Real or artificial? Frasier Fir or Scotch
Pine? When it comes to picking out the perfect Christmas tree
the little details matter and there are more options now than ever before. Overwhelmed, confused, or just plain frustrated? Read our handy guide on Christmas
tree basics and you'll be putting up the tree of your dreams in no time flat.
Real or Artificial?
The first thing you need to decide is whether you want a real tree or an artificial one. Today's artificial trees look and feel very realistic, are convenient to unpack and setup year after year, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes (including colored and pre-lit) so you can get exactly the look you want with minimal effort. Artificial trees also never drop needles or need to be watered. Real Christmas trees on the other hand do require more daily upkeep but they also smell great, create a certain ambiance with their unique and natural character, and offer the richly traditional experience of going out to the lot or tree farm to be picked out fresh year after year.
Size and Shape
Tall and skinny, short and fat, pencil or upside-down, the size and shape of your Christmas tree will have a great impact on how it looks in your home
. Plan where the tree will go and take measurements of the space to make keeping track of size and scale easier when you're out shopping
. Also think about your decorating style
: do you like trees where ornaments dangle freely and lights twinkle through or do you prefer tight, dense branches where ornaments drape along the outside? Pyramid-shaped trees (Frasier Fir, Noble Fir, Douglas Fir) are generally taller and more open while cone-shaped ones (Scotch Pine, Norway Spruce) are of a shorter, denser persuasion. Other options include tall and narrow pencil trees (usually artificial), which have a contemporary look and are perfect for tight spaces, and of course the ever-curious upside-down tree
that's specially designed to use minimal floor space.