How To Choose A Christmas Tree

A Christmas tree is one of the most important holiday purchases. It's the focal point in your living room for weeks or months. Plus, Christmas trees often set the tone for your whole decorating scheme.  

Below we'll cover the types of artificial Christmas trees that are available on the market plus some key considerations, pros and cons of artificial trees and a variety of features.

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What Are Some Pros and Cons of Artificial Christmas Trees?

Start with assessing whether an artificial tree is right for your situation. Some key point to keep in mind include:


  • A quality artificial tree leaves fewer needles around the house, especially as the real tree dries out.
  • You can reuse the tree each year, making for a budget-conscious choice.
  • Artificial trees allow for a wide variety of creative styles, like wild colors.
  • You don't have to regularly water a fake tree.
  • You can leave a fake tree up longer without worrying about it drying out.


  • With artificial Christmas trees, you sacrifice that fresh pine scent.
  • If you buy a less expensive tree, you often sacrifice the lush texture of a real tree. 
  • For those who are concerned about the environment, artificial trees leave a large amount of carbon footprint in their production process. More materials and energy are used to manufacture an artificial Christmas tree than to grow and cut a real one.
  • You have to find a place to store the tree when not in use.
  • Artificial trees can actually be harder to put up and take down, often requiring assembly of individual branches around the base pole.

If any of these cons are a deal-breaker, you might want to consider a real tree.

Small Green Pine Artificial Christmas Tree
4 Piece Christmas Decorating with Trees
Christmas Tree with Multi-Colored Lights with Stand
Big Green Fir Artificial Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree with Clear Lights
Little Home Christmas Tree

What Should I Consider Before Buying an Artificial Christmas Tree?

Your number one consideration before you buy a tree should be what type of Christmas decorating scheme you're going for. These days, you have a wide variety of choices. You might choose a:

  • Rustic country Christmas
  • Classic Christmas with the traditional decorations most commonly associated with the holiday, like green garland and Santa statues
  • Modern Christmas that makes use of black and white colors
  • Creative monochrome Christmas that makes use of only one shade, often incorporated into the color of the tree
  • Certain cultural themes, like a Scandinavian Christmas
  • Industrial Christmas that makes use of metallic textures
  • Period Christmas, such as one that uses art deco styles
  • Minimalist Christmas that only has a few understated decorations
  • A coastal Christmas that uses seashells

Those are just some of the most common Christmas trends that have been popular over the years. However, these can strongly influence the type of tree you'll purchase. For example, if you go with the monochrome Christmas style, you might end up needing a blue tree. We'll cover more in-depth below what kind of styles of trees are out there and in which styles they work best.  

The other main consideration is the size of Christmas trees. Start by looking at where you plan to put the tree and measure that space. Then you'll know what size will fit where. If you have a small apartment or home, consider getting a tabletop Christmas tree. We'll also cover sizes in more detail below.

How to Choose the Style of a Christmas Trees?

There are many different types of Christmas tree styles, each of which goes with a certain holiday decorating theme. Below we'll outline the main types:

Classic lush green tree

These are made to mimic pine or spruce trees and often come in deep or bright green shades. This is the classic triangular, lush tree you think of when you think of Christmas trees. These go well in classic or rustic themes where natural textures or quintessential holiday looks dominate.

Large Classic Lush Green Christmas Tree
Small Classic Green Christmas Tree
Classic Green Christmas Tree with Lights
Small Inside Green Christmas Tree
Green Pine Trees Artificial Christmas Tree
Classic Artificial Green Christmas Tree

Thin fir style

These mimic fir trees and often have a characteristic lighter color with a smaller diameter. These are good for small spaces or modern and minimalistic styles that are going for a more understated and contemporary look.

Thin Fir Artificial Christmas Tree
Thin Green Fir Christmas Tree
Slim Green Fir Artificial Christmas Tree
Long Think Fir Christmas Tree
Slim Fir Artificial Christmas Tree with Lights
Green Thin Fir Artificial Christmas Tree Lights

Bushy fir

Not all fir trees are thin. Some are bushy and have a deep texture with branches in a wide variety of lengths. They also tend to have a lighter color. These look good in rustic themes due to the texture, light-colored modern themes or even classic themes looking for some texture.

