the faux tree that is currently winning the battle, with around two-thirds of us deciding to fake it. But if you’re still on the fence then here are some pros and cons of both real and artificial trees to help you decide which way to swing this Christmas.

The benefits of faking it

Artificial trees have improved in recent years and if you were previously put off by their plastic looking needles and branches, this is no longer as much of a problem. You can now buy fake trees which mimic their genuine counterpart varieties. Some are even made to feel real, although these will carry a heftier price tag.

You can choose a shape and size of tree to fit your available space; some are tall and thin and some are designed to fit into corners. Some – but not all – assemble easily and you can also buy them pre-lit, sparing you the time and hassle of unravelling miles of cable before fiddling with 100 bulbs to find the broken one.

No needles!

real versus fake treeThere’s no needle mess, no maintenance issues and at the end of the season it can just be put back in the loft rather than wasting away in the back garden, a sad and skeletal reminder that Christmas has gone for another year. If you don’t fancy yourself as much of a traditionalist you can also get all manner of weird and wonderful fake trees including a variety of colours and styles.

Fake trees can be very pricey, especially if you go top of the range, but they tend to last many years so you will likely save money in the long run. There are also much cheaper varieties available if you’re looking to cut your festive costs.

But what about that real pine smell?

Yes okay, you can probably get some kind of ‘real pine’ fragrance to spray in the room, but for the real romantics out there nothing can quite compare to that unmistakably Christmassy smell of a genuine tree.

Choosing your real tree

There’s the joy of choosing one in the field or warehouse and the fun of figuring out how to fit it into the house, which usually ends up becoming an amusing family Christmas anecdote.

Buying real not only links us with centuries old tradition, but it also helps sustain the rural economy and provide jobs.

There is also the environmental factor. While the cutting down of trees is generally frowned upon, new trees are always planted to replace the harvested Christmas trees to maintain the supply. Meanwhile those Christmas tree farms will be playing their part in the production of oxygen.

Thinking green?

Although fake trees have a much higher carbon footprint, the negative environmental impact with a real tree comes with their disposal by composting, which produces CO2 and methane. The best advice where ‘going green’ is concerned is to buy a potted tree which can be replanted after the festive season and re-used year after year.

 

 

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