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Tips On Christmas Trees: Fake vs Real

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      20.01.2010 22:49

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      The way forward to help save the planet

      I do like a real tree, but I have become much more environmentally conscious and as a fake tree basically does the job, it just makes sense to have one. You pay for it once and hopefully it will last you a good 10 years before the branches become threadbare, by which time the tinsel will be equally threadbare. Not only that but (especially if you have a baby crawling or a toddler pulling the baubles off), it's much less painful if they are scratched by a fake branch as opposed to one with needles. Then there's the constant hoovering around the tree to suck them all up (the needles that is, not the children). I think real trees look great in town squares etc etc and in their context all dolled up with lights and baubles, but for the house, you may as well just make it as easy and environmentally friendly as possible and be able to put it up quickly (without using petrol to get to a garden centre) and take it down quickly and put it back in it's box in the loft...

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      14.01.2009 14:57
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      artificial for me

      As a child we always had realy trees, my mother would spend hours decorating the tree making it look beautiful for all the pines to have fallen off way before xmas day, i never was a big fan of these other than the smell and the smell can easily be replicated with a pine smelling air freshner.

      After leaving home we always had artificial trees, decorated them with lights each year, baubles and tinsel then after christmas packed them away into the loft untill next year, eventually as trees advanced we brought fiber optic trees so had no need for lights they just needed a few bits of tinsel to look great.

      Two years ago i was discussing trees with a friend of mine who always has a real tree, i was told they are treated now so dont loose there needles as quickly so gave one a try, it cost me £40 for a real tree which is roughly the same as i would have paid for an artificial tree that would have lasted me years, the needles she and it was balding by xmas day, i wasnt impressed it will be artificial trees in our house from now on.

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      11.12.2008 10:15
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      Log fire, candles and christmas tree lights!

      Well I confess - our Christmas tree has been up since the beginning of November this year! We usually do it on the last weekend in November but this year the first weekend in November was the last weekend that Dave and I would both be at home together without guests staying with us until the weekend before Christmas! We decided that, if we left it until the last minute, it would hardly be worth bothering so we went for it! I do love to see the tree all lit up so I was quite happy for it to go up early.

      When we lived in the Midlands we often had a real tree as I do love the smell of a real tree. Where we lived the lounge was just too small for the tree to go in there but we had a conservatory on the back of the house and a large window between that and the kitchen. What I used to do was to put the tree on a table in the conservatory so that it was framed by the kitchen window. It used to look lovely when it was dark outside and the lights were on the tree. Being in the conservatory it meant that a real tree was an option as it was cool enough in there to keep it looking good from the beginning of December until Christmas Day and beyond.

      I had a tree still growing in a tub one year and because I could keep it cool indoors and I watered it well, it survived and went outside in the garden, still in the tub, and I used it for four consecutive years until it finally became pot bound and died,

      When we moved to Llandudno we initially had a big Victorian house so that mom and dad could live with us as I was their full time carer. The house had large bay windows on the front so we decided to go for an artificial tree and to make it a good one.

      We looked round the various garden centres and found a very realistic tree - we went for a six foot one and mom and dad decided to just have a four foot one and stand theirs on the coffee table. From memory I think ours cost about £80 and the smaller one about £50 but we decided that it was an investment! That was six years ago and it still looks just as good now.

      The tree is put together by first assembling the trunk which is in three pieces. This has rings of colour coded holes around it and we then have to fit all the branches matching the colour coded ends so that the tree looks the right shape. One year I put the centre together wrongly and when Dave was adding the branches I suddenly realised that the tree looked a very odd shape!

      Anyway the tree always looked stunning standing in our big bay window decorated and all lit up.

      As you may know, since we have now lost mom and dad, Dave and I have moved into a small cottage so there are no bay windows this year!

      When we came to put up the tree I was very dubious about using the six foot one and also whether we would have room for any tree in our little lounge. Dave persuaded me that it would be OK so we went for it!

