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Real Christmas Trees vs Fake Christmas Trees

Updated on August 30, 2017

A Debate on the Greenness of Fake Trees & Real Trees

Real Christmas Trees vs Fake Christmas Trees

Real Christmas trees have had a bad wrap for quite some time...but what goes around come around, and real Christmas trees are making a comeback! This doesn't mean you should toss away your old artificial tree. In fact, that's the last thing you should do!

It's hard to beat the convenience of buying a brand new cut Christmas tree for your home. It looks perfect and the smell fills the whole home. But with artificial trees, there's the benefit of not having to buy a tree every year, as well as lug it home or waste trees every year. What's your personal opinion on this controversial holiday issue? Tell us in the guestbook if you're for or against buying new or fake -- and why!

Links on the Great Debate of Christmas Trees - Find more information on Real vs Fake Christmas Trees!

Join in on some other battles over Christmas trees on these other sites!

Is the artificial tree truly greener, or just a bunch of hype?

Is the artificial tree truly greener, or just a bunch of hype?
Is the artificial tree truly greener, or just a bunch of hype?

To clarify things...

Cut Christmas Tree: A once living tree, cut and sold at Christmas tree lots everywhere. What we're all used to.

Live Christmas Trees: Still living trees, roots attached and all. Sometimes the roots are bundled, or the tree might be potted and ready to replant after Christmas.

Take our Poll About your Favorite Kind of Tree! - Vote for your favorite!

What kind of tree do you have for the holidays?

See results

Now it's your turn to weigh in! - Tell us which side you're on...fake trees or real?

Real Christmas Trees

Some pros: the invigorating smell, the convenience of not having to store the tree, the renewable nature of real trees, the appearance.

Some cons: the huge amount of waste, difficulty in disposal, pesticides used on some trees, pine needles and sap, pets eating them

Artificial Trees

Pros: Reusable year after year, conveniently stored away, only pay for it once in a lifetime, most are flame retardant

Cons: Very difficult to recycle, hard to clean, the lack of scent, the appearance compared to real Christmas trees

Now tell us what you think!

Which type is truly greener: real or artificial Christmas trees?

Christmas Tree farms: good idea or bad?

Christmas Tree farms: good idea or bad?
Christmas Tree farms: good idea or bad?

Christmas Tree Poll!

Which kind of Christmas trees do you prefer?

See results

What to do with your Old Cut Christmas Trees - Don't throw it curbside, recycle it!

Don't toss away your Christmas tree!

Your old (formerly) live Christmas tree can be recycled in most areas. They'll turn it into mulch most likely (hopefully to help new trees grow!). Check these links to see where and when pickups might be for your area and what you can do with it!

Something worth considering:

Live Christmas trees! Many places now sell living Christmas trees as tabletop trees, and in some cases, even large trees. These might be difficult to plant during the frigid frozen ground months, but will also stay alive if kept potted in a large container (and a green thumb!).

Prevent a Few More Trees From Being Cut With Recycled Christmas Cards! - A great alternative to traditional holiday cards!

Bad Idea: Throwing Away your Artificial Tree

Artificial trees contain plastic, metals, and non-biodegradable elements. They also aren't easily recycled. If you have a tree that you're thinking of recycling, the easiest way to recycle might be to repurpose it: donate it to someplace that will use it, like a local shelter, a school, or post an ad on Craigslist or Kijiji.

Thanks for dropping by!

Thanks for dropping by!
Thanks for dropping by!

Have a green holiday season! And be sure to pass this debate along to anyone who you think might find it interesting!


What Do You Use As Your Christmas Tree - Real or Fake? - Remember to participate in the debate up above, too!

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    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      I talked with foresters and there is no way all the trees could survive because of the competition for space, light and food. Cutting Christmas trees is part of health care of forests. And we can do it in more or less green ways.

    • yayas profile image

      yayas 5 years ago

      We switched a couple 'uh years ago to a fake tree because of economic pressures. It's a good thing, too, because the economy has just continued to throw curves at us, especially at Christmas time. Super page.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      We knew people whose house burned down from a Christmas tree fire, I'll never have a real tree again.

