Real vs. Artificial Christmas Trees: Pros and Cons

Thanksgiving has finally passed and you know what that means, Christmas! Now’s when everyone is getting their Christmas decorations out and getting their home all decked out. So here’s the big question you may ask yourself each year: Should I buy a real Christmas tree or a fake one?


Real Christmas Tree

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When I think of Christmas, I immediately think of real Christmas trees. There’s just something about the real tree that makes everything seem more authentic.


  • Smell- Natural pine smell makes the home even more comfortable and homey (if that’s not a real word I apologize)

  • Family bonding experience- Some families choose and cut down their own tree and others go to a local tree lot and pick theirs. Either way you get to spend quality time with your family

  • Appearance- Real trees have a more full appearance compared to artificial ones. There’s not many noticeable gaps between branches

  • Price- The average price of a real tree is around $60 depending on the species of tree ( Balsam Fir, Frazier Fir, Canaan Fir, Douglas Fir, etc) A couple extra dollars goes to the people who tie it to the roof of your car if you go to a local tree lot. My family personally buys Frazier Firs because the branches are upright which makes it easier to hang ornaments from (you won’t have to worry about branches breaking or leaning under the ornament weight)


  • Cleanup- When it’s time to throw the tree out, it WILL BE MESSY. All the dead or dying pine needles come off as soon as you lay a finger on a branch. As you can imagine, dragging the tree through the living room or whatever room it’s in can leave behind a trail of destruction. Very easy to vacuum up though!

  • Watering- For those who are forgetful, this can potentially be dangerous. Christmas trees are extremely flammable when they get dry. You must check the water level at the base of the tree EVERY DAY. They also sell tree food that helps your tree last longer

  • Setup and removal- You have to have the tree tied to the roof of your car, bring it home, untie it, and carry it in (sometimes up a flight of stairs). This is a tiring process. Then you have to remove it from your house and it’s messy like I mentioned in a previous point


Artificial Christmas Tree

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Artificial Christmas trees have come a long way. They come in different sizes and price ranges to make it look as realistic as possible


  • Money (long term)- Upfront cost pays off since the tree will last for years with proper care and storage

  • Setup and removal- The tree easily stores since it comes apart and with no mess

  • Watering- There’s no need to water and no care needed

  • Fun varieties- They have trees that come covered in snow, lights are already included with the tree, blue trees, white trees, etc


  • Money (upfront)- The average artificial tree costs around $200. This can be intimidating but it does have long term benefits

  • Appearance- Artificial trees don’t appear as full as real trees. They have gotten better but it still leaves something to be desired (ornaments help hide the gaps of course)


My family has personally switched back and forth between real and artificial Christmas trees. I think the reason we keep going back and forth is the irresistible traditional feel that a real tree gives the home. Personally, I am 100% for real trees and I think I always will be. I do think a majority of people use fake trees today since I rarely ever see anyone with a tree on top of their car anymore. I also believe that artificial trees are a better investment. So, what do you guys prefer: real or artificial? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

For more information about different Christmas tree species, click the button below (for real Christmas tree fans)