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Pros and Cons of Having Real or Artificial Trees

posted: 11/30/16
by: Amanda Mushro
Christmas tree next to fireplace
iStock

It's one of the great holiday debates, and people tend to have pretty strong opinions about this issue. When it comes to Christmas trees, where do you stand? Real or Artificial. Both sides seem to have pretty solid pros and cons attached to them. So grab your tinsel and garland and weigh in on this argument, or you could be like me and have one of each!

Pros to Buying a Real Tree

  • Buying real trees help local businesses and depending on where your tree comes from, you are also supporting local farmers.
  • At the end of the holiday season, your tree can be recycled and turned into mulch.
  • You don't have to store the tree--just the ornaments and lights that go on the tree.
  • Christmas trees absorb carbon dioxide so we all have cleaner air.
  • Real trees smell so good during the holidays.

Cons to Having a Real Tree

  • Pine needle cleanup can be a real pain.
  • Add daily watering to your to-do list.
  • If your area doesn't have a tree recycling or pickup, disposal can be a real pain.
  • Real trees can have flaws and won't always look perfect.
  • Real trees can be a real nightmare for people with allergies.

Pros to Buying an Artificial Tree

  • Artificial trees are often inexpensive and can be used for years. So you can look at your tree as an investment.
  • Some trees even come with lights already attached!
  • Very little cleanup and easy to maintain.
  • Perfect for families that have allergies that are triggered from plants or trees.
  • Artificial trees have come a long way and some look just as beautiful as real trees.


Cons to Having an Artificial Tree

  • Even if you keep your tree for years, it has a pretty large carbon footprint because they are not biodegradable. In fact, it can take 20 years for an artificial tree to breakdown.
  • Cheaper artificial trees can often look, well, artificial.
  • Some trees are made with some questionable materials. So be sure to read where your tree was made and what it contains.
  • You have to find a place to store the tree when it's not on display.
  • Artificial trees aren't 100% hypoallergenic. Because they are sitting in storage most of the year, they can be covered in dust that can aggravate your allergies.