Bushy Fir Medium Christmas Tree
Green Bushy Fir Ariticial Christmas Tree
Green Bushy Fir Christmas Tree with Lights
Bushy Fir Christmas Tree in Medium Size
Large Bushy Fir Christmas Tree
Bushy Fir Christmas Tree with Metal Stand

White Christmas trees

These trees have the branches in a shimmery white shade. They look good in modern styles, industrial styles or designs that otherwise follow a color scheme, like monochrome Christmases. These are good if you're trying to get far away from the natural theme.

Tinsel trees

Along the same line as white trees, tinsel Christmas trees are good in modern, light or industrial themes. These were also very popular in the mid-20th Century, so they're good for a period Christmas.

Black Christmas tree

You can't get much more of a statement look than a black tree. These are also more common in modern styles. You also might use it in a funky, artsy style and put boldly colorful lights and ornaments on it.

Big White Artificial Christmas Tree LED Lights
Slim White Artificial Christmas Tree
Black and White Christmas Tree
Small Silver Artificial Christmas Tree
Tinsel Christmas Tree with Stand and Lights
Small Tinsel Gold Christmas Tree

Natural trunk style

These styles of trees often look like something you pulled right out of the forest, often with a natural-style trunk showing in some way. The tree itself might also be smaller and the branches a little sparser. These styles look great in rustic, coastal, Scandinavian or minimalistic Christmas themes.


This category covers any tree where the branches are a bold color, like blue or pink. Use these for funky and artsy styles or monochrome designs.

How to Choose the Size of a Christmas Tree?

As mentioned above, start by measuring the space you have to work with, even if you have to move some furniture around to make it work. That will tell you the size you can look for. 

Christmas trees are typically labeled by height. That's why it pays to measure the space, both in diameter and height. You can find trees anywhere from around 2 feet to 9 feet or more. If you plan on a more understated style or you have less space to work with, choose a tabletop model that's around 2 feet. 9-foot or more trees are good for larger living rooms with vaulted or otherwise elevated ceilings. The most common height you'll tend to see is a 7.5-foot tree.  

It's also important to consider the diameter of the tree. This will most directly be influenced by the height as well, but even trees of the same height can have different diameters depending on how textured and bushy the tree is. Look at the specifications of the tree, which will often give you a measurement like the circumference. Some may even tell you outright that the tree has a certain depth measurement in the space, like 5.5 feet.

What Additional Features Come in Christmas Trees?

You can also look for a few different features that come with these trees. Some main ones include:

  • Flocked: This means that the Christmas tree has been treated to look like it has snow on it. This is a great addition for rustic, classic and country Christmases. It can even look good in modern Christmases or white monochrome Christmases if the flocking is heavy enough. 

  • Pre-lit: A major feature is that many trees come pre-lit, meaning the lights are already attached to the tree. A drawback is that if the bulbs start to go, you have to replace individual bulbs or the whole tree. You also can't customize the light colors from year to year. However, it knocks off one step of putting up the tree. Some pre-lit trees are also made with fiber optics for a real light show.

  • Rotation: Some Christmas trees can be made to rotate. If you have so many ornaments that you can't fit them all on one side of the tree, consider a rotating tree. This feature tends to come as separate stands.

Final Thoughts

Picking out a Christmas tree should be a fun experience. It's a delightful holiday addition to the home and will be ideally surrounded by fond family memories. To make it easier, below are some key takeaways to keep in mind.

  • Start by deciding on your home's holiday decorating theme. If you can't decide on one, let the theme of your home help you decide. For instance, rustic homes may want a country Christmas. The holiday theme will inform the style of the tree you purchase.

  • Be sure to measure the space the tree will go in, both for height and diameter. That will inform the size of the tree you buy.

  • If an extra feature, like a pre-lit model, strikes you as convenient or pretty, you may want to buy that version.