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Pricing out a Real vs Artificial Christmas Tree

Pricing Out a [Real vs Artificial] Christmas Tree

The holiday season is fast approaching. Kids are writing their letters to Santa, stores are stocking their shelves full of goodies, and others are wondering what kind of Christmas tree to buy. Are real or artificial Christmas trees better? Which type should you get? Well, that all depends on you! Let’s break down which (real or artificial) Christmas tree will deliver the most magic to you and your family this holiday season.


Let’s Talk Price


How Much are Real Christmas Trees? 

Right now, Home Depot sells 4’-6’ live trees ranging from $65-$110. A local Christmas tree farm will charge by height, with the national average price being $78 for a tree between 7’-8’ and increasing for a tree over 8’. In 2018, 32.8 million people purchased real trees, a 20% increase from 2017 . The National Christmas Tree Association reported a 17% increase in the price of real trees from 2015-2017 that stemmed from eco-conscious buyers looking to shop local.


How Much are Artificial Christmas Trees?

Artificial Christmas trees range in price depending on height, quality and extras such as being pre-lit. In 2018, the average cost of a artificial tree was $104. Right now, Home Depot sells 7.5’ Pre-Lit LED trees at a minimum of $159 and increasing in price with the addition of the bells and whistles. Of course, one advantage to buying a artificial Christmas tree is when you buy it. Good Housekeeping says the biggest sales happen the first two weeks of December or end-of-season . According to the American Christmas Tree Association (ACTA), the cost of replacing a live Christmas tree every year is three times the cost of purchasing a single artificial Christmas tree. If cost is your main concern, it may be in your best interest to purchase a artificial tree.


Other Things to Consider When Purchasing a Christmas Tree


Life Expectancy

When properly cared for, a real Christmas tree will last roughly four to six weeks. If your tree is not adequately hydrated or is placed in environmentally stressful situations (placed too close to a heating source, or it’s pre-cut and frozen for weeks before you bring it home) it can dry out much faster, exposing it to a higher risk of catching fire.

Pro-Tip: Water (and only water) is the best option for keeping your tree hydrated longer. Purdue University Forestry and Natural Resources states that a 7’ tree will drink up to two quarts of water per day within the first two weeks of being cut and that mixing in additives or preservatives do not add life to your tree.

Most Americans plan to keep their artificial trees for ten years; however, the average usable lifespan is six years. It’s a good idea to research the company and product quality before making your purchase. Artificial trees can last for years and even come with 1-10-year warranties. Some warranties are more thorough than others so check with the retailer to find out exactly what’s covered.



Real trees can expose you to allergens from sap, pollen, or mold. If you don’t want a artificial tree but are worried about allergies, Leland Cypress do not produce pollen and may be a good option. Typically, though, artificial trees are the most hypo-allergenic option, since they are made from plastic and metal. 



When it comes to recyclability, real Christmas trees are better. Almost 93 percent of real Christmas trees are recycled each year. Biodegradable and renewable, you can dispose of it by recycling it in your own backyard for critters to munch on, have it chipped into mulch, or sink it into a pond or lake to offer smaller baitfish protection. Major cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, and New York offer free tree recycling.   

Since artificial Christmas trees are often manufactured with metal, PVC and contain flame retardants, there is no way to recycle them. The chemicals found in the PVC could contain hazardous levels of lead, posing a potential threat to children and animals who may ingest dust or other materials from the tree.

Let’s Recap

Now that we’ve established the initial cost of a real and artificial Christmas tree is comparable, are real or artificial Christmas trees better? Let’s look at the other factors to keep in mind when trying to figure out how which tree is best for you.  Ask yourself the following questions:


Do you have time to water and care for a real tree?


Can you afford to spend $70-$100/year on a real tree every year?


Is the tree you choose going to give you any trouble with allergies?


Is it important to you if your tree can be recycled at the end of its life?


Whether you’re chopping it down or taking it out of the box, be sure your tree WOWs  your guests with the right mix of Christmas ornaments! Check out our selection of trending ornaments, including  Angel Ornaments, Cat Ornaments, Dog Ornaments, Nutcracker Ornaments. And as always, Happy Holidays from your friends at Old World Christmas!


What kind of Christmas tree are you putting up this year? Let us know in the comments below!

November 15, 2019 by Old World Christmas Admin

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