Real vs Fake Christmas trees: How to choose the right Christmas tree for your home 



Among trying to find the right present for your family, where to spend Christmas and getting the food ready, another huge part of Christmas is choosing and decorating your Christmas tree. 

There is an age-old debate around whether to buy a real or fake Christmas tree. Some people want the ease of being able to get the tree out of the loft every year and just put it up but others prefer the tradition of going to the local nursery, choosing out a tree and bringing it home. 

So, if you’re wondering whether to buy a real or a fake Christmas tree this year, this guide will provide you with everything you need to know. In addition, many people are now concerned about the sustainability of the tree they buy, so let’s dig a little deeper. 


Is a fake or real Christmas tree more eco-friendly?

Fake or artificial Christmas trees are usually made in and shipped from China which adds to carbon emissions and resource depletion. In addition, they’re made from plastic and metal so they’re not biodegradable or recyclable and, when you throw it out, will end up in landfill. 

According to the Carbon Trust, a two metre artificial tree has a carbon footprint of around 40kg which is more than ten times that of a real tree that is burned after Christmas. A fake Christmas tree would need to be used 10 times to equal out its carbon footprint. 

On the other hand, real Christmas trees do not require the same carbon emissions it takes to produce and ship fake ones. Most Christmas trees in the UK are grown here, with only around £3 million worth imported. 

Real Christmas trees take around 10-12 years to grow to 6 feet and, during that time, they provide a habitat for wildlife, capture carbon from the atmosphere and release oxygen. 

They are grown yearly and are meant to be cut down so many tree farms use sustainable methods for cultivation and recycling. Unlike fake trees, real Christmas trees are completely biodegradable and can be used for timber, turned into mulch, composted and used to fertilise your garden. 

If you want something even more sustainable, you can buy a potted Christmas tree that you can put outside or replant in your garden after Christmas and it will continue to grow. 

Real vs fake Christmas trees: The pros and cons 

Aside from sustabinability, there are other factors to consider to decide whether or not a real or fake Christmas tree is right for you this year. 

Pros of real Christmas trees 


Family experience 

Going out and choosing your Christmas tree and then decorating it together is a family tradition for many. Each real tree has its own unique features and finding the perfect tree for your home is part of the fun. 

Appearance and fragrance 

Real Christmas trees look natural and continue a long-running Christmas tradition. If you buy the wrong artificial tree, it can look like a fake tree and a bit sad - and you won’t know what it looks like until you get it out of the box. 

The traditional pine fragrance of a real tree will fill your home with a Christmassy scent which just can’t be matched with a fake tree.

Environmentally friendly 

As we have already mentioned, real Christmas trees are an environmentally friendly option. When they’re growing, Christmas trees take in carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gases and release fresh oxygen into the air. Plus, once you’re finished with your tree after Christmas, it will decompose naturally or, if it’s a potted Christmas tree, it can be replanted and will continue to grow and benefit the environment for years to come. 

Cons of real Christmas trees 



A real Christmas tree will need constant maintenance throughout the festive period to make sure it lasts through until Christmas Day. They require water to help keep them alive in your home and, you’ll need to make sure you don’t put it too close to a radiator or fire in your home as the heat can make them drop their needles faster. 

You will also need to clean up fallen needles every so often to stop them from being trampled through your home and stuck in children’s or pet’s feet. 


Once you’re finished with your Christmas tree, you’ll have to find a way to get rid of it. Potted Christmas trees can be planted out in your garden and become a great feature outside. 

However, a cut Christmas tree will either need to be taken away by professionals, chopped up and used for wood or mulch or you will need to take it to your local tip. 

Pros of fake Christmas trees 


Can be reused 

Fake Christmas trees are convenient. They can be pulled down from the loft year after year and put up in your home. Then, when Christmas is over, you can pack it down again for next year. All of this comes without the mess of cleaning up pine needles from your home as you carry the tree out to dispose of it. 

Cost effective 

As you can use the tree over and over again, you will save money over the years. Real Christmas trees can carry a higher price tag so a fake Christmas tree is perfect if you don’t want to splash out every year. 

No mess 

When you have a fake tree, you don’t have to deal with dropping needles or watering your tree so they’re pretty low maintenance. AND you don’t have to put up with pine needles stabbing you in the feet!

Cons of fake Christmas trees 


Can’t be recycled

You might be able to use fake Christmas trees over and over again but, at some point you will need to dispose of it. Fake Christmas trees are usually made of metal and plastic so they can’t be recycled. They have a larger impact on the environment whilst they’re being made and in their disposal than a real Christmas tree. 


Shop our full range of real Christmas trees and get your Christmas tree delivered straight to your door. 


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