      He constructed the tree and put on the lights and I still wasn't convinced. We carried on and put on all the red and gold baubles some of which I remember from my childhood and I still even have one from my grandmother's tree. Incidentally its surprising how much heavier that one is than any of the modern ones! The final touch for our tree is some stuff that we bought from our local garden centre and I am going to try and describe it. It's a sort of fluffy tinsel that you tease out into strands and when the lights are on the tree it sort of twinkles in blue and white light. Trust me it does look stunning.

      So there you are we have a six foot tree in our little lounge!

      When the log burner is alight, all the candles are lit and the lights on the tree are switched on I have to admit Dave was right it really does look amazing! Dave says it what he has always imagined the perfect Christmas room would look like - bless him!

      We did wonder what Mew would make of it and whether he would try and climb it or take the baubles off but he has been as good as gold! Mind you he does hide underneath it at night when it is time for him to go into his room for the night!

      So, as much as I love the smell of a real tree, we are firmly in the artificial camp now!

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        09.12.2008 13:54
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        Once either is decorated, Christmas has arrived

        There is always a debate about the real Christmas tree versus the fake variety. Nowadays, the quality of artificial trees is excellent, and many of them are almost indistinguishable from the real kind.

        Both types of tree have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, a fake tree will never have that distinctive aroma that is associated with Christmas; on the other hand, a fake tree won't lose its needles when it has been on display for a week or so.

        I much prefer a real tree but I also have a fake one - if you have two rooms to decorate, it's a good solution. My fake tree was purchased a few years ago from B&Q. It's 7' tall and cost £70. Since then, we have seen much cheaper trees that look just as good; the technology and inventiveness of the manufacturers and designers have really come a long way.

        We bought our fake tree because we couldn't believe how realistic it looked. It is based on a Norwegian Spruce, is a lovely dark green in colour and has thick dense branches that can be altered to look quite natural. What it doesn't have is that unique smell and, much to our disappointment, it can't have artificial snow sprayed on it. It is very easy to assemble; the branches are graded and colour-marked so it is impossible to put them on the wrong part of the main trunk. It looks almost as lovely as the real thing - but not quite.

        We love the fun of choosing our real tree. Sometimes, it can take ages because we pick through loads of trees just knowing that the perfect one must be there, somewhere.

        Then there is the usual time spent filling the bucket with soil from the garden (we have yet to purchase one of those ready-made Christmas tree stands), and trying to get the tree into the house and in position with the least amount of mess. Trees will last longer if they are placed away from sources of heat such as radiators or fires and, if they are placed in soil, a jug of tap water every day will ensure that the needles don't drop.

        Once in place, the first thing you notice is the smell of it - there is nothing quite like it and, if that doesn't put you in the Christmas mood, nothing will.

        Now that the children have grown up, decorating the tree is a much more civilised event than it used to be, but I do miss their contribution (even if, most of the time, we would wait until they went to bed and 'tidy up' their efforts!).

        I love getting the boxes of decorations out and making the tree look as good as possible. Both types of tree are easy to decorate, really. We usually put the lights on first, then the tinsel and then, last of all, the baubles and other hanging ornaments. Last year, I discovered little plastic hangers that I used to replace the fiddly bits of string that most of the baubles come with. This has made them much easier to hang and were not at all expensive. Once the trees are done, decorating the fireplaces and the rest of the rooms comes next and, of course, finding the best way to display the Christmas cards.


        I am lucky - the decision each year on whether to have a real tree or a fake is easy. I have one of each and love each one just as much. If I could only have one, though, the real variety would win every time. You just can't beat it.

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          31.10.2008 21:57
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          well worth having one

          Theres nothing quite like putting decorations up at christmas, as i find it a really special time and i spend ages putting all the trimmings up with my daughter, and making decorations for the windows with her.

          When it comes to the tree my daughter puts the angel on the top and i set all the lights on then my daughter puts the baubles and tinsel on, its lovely seeing her face light up when she stands back and admires her work.

          Before she was born i tried a real tree and i got on ok with it but found all the needles were a pain as they came of too regularly and i was forever hoovering, so when i became pregnant i decided to buy a fake tree, mainly for safety more than anything.

