Artificial Christmas trees come in many sizes, shapes, styles, and colors. With prelit trees, pink trees, 1950's vintage aluminum Christmas trees and more to choose from, you are limited only by your imagination!
While statistics show that more people buy live trees each year, more and more people DISPLAY artificial trees. The reasons are obvious as will be shown below.
When I was growing up, most Christmas trees people bought were real. The only exceptions were aluminum Christmas trees, popular in the 1960's, and an occasional tabletop tree.
I remember visiting my parents one Christmas after I had completed college. They had just gotten their first artificial Christmas tree. And it looked, well, artificial.
Trust me, they don't look artificial anymore! New technology has made artificial Christmas trees appear much like the real thing. Today you can get trees such as Fraser Firs and Noble Firs that you would swear came right out of the forest.
And, again, the options you have are incredible- pretty much any tree you see outdoors you can get. Plus many styles you would never see. So whether it's tall 12' trees or small 3' tabletop trees, wide trees, slim trees, half trees, or trees of any color, all are available.
I've really grown to like them. And I must admit it's nice not having to clean up the mess after Christmas.
There are many advantages to having artificial Christmas trees. For one, you save time! Instead of buying a tree every year, you only buy one every five to ten years or so.
That's a bunch of trips you don't have to make to the tree lot or tree farm.
You also don't have to haul them in and out of the house, or spend extra time getting them to fit into the stand...or balance a slightly-crooked tree so that it doesn't tip over.
And maintaining them is a cinch- you don't have to do anything! They obviously require no water, but, hey, if you're really nostalgic you can water them anyway.
Nor will you be vacuuming up dropped- and sticky- needles for hours after the holiday season.
Another big advantage to having an artificial tree is they are generally safer. They don't dry out like real trees. Nobody wants a fire at Christmastime, especially if you have young kids around.
So you can leave the tree up longer, even year-round if you like.
Another benefit of artificial Christmas trees, as I mentioned earlier, is that you have so many possibilities to choose from. Yes you can really have your perfect tree, perfectly symmetrical, in any size, shape, style and color you want.
You can get prelit Christmas trees, even predecorated ones. And did I mention pink Christmas trees? Really, they ARE popular these days!
Finally, artificial Christmas trees don't come equipped with allergens, unless you're allergic to plastic of course.
There are some disadvantages to having an artificial tree as well. They aren't the "real" thing (pardon the pun).
Even with those special "evergreen smell" sprays you can get.
In addition, depending on the size, and quality, of the tree they can be quite expensive, sometimes fetching $500 and up. And remember if you pay little for the tree you can expect much lower quality.
You have to assemble the tree, which can get frustrating if you're not a "handyman".
For the environmentally-conscious there's the problem of disposal of the tree once it's no longer useful. It's difficult, if not impossible, to re-cycle the plastic and metal used to make the tree.
Actually, they were invented in Germany in the late 1800's by attaching goose feathers to a metal Christmas-tree frame. The feathers were dyed green to simulate a real tree.
These same tabletop or "feather" trees were imported to America and first featured for sale in the famous Sear's catalog in 1913.
Yes, it's true. The first American artificial trees were created by the Addis Brush Company in the 1930's using the same machines they used to create toilet brushes!
Beginning in the late 1950's, aluminum Christmas trees first appeared on the scene, adorned with silvery needles that looked like tiny strips of aluminum foil. A rotating color wheel on the floor shined on the tree and made it turn different colors. Cool, huh?
Today's artificial trees have needles usually made of recycled polyvinyl chloride or PVC. Most of the trees are made in China and shipped to dealers in the U.S.
Newer trees use polyethylene (PE) or PE and PVC mixed together to produce much more life-like branches.
Most Americans buy their artificial tree at a discount store like Wal-Mart or Target.
According to the National Christmas Tree Association, an estimated 9.5 million artificial trees were sold in America in 2011.
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