Your choice of tree is one of the most important decisions you will make at Christmas, It will be the centrepiece of your home for the festive season so getting the right one is important. This guide will help you choose the perfect tree for you and your home.
Artificial or Real?
A real tree is a traditional choice for many, but they may not be practical for all homes and lifestyles. A good quality artificial tree is a good alternative to a real tree in some homes. When making this choice consider:
- Traditional smell and look
- Use less plastic
- Are grown in environmentally friendly ways
- Can be recycled after use
- Drop needles so may not be suitable for small children and pets
- Can carry allergens
- Can be difficult to transport
- Reusable – saving money in the long term
- Easy to assemble and store
- No dropped needles
- Carry no allergens
- Take up space
- Made of plastic
- Can become damaged if not stored correctly
Artificial Christmas trees are often seen as the environmentally-friendly option. However, this is not always the case. Most artificial trees are made of plastic, not all of them can be recycled and most will end up in a landfill. You can find trees made from recycled plastic, and if you maintain the tree well it may last for years, which will have a net benefit. Real trees can be easily recycled and provide a boost to local ecology when grown. They can also be grown in soil that is unsuitable for other crops and for each acre, provide enough oxygen for 18 people every day. Each tree will also absorb around 1 tonne of carbon in its life.
Species of Christmas Tree
Like all plants, there are a few species of Christmas tree. Each one brings something different and plays a different role in your home – they all have different levels of maintenance, but all will benefit from sitting in a bit of water or even a soil-filled pot. Each of these pictures is for illustration purposes only though – each tree is unique after all!
The most popular Christmas tree, with a pyramid shape made of defined layers of straight twig-like branches. The dark green needles have a thick, waxy coating which makes them softer to the touch, which works well for households with children or pets. These trees don’t shed needles as often as other varieties, making them a great lower-maintenance option.
More commonly used in eastern Europe, the Norway spruce has a rounder shape with a pointed top. The foliage is a bit thicker and the branches point at a slight upward angle which makes them better for decorating with heavier decorations. The short green needles can be spiky though, so it may not be the best option for families with young children or pets. They may also shed more if your home is particularly warm.
Named after the botanist John Fraser, this pyramid-shaped tree has strong upward-turning branches which are great for holding decorations. It has a pleasant scent and good needle retention, making it a great choice for a tree. The dark green, flattened needles have a silvery underside too for a bit of to-tone colour.
Native to the US, the Blue Spruce has a wide base and flatter branches, so better suited to lighter decorations but with plenty of space to hang them. Its blue-green (but spiky like the Norway Spruce) needles bring a differently coloured Christmas to your home, so if you like to stand out from the crowd a blue spruce is sure to make a statement.
Another blue-ish coloured tree and new to Primrose for 2021, the Lasiocarpa is known for its almost frosted-tip needles along with excellent needle retention. Similar to a Fraser Fir in its shape, it’ll look great whether picked short or tall, and with upward branches near the top and flat ones near the bottom, you can really mix up the decorations.
Christmas trees have different grades of cut, which affects the look of the tree and the price point.
Also known as 1st grade, premium cut trees tend to be bushy with medium to high-density foliage. They are very symmetrical and have up to only one industry-recognised cosmetic flaw, which is not usually a concern to customers.
Standard cut, or 2nd grade, trees are still healthy and satisfactory to customers, but are less symmetrical and have two or more industry-recognised cosmetic flaws. These trees tend to be around 30% cheaper than their premium counterparts.
Before buying a Christmas tree, there are other things you should consider:
- Allergens: according to Haymax, one-third of the UK population suffers from an increase in itchy skin and cold-like symptoms, known as “Christmas Tree Syndrome”. If someone in your household is allergic to Christmas trees, an artificial tree could be a better option.
- Size: make sure to measure the height of the room of the tree is going to be based in before you buy, and factor in the size of the tree stand to make sure it fits!
- Fire safety: if you choose a real Christmas tree, keep it away from direct contact with a heat source, such as a fireplace or heat vent. If you are using fairy lights, make sure to switch them off when you are not at home or buy lights with a timer so they are off when you are asleep.
- Buy online: sometimes buying your tree online is the best opinion. If you don’t live near or have access to a farm and want a good quality tree delivered to your door within 24 hours then it might be perfect for you. We have an extensive range of real Christmas trees this year, all cut and wrapped in order, to ensure they reach you in the best quality.