          I bought it from woolworths it was £24.99 at the time, its 5ft high and comes in two halves and complete with stand, and i must admit i wouldnt have a real one anymore its so easy and convenient, and with no mess, i also have an added bonus of not needing to spend money on a new tree each year, ive had this tree for 5 years now and its still as good as new, and i also feel im doing my bit for the environment as i dont have a tree to dispose of each year.

          I think its going to last for years to come so my daughter and i can enjoy our decorating sessions for years to come, my tree could even become our family heirloom!!

          I highly recommend fake trees to anyone wondering which one to go for, you certainly get your moneys worth.

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          30.10.2008 15:59
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          Whatever you get the fun is in the decorating.

          When I was a child we always had a fake christmas tree, we had a dog who would always be knocking the tree over. So my mum refused to get a real one due to the mess it would make being pushed over.

          As I got to my teens it was always me and my friend who decorated our tree, I loved it (except putting the lights on it), it was a tradition and I loved doing it, I would put xmas music on and spend hours getting the tree perfect. As much as I always wanted a real one becuase my friends had one I loved my perfectly decorated fake one.

          It was alway a big tree approx 6ft mum and dad brought it from our local garden centre.

          When I brought my first house with my boyfriend I insisted on getting a real tree, I loved it although I thought it was strange it not being perfect like my previous fake tree. Off we went to the garden centre and didnt have a clue what type to get all I knew was I wanted a nondrop. So we ended up with a nordic pine 5ft tree. We paid around £20 for the 5ft tree. They bundled it up in the net bag and off home we went.

          That year the smell was amazing, we left it for 24 to stand at home before decorating to let it settle (thats what I was told to do). It lasted around 3 weeks before it started to shed all its needles.

          For the last 7 years we have continued to buy fake trees, the most fun is going to choose it and getting the xmasy feeling...

          But this year we make go fake as we have an 11 month old and I dont fancy him hoovering all the needles up!!! Where to put it is the question as far out of his reach as possible.

          My overall opinion is I love real trees for the smell and the fun of choosing it, but Artificial are a great alternative and cheaper over the years.

          Merry Christmas

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          30.10.2008 10:57
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          Always get a real one if you can

          I have moved between real and fake trees since I got my own house over 12 years ago.

          As a child it was always a real tree in our house. Nothing beats that smell of a real tree and you really associate it with Christmas. In our house it could never go up before the 17th December as that was my dad's birthday. I also think it was a good excuse to keep the real tree out of the house for as long as possible. It was always a real treat to put on the decorations which were always a real mix an match affair of hand made and old favourites. Every year my grandma used to take me to a local garden centre to buy a bauble.

          When I got my first house however it was a small terrace and not really enough room for a real tree so I bought a cheap plastic one and trimmed up with tasteful all silver decorations and white lights. It wasn't quite the same though but there was no mess which was great.

          Movign to a semi a few years later I saw this as an excuse to go to B&Q and get a real one. Smelled much much better - proper Christmas! but loads of needles. Spraying with hairspray etc didin't work as we probably had too much central heating on.

          Now I have a little boy and it is his first Christmas and as he is not crawling it has to be a real tree with new tacky baubles! I may rethink again next year.

          We have wood floors so it makes the sweeping up so much easier.

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            27.10.2008 00:34
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            Choose a tree that's convenient for you, hey both look nice if you decorate them well

            When I was younger we always had a real Christmas tree, it was such an adventure going to get it and it was getting it that made it officially Christmas time! Mum, Dad, myself and two older Brothers would get our wellies on and go out for a drive, Dad would drive up a narrow lane and then we'd be there. All muddy and cold we would go looking around for the perfect tree to be cut down specially for us. When it was home it had a lovely smell. I remember my Mum constantly picking up pine needles everywhere! I don't know after some years why we then got a fake tree. But it was just as fun and looked more fuller and better decorated.

            Now in my own home with two young children we have a fake tree. I've never considered getting a real one as I'm happy with the fake one I get out year after year that cost £25. I wouldn't like needles everywhere anyway and the nice smell you get from real trees, I find that fake trees also have a distinct Christmassy smell!

            I like to decrate mine in one or two colours, last year I used silver and pink accessories with a nice silver star on top and white lights. I think you can over decorate a tree and use too many colours. Each to their own though.

            My preference is to have a fake tree but it doesn't mean I don't like real ones, it's just more conveneint for me.

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            23.10.2008 15:13
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            real or fake trees - they all look good to me!

            I really love Christmas & one of the most important things for me, since being a child, has been the Christmas tree.

            I was born in the 1950s & the fake trees were truly horrible in those days - very bright green & very plasticy-looking so I was thrilled every year when my parents, brothers , my sister & I went to choose our real one.

            We always went for the big bushy type - there wasn't the choice we have today - and weights had to be hung on the branches for 24 hours so that the branches would drop enough to decorate them.

            Every year my Mother used to say 'we'll go for a smaller one this year', but this was a standing family joke as every year we had to lob off the top of the tree despite the fact that we had high ceilings!

            The pine fragrance was divine and you could smell 'Christmas' all over the house....

            The decorating of the tree was a family event and the ones we'd made over the years were hung with love each year along with big fairy lights & loads of tinsel. The rather tarty-looking fairy came out year after year & that was our tree folks!

            Our eldest daughter was born on 10th December so for the last 22 years I've made sure that our tree is up ready for Birthday & other parties. Having a tree decorated this early on in the month means that we don't, unfortunately, have a real one but I have a magnificent artificial one which look like the real thing.

            I bought this 7ft bushy, realistic one from QVC several years ago and it cost well over £100 but was on easy-pay & it has proved to be a great investment as it will last for years.

            It has 750 clear lights already attached but I add a few hundred more as this is the focus of our Christmas house.

            I don't like tinsel as I prefer lametta & star garlands & the branches are adorned with decorations which my daughters & I have collected over the years.

            Each decoration has a special memory so the tree is very special to us all. Some of them are traditional baubles whilst others are contemporary, most have been bought in the UK but some have been bought abroad & are very unusual.

            We can never decide what to pop on the top but it's usually a star - one year we had Homer Simpson.


            It takes me over a day to decorate it from start to finish but I think it's well worth the effort as the whole family gets so much pleasure from looking at it.

            Once the tree is dressed we can get on with the other decorating - oh, didn't I tell you? - my daughters have trees in their bedrooms & we have one in the dining-room & a flat one on the wall in the hall & a little one in the bathroom.....

            Happy Christmas!

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              23.10.2008 13:58
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              a great christmas smell

              I have always been a fan of fake christmas trees so last year at the begining of december i ventured into the attic to drag out our christmas tree, it was a fiber optic tree with stars on it so all i had to do to make it look beautiful was drape a bit of tinsel around it and pop the star on the top, done.

              Unfortunately for my poor christmas tree ziggy our iguana decided that he was over the moon someone had put a tree in his living room and off he went to climb it, he spent the next few days up and down the tree, breaking bits off it, chewing the fiber optic strands off and pulling at my tinsel but he had great fun, eventually my tree had no lights left on it and looked a right mess so we needed to get a new one.

              I contemplated buying another fake tree but thought i would only have the same froblem again so went and brought ziggy a nice 6 foot pine tree to climb up, We had never had a real tree before so i didnt realise how beauiful it was going to make the room smell, It was a lovely smell that added to the atmosfere of christmas for us, I was a little concerned about the needles shedding from the tree but this didnt happen untill after christmas so wasnt too bad but by new year i had a bald tree, mostly due to ziggy though.

              A real christmas tree looks so much more beautiful than any artificial tree and the smell just cant be found without a real tree, although it takes me longer to decorate the real tree it will definately be a real tree again this year in our house.

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                23.10.2008 13:18
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                real is better by far

                We had always had a fake christmastree up untill last year, over the years we had had various different ones ranging fron the box standard plain tree that you decorated your self to the fiber optic tree with stars and candles on it that we had last.

                When getting the tree out of the loft last year we realised that it had seen better days so decided to get a new one, we opted for a real tree this time.

                Real trees begin in price at around £15 and vary from style of tree, i was concerned about the tree sheeding its needles too early and having a bald tree by christmas day like i had seen at other peoples houses but we had a tree that wasnt supposed to sheed and it didnt, the pine needles did go hard but didnