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Artificial Christmas Tree Buyer's Guide

How to Identify a High-Quality Artificial Christmas Tree


"If it looks too good to be true... well, it probably is!"

Remember these extremely important rules of shopping for a Christmas tree online: If you see close-up photos of artificial Christmas trees on other websites that are simply "perfect", chances are there was a graphic artist with Photoshop skills responsible for it. One easy way to spot a fake is to look for perfectly shaped twinkles of lights coming off of a tree when you zoom in (as if drawn-in). Another way you can spot a fake is looking at close-up needles that have absolutely no imperfection and not a single bent branch or tip. These trees are ones that have never been compressed into a shipping container and have been photographed right off of the assembly line. The fact of the matter is every artificial Christmas tree will have about 20% "crush factor" when it arrives in your home. All artificial Christmas trees are highly-compressed in their packaging for shipping. Unfortunately, for websites like that, the "perfect" photo you see online is going to be a fond memory in comparison to the tree you'll be staring at in your living room. Just look around online at reviews of other sites and you'll quickly understand. Treetime makes sure that every close-up branch photo you see is a direct photograph of the product taken out of the box after shaping. Clear close-ups and zoomed images of our artificial Christmas trees, wreaths, and garlands - without "tweaking" - are always shown so you know that what you're buying is what will arrive at your door. No surprises!

Lastly, always-always-always type in the <company name> + complaints or reviews in Google before buying.  Remember to click links to sites that contain accurate reviews not hosted on the company's domain.

Now that we've covered the basics of Internet shopping for the best artificial Christmas trees, below are some variables of tree structure and foliage you should be aware of when shopping for the right artificial Christmas tree:

Quality of Stands and Center Poles


Stands and center poles are available in metal or plastic. As a general rule, metal is sturdier, more durable, and safer, since it will be more secure against tipping. Especially in the case of a tall tree, a strong stand and pole is essential. Plastic is a less expensive option and may be acceptable for smaller trees. Always keep in mind that depending on your ornaments, the tree will become heavier and more in need of a sturdy base and support once decorated.

CONSTRUCTION

The construction of a traditional artificial tree will determine ease of assembly. There are two basic structure options for realistic-looking trees: hinged branches or hook-in construction.

Hinged Branch

Hinged construction trees, the more expensive options, are quicker and easier to assemble than hook-in ones. These trees usually come in two or three parts that need to be put together. Branches are permanently attached to the trunk pole with hinges. Just put together the sections, fluff out the branches, and your tree is done. If included, the lights also stay on permanently. Metal hinges are sturdier than plastic ones.

Hook-in Branch

With the hook-in variety, you will need to put each branch into a separate hook on the tree pole. Branches are usually color coded so that you will know where they go. Since each branch is attached individually, these trees take far longer to assemble, and are not available as pre-lit trees. However, these are cheaper to purchase. You will not find any Treetime Christmas trees using a  hook-in construction.  All of Treetime's artificial Christmas trees are fully hinged.

Next » Understand the Different Types of Tree Foliage