Are Artificial Trees Really Lifelike?
What to look for.
When choosing artificial trees you'll want to determine what you are using it for and how visible will it be where you're placing it. The more visible and accessible it will be the higher quality you will want it to be. If it's going in a corner behind a sofa then you can get away with a lesser quality tree. When you visit your local craft stores most of the time they are very inexpensive and the quality is just not, well...good. They do serve some purpose as I spoke of earlier, however you tend to get what you pay for in these situations.
Price, however does not always tell the whole story of whether your getting a cheap plant or a quality one. Most low quality silk plants and trees will have Frey's around the edges of the leaves and may need to be trimmed to get rid of them. They look nice from a distance but when you get within 6' you start to notice the flaws. They also won't have a very high thread count in the foliage as a higher quality one would. This works the same way as sheets, the higher the thread count the better the quality of the leaf. This gives the leaf and foliage a more realistic look and will last much longer than your lower quality counterparts.
Almost all artificial plants have plastic parts to them and the secret to a good quality one is that the plastic parts look more realistic and are camouflaged with materials such as natural fibers and colored fabric. Details make the difference and when you don't add the small ones to the artificial tree or plant then they start to look more and more fake.
Non Potted Artificial Trees = $$ Savings $$
Many Professional designers will purchase non potted artificial trees because they're less expensive and they can pot them in many unique ways. For instance, taking non potted palm trees in different heights and planting one at an angle and one straight can give you a windblown tropical look that you won't find with some of the potted versions, For an even more dramatic look you can find some artificial trees that have bendable trunks. use this feature to slightly bend and curve them to look like a naturally grown palm. Designers love this feature because of the realism this lends to their work.
You typically save money purchasing these artificial trees non potted because of the cost of the materials and labor associated with potting them. Take some time and think about what your trying to accomplish and how you want it to look and you'll save yourself some time and money. Remember this next time your looking for artificial trees because you'll be much happier with your purchase and it will last you much longer than the typical craft store buys.
Material Used Make The Difference
Notice in the picture above how the manufacturer used natural coconut bark to mimic the natural bark found on the lady palm as it grows in nature. It also disguises the plastic parts better that trying to mimic the tree with synthetic materials.
For the most realistic trunks many designers love the artificial bamboo trees because many are made using actual bamboo stalks and then the foliage is just inserted into small drilled holes. They come in many different styles and the most popular by far are the natural, black and green bamboo trunks. They are great for corners as well because of the narrow nature of the trees as compared to others.