Christmas Trees Real vs. Fake: What Should You Buy this Holiday?



Even a fake tree can be a beloved symbol for all. There’s nothing that says “it’s the holidays!” quite like the signature green pine.

Jenica Liang

As the holiday season is upon us, we can find Christmas trees everywhere. With the festive pines on our minds, its time to absolve the age-old question: real or fake? 

What’s the Best for the Environment?

Compared to fake trees, real trees are more environmentally friendly. By purchasing a real tree, you’re  fighting climate change. You’re also reducing the carbon emissions produced by the millions of fake trees shipped each year. Additionally, buying a real tree means supporting the landowners and communities that grow and maintain pine tree forests. By keeping tree farms in business, you are helping with the development of healthy ecosystems within these forests.

Most fake Christmas trees can’t be recycled. They end up in landfills. In contrast, real Christmas trees are often given a second chance after their holiday use. They can also be taken to habitats and used in conservation projects. This benefits environments for years to come. For those interested, the National Christmas Tree Association has more information regarding the preservation and distribution of real Christmas trees.

Lit up Christmas tree
Lindsay Prusicki
A real Christmas tree lights up a living room.

So why don’t more people buy real Christmas trees?

The percent of households using real Christmas trees has dropped from 90% to just 21% in the last three decades. This is because real Christmas trees require more maintenance. They have to be trimmed, watered, and may attract insects. Although some like the smell of pine, other may find it too pungent or sharp. Also, those with pine allergies will be much better off with a fake tree. Furthermore, those who are looking to purchase miniature trees for table-top decorations or likewise will only have the option of a fake tree.

Are there any benefits to fake Christmas trees?

Of course! Fake trees are ever popular. They make up more than 80% of Christmas trees purchased. This is not without reason, as they do have many pros. They require little to no assembly, won’t rot, attract insects, and are better options for those with pine allergies. In addition to this, as mentioned earlier, a fake tree comes with much more variety compared to a real tree, whether it be in size, shape, or color. Besides, the negative environmental impact of purchasing a fake tree gets smaller each year you reuse it.

Closing Words

A real tree is the way to go if you care about the environment and aren’t too hassled about some maintenance. There’s no better option as a fun centerpiece of your living room. You’ll have the fresh smell of pine accompany you through the holidays. However, if you have circumstances that don’t allow for a real tree, fake ones are easy to manage and provide more variety for your decorating. Both types have their pros and cons that balance each other out. Which type of tree are you putting up this year?