    • profile image

      Isham101 5 years ago

      I guess the norm is to use a fake one for years. Anyway, great lens:)

    • profile image

      nsixx99 5 years ago

      I like the real trees but unfortunately so does my dog, she likes to try an eat them so we have an artificial one.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Fake fake fake ! Come on people cutting down things that help us survive isn't cool we all live on this earth and all should keep it running strong. How would you feel if some on cut down you home to use it for a decoration... Just be thoughtful and try to care =]

    • profile image

      revenue4u 6 years ago

      For many years we used real trees until we got a fake tree two years ago. Fake trees are just not the same, but they are less of a mess.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 6 years ago from So Cal

      We want to add a pine tree to our yard this year for the same reason that Chinajoy in the comments below mentioned. We want our grandson to remember Christmas, not so much for the gifts but what the season means to our family and a live tree will keep that alive.

    • fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 6 years ago

      I have a fake tree only because its handy. But I really would rather have a real one.

    • BuddyBink profile image

      BuddyBink 6 years ago

      Nicely done. I prefer the real thing and then recycle it in the Spring. Nothing beats a real Christmas tree.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      You have such an inspiring lens. Thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Beautiful lens.

    • sockii profile image

      Nicole Pellegrini 6 years ago from New Jersey

      Great lens! I enjoy the debate and also the resources and ideas here for recycling and repurposing Christmas trees (real and fake).

    • profile image

      ErHawkns7100 6 years ago

      I love real trees but I didn't like all the bugs that came with it.

    • whoisbid lm profile image

      whoisbid lm 6 years ago

      Christmas will be in a few months. I probably won't be blogging at that time so a happy premature christmas wish to you my friend

    • TIRMassageStone1 profile image

      TIRMassageStone1 6 years ago

      Don't know if fake trees are necessarily better for the environment, but I know they definitely save a lot of money if you keep using the same one year after year!

    • Joy Neasley profile image

      Joy Neasley 6 years ago from Nashville, TN

      When my kids were growing up, we bought a real Christmas tree with the roots every year. Each year on New Year's Day we planted the tree. Now, the kids are adults and every once in a while I catch them looking at these trees and remembering each Christmas each one represents.

    • greenerme profile image
      Author

      greenerme 6 years ago

      @nebby: Thank you!! What a great idea! Once we move to our forever home" this is one of the first traditions to be started!

    • greenerme profile image
      Author

      greenerme 6 years ago

      @SueM11: Thank you!!! Its so great to see such a great response to a lens!

    • profile image

      glowchick 6 years ago

      When I was growing up, we always had an artificail tree, but when I had my own family it was real trees all the way... and we love it :)

    • SueM11 profile image

      Sue Mah 6 years ago from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

      Great debate. Congrats on making the list of The Best Squidoo Intros Ever!

    • nebby profile image

      nebby 6 years ago from USA

      We usually have alive tree and then plant it when Christmas is over.

      Congratulations on making the list of The Best Squidoo Intros Ever!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Congrats for making The Best Squidoo Intros Ever list. It's been awhile since I have visited here so enjoyed the re-visit.

    • fbaum818 profile image

      fbaum818 7 years ago

      Great lens. My family always tries to get real trees, when we can. But, since we move around a lot, we have a fake tree just in case we can't get a real tree. No sense in transporting all those trees around & putting carbon in the air.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      When my parents moved into a new house when I was young, it had no trees or anything in the yard. They bought a live bulb-ed tree every year and planted around the border of the yard. Some of them are humongous now, but it's fun to look at the yard and see our old Christmas trees! =D Some of them even bring back particular memories of the year.

    • Laura45 LM profile image

      Laura45 LM 7 years ago

      Great lens! I love real Christmas trees, but am happy with our artificial one! Thanks for the repurpose suggestions.

    • profile image

      Steve-SEO-UK 7 years ago

      As much as I love the look, feel and smell of a real tree, we have had a fake one for many years now. Interesting debate and comments. Many thanks for a great Lens.

    • laladida88 profile image

      laladida88 7 years ago

      great lens

    • noobeegin profile image

      noobeegin 7 years ago

      Great lens. I love the debate. It is really hard to decide on which is better. I guess I just love Christmas trees of all kinds.

    • ChemKnitsBlog2 profile image

      ChemKnitsBlog2 7 years ago

      We set up my lovely fake tree last night. Some people we had over to help decorate thought it was real! If you invest a bit more money in your fake tree, (I think we paid $130) you get something that looks much more realistic than the corresponding $50 ones.

    • squid-janices7 profile image

      squid-janices7 7 years ago

      Interesting debate...perfect for this time of year!

    • andreaberrios lm profile image

      andreaberrios lm 7 years ago

      I love the smell of a real Christmas tree, but I don't like the idea of cutting trees. Plus is the artificial trees are easier...Either way, I love Christmas trees! Happy Holidays.

    • profile image

      wadestar 7 years ago

      real all the way take your kid to pick one they'll love the experience. You can also negotiate for them to clean up the needles problem solved lol

    • Jhangora LM profile image

      Jhangora LM 7 years ago

      I've never purchased a Christmas Tree but if I got an opportunity I'll purchase an artificial one. Why? The choice of colors, styles, heights is much better as opposed to real ones.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I like your lens.

    • bizgrrl profile image

      bizgrrl 7 years ago from Vancouver, Canada

      Great idea for a Christmas lens topic - Good for you! :)

    • lilymom24 profile image

      lilymom24 7 years ago

      This is a fun lens and a great duel topic. =)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Nice lens-love it!

    • remanon profile image

      remanon 7 years ago

      I really nice lens, how many days to christmas???

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      nice lens and you have managed to start a good debate.

    • profile image

      JMoralde 7 years ago

      to each his own as they say...

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I like both! Nice lens, 5*

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 7 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      This is really a beautiful page you created,Nicely done! 5*

    • profile image

      dannystaple 7 years ago

      Nice moves getting LOTD - I was looking for this specific subject (it seemed like a good plan for a lens) - you beat me to it! Anyway, could you perhaps add good ideas for responsibly disposing of a real tree? Especially pertinent in the city where people live in small flats with no yards and communal hall spaces and kerbs. A great lens!

    • profile image

      greengecko 8 years ago

      A real living Christmas tree is best! But this may not be practical for many people, especially in urban areas. With a bit of care and luck you only need buy one occasionally, as a living tree should do a few seasons before it gets too big. We alternate two which sit in the garden between times, planted out. See my website Greenfootsteps for more on keeping and using a living tree.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 8 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Congratulations on LOTD. Happy Holidays to you and Best Wishes for 2010! :)

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 8 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      My parents had a choose and cut Christmas tree farm for many years. it was always a wonderful time to help people find the perfect tree. Everybody was always in a great mood!

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Great lens. Having had a live tree in our house for Christmas since I was little, I am really disposed to like them a LOT. But aren't those roots too small (usually) for the tree to stay alive long even when planted in the garden? I know all the Christmas trees my mom planted died at some point or another, though I think a few lived to be dug out for the next Christmas.

    • luvmyludwig lm profile image

      luvmyludwig lm 8 years ago

      congrats on LOTD, I prefer a real tree, but due to all the raining we bought a fake this year. Next year I'll use it on my porch and get my real tree :)

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Congrats on LOTD! We actually are in the no tree at all group. If we decorate, it's usually outdoors. I enjoy the holiday season and the decorations, but we usually enjoy other people's trees and holiday lights instead of our own.

    • profile image

      NC Shepherd 8 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD!

    • EpicFarms profile image

      EpicFarms 8 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! We always get a live tree (lots of tree farms around here) and they are recycled locally and reused as mulch; sounds pretty green to me :o)

    • Violin-Student profile image

      Violin-Student 8 years ago

      Interesting debate. We haven't had a cut tree in thirty years. Easier to take care of. Less fire danger. But I sure miss the smell of a real tree!

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 8 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      congrats on LOTD!

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 8 years ago

      Great debate! Well deserving of LOTD.

    • profile image

      GrowWear 8 years ago

      Congratulations on your LOTD for Real Christmas Trees vs Fake Christmas Trees!

    • secondhandrose lm profile image

      secondhandrose lm 8 years ago

      Great lens. I prefer fake trees myself. They can be reused in crafts.

    • secondhandrose lm profile image

      secondhandrose lm 8 years ago

      Great lens. Artificial trees can also be reused in crafts, even the metal parts.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Excellent debate, I think the verdicts going towards the Real Trees whether living or cut.

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 8 years ago

      Nice debate! It is more convenient to put up an artificial tree because you simply have to arrange the leaves and branches accordingly and voila! You are ready to decorate. Also, you can set up the tree as early as 1 or 2 months before Christmas and get to enjoy it for a lengthy time.

      Hope you could visit my lenses as well. Thanks

    • profile image

      XNet 8 years ago

      I'm from Germany where the debate is not wether or not you have a real Christmas tree. It's more often about if you put real candles on there. I'm for real trees with real candles. If you'd like check out my Christmas DVDs blog.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 8 years ago from New Zealand

      Excellent debate and great presentation of both arguments. Blessed by a Squidoo angel.

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 8 years ago from Western Mass

      great interactive lens.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 8 years ago from Canada

      Nicely done & blessed by an Angel!

      Brenda

    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 8 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thanks for visiting my cat lens!

      The best Christmas tree we ever had was a little spruce fir in a pot. It was used every year until it got to big to come inside, then it was planted in the garden, where it lived and grew happily for about 25 years!

      Hate those Christmas trees that are just cut off branches - rather have an artificial one and save thousands of trees a year.

      Jean

    • CoolFoto profile image

      CoolFoto 8 years ago

      Interesting lens - found you in the Duel Group. 5* and lensroll to my Christmas lens www.squidoo.com/christmasunique

    • blue22d profile image

      blue22d 8 years ago

      Excellent lens. Five stars and a lensroll to my Christmas lens.

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 8 years ago

      We've always had real trees, but this year I broke down and bought an artificial one. Still not sure I made the right decision...

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 8 years ago

      Great lens! What do we do with a broken, completely unusable fake tree?

    • monarch13 profile image

      monarch13 8 years ago

      Great debate! 5 Stars and featured on "Re-gifting an Economical, Earth-Friendly Choice" (a debate).

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Congratulations for being number 1 in the Local Topic. This lens is featured on A Christmas Tree In The White House.

    • profile image

      bdkz 8 years ago

      Congratulations! You've bee featured on Cowabunga! http://bdkz.typepad.com/cowabunga/

    • mistyblue75605 lm profile image

      mistyblue75605 lm 9 years ago

      Great job! Made me think! 5*'s

    • profile image

      Brainplug 9 years ago

      I always told myself that I would never get a fake tree...then I married a woman who's allergic to the real ones! Out comes the artificial tree every Christmas...

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 9 years ago

      Great lens and I enjoyed it. Keep it up and merry Xmas.

    • allinfoisfree profile image

      allinfoisfree 9 years ago

      Great lens, thanks! 5 *'s

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 9 years ago

      very nice lens great information...although I love the real tree I found it to be simpler to have a nice fake tree...then I get real branches and decorate with them....5*

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 9 years ago

      Great lens!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 9 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Great lens. I am going to feature this one on my Christmas Tree In The White House lens. Thank you

    • Tiddledeewinks LM profile image

      Tiddledeewinks LM 9 years ago

      I say you can have BOTH! I did have a real one a few times that we cut ourselves and put out for the birds after with peanutbutter on it. The smell of a real one just can't be beat. But, remember to water it and it won't get as dry and drop as many needles. And don't put it close to a source of fire. What is all this fuss about cleaning up pine needles for just a few days a year?

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 9 years ago

      There are valid arguments on both sides. I have a bigger problem with all the wrapping paper and boxes that end up in the landfill.

      Great lens

      Lizzy

    • dc64 lm profile image

      dc64 lm 9 years ago

      I have had the same artificial tree for 15 years, and it is still as beautiful as it was on day one. I put my tree up early, so I love my fake tree. It is also very full and tall and is just perfect. I plan to use this tree for the rest of my life, which should be about the next 460 years, give or take ; )

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 9 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Nice lens, I'm not sure which I prefer. Real ones are nice, but between getting awfully sticky with the sap and having to vacuum up the needles, I think a fake one is thebest option. Besides, I don't have young kids in the house these days. 5*****

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 9 years ago from Vermont

      We do the same as Evelyn - and the birds and the land appreciate our efforts.

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 9 years ago from Royalton

      When we finish with the Christmas Tree, we put it outside for the birds to land on when flying back and forth to the feeder. In the spring we put it out in the woods to decompose.