And although first-time tree buyers will probably be surprised at a good tree’s price, we knew we’d be in the mainstream range as long as we landed in between $250 and $500, judging by the information we got from House of Holiday’s Larry Gurino and our own research. We avoided the outdated designs in which you snap individual branches into sockets on the center pole one by one, a time-consuming and fussy process. That said, from a distance, they can look very, very good. Christmas is here, and that means it’s time to decorate. And we found that the Winchester White Pine lost more of its needles while we were fluffing than any other tree in our test. Low maintenance and low stress: There’s no need to water a fake tree or to shimmy underneath the thing to secure it in its stand. This year, I wanted And it has more than twice the number of lights (1,620 versus 750), creating an opulent display that our testers universally preferred. A smart Christmas tree doesn’t take the fun out of decorating — after all, it isn’t prefilled with ornaments. Gurino has sold Puleo trees for 20 years, and they were some of the nicest-looking trees we came across in our search. Great — just tap a button. The literature also confusingly mentions checking to see if a fuse has blown in the plug, and if so, to replace it with one of the included replacements. The National Tree Company 7.5-foot Downswept Douglas Fir Pencil Slim with Dual Color LED Lights (PEDD4-392D-75) is a great option for small spaces such as a home’s foyer or a compact apartment. But depending on your personality type, therein might lie the problem—what is “just right” when you’re going for a natural, untouched look? Whereas green foliage simply disappears into a dark silhouette once the lights are on, the Winchester White Pine transforms into a snowy lantern when lit. Judging from the photos, we think it’s quite pretty when decorated, but it lands in a very specific aesthetic subset, and with such wide-open spaces between the twiggy greenery, it’s a shame that Balsam Hill’s Easy Plug connectors aren’t better disguised on this model. After fluffing, it is especially full and lifelike, and its generous, 59-inch girth will fill most living rooms. At the bottom of the tree there is a micro-usb (power only) input which powers the circuit. Compared with both pricier and cheaper trees, the National Tree Company Feel Real Downswept Douglas Fir (PEDD1-D12-75) hits a good balance of cost, realism, and ease of setup. You need proof and the date of purchase to file a claim, and you need to have treated the tree and lights with reasonable care to have your claim approved. From what we’ve found through reporting, people are now using trees with this feature as non-Christmas decorations, setting them to Halloween colors when it’s time for trick-or-treaters, for example, or team colors for sports events. We spent 200 hours researching and tested 20 types of essential cookie-related items to find the best gear to make holiday baking fun and stress-free. The high bulb count means the Vermont White Spruce can appear more than twice as richly lit, something all our observers immediately picked up on and preferred. Any type of tree can make this season a bit more festive and bring some of that holiday magic into your home. The most obvious benefit of a smart tree isn’t that it is prestrung, but that the lights themselves can be manipulated and changed at will. Hopefully, one of these smart Christmas lights … When he’s not here, he’s on his bike. For example, you can choose to have your lights flicker and cascade like snow. Then we strung the lights strategically—since we were placing the tree in a corner, we put them only on the side of the tree facing the room. It seems wise to protect your investment with the minor additional cost of a dedicated storage bag such as the Elf Stor Premium Christmas Tree Bag (a well-reviewed item we have not personally tested over the long term). The smart Christmas tree market is not the most competitive space out there. (The tree is covered by a three year warranty.). The Vermont White Spruce’s lights connect automatically, like the Downswept Douglas Fir’s, via plugs within its trunk. And with the lights on, all those white surfaces make the tree glow from within. But it’s also the one she admitted looked very good once we’d spent an hour fluffing the branches and arranging them. Also, what was once a genuine health concern—the use of lead as a PVC stabilizer—is no longer an issue in most artificial trees sold in the US, according to National Tree Company and the American Christmas Tree Association, which represents artificial-tree companies. Durable: A good artificial Christmas tree can last a decade, whereas live trees last a single season. Even inexpensive trees can look very good from across the room, and more expensive trees—those with a high proportion of realistic branch tips—can look truly real. In response to reader request, we’ve added more information about potential troubleshooting issues, links to parts or accessories you may find helpful, and additional advice on how to use our recommendations safely. That’s impressive for a total outlay of $225, barely half the cost of the top-pick Downswept Douglas Fir and less than one-fifth the cost of the upgrade-pick Vermont White Spruce. Fun, kitschy, and proudly artificial, this all-white option proved surprisingly beautiful, and it makes a fine alternative to the traditional holiday aesthetic. Prelit trees make up 90% of the artificial trees sold in the US, according to the American Christmas Tree Association, with most of those studded with energy-saving and durable LED bulbs. Just the act of hunting down a blown-out light bulb in a long string of them can suck much of the merry right out of the Christmas season. The bulbs are also LEDs, which means a significantly longer life span and that the rest of the string won’t be affected if one bulb goes out. Since last year, their Christmas tree farm in St Austell, Cornwall, has "tripled in size", growing from 40 trees to 120, with 300 families on the waiting list for 2021. When you add on the price of strands of lights (if you purchase a tree that isn’t prelit), it becomes even more expensive. Although live-tree farms contribute marginally to the consequences of fertilizer and pesticide use, they add value to land that might otherwise be valuable only to developers. In addition, during setup you should definitely use the included gloves to avoid both the scratchiness and the slick feel that builds up on your hands after sliding your skin around plastic for an hour. But a higher percentage of polyethylene generally means a higher price, and as with real trees, bigger sizes come with bigger costs. If you want a smart Christmas tree—one that you can turn on and off with your phone or voice commands—there’s not much out there for you right now. Maybe you’re looking for the perfect snowy white tree to add to your family Christmas. Artificial Christmas trees in Marywood pine with frosted berries will complement your wooden fireplace and holly wreaths beautifully. When you're tired of connecting short strings of lights, … Combine a real tree with standard LEDs and a smart plug and you’re spending less than you would on an artificial, prelit tree. Like the Vermont White Spruce, the Nordmann Fir is pricey—depending on the size and lighting, you’re looking at anywhere from $600 to $1,800. It may ease the sting to remember that you’re making at least a 10-year investment. That’s a much easier way of doing it, and our testers preferred it. The effect is especially striking in a dark room or in a corner that doesn’t receive a lot of natural light in the daytime. A healthy and well watered tree caught on fire immediately but eventually went out (though it’s important to note that their test tree had no ornaments or lights on it, and stood against a concrete wall), while a dry, unwatered tree burned furiously. Although this Balsam Hill tree is still unlikely to fool anyone peering at it up close, it’s a great option for anyone interested in buying their first artificial tree but worried they’ll miss the individuality of a cut or live tree. At the very least, it removes the need to use the often-unreliable timers sold at this time of year. You might not be surprised to learn that within the industry there’s no consensus answer—the American Christmas Tree Association and the National Christmas Tree Association, which represent the artificial-tree and live-tree industries, respectively, both claim the “greener” title. 220 likes. Having the tree at home ready to go once Thanksgiving wraps up means one fewer errand and one less expense at a busy, budget-straining time of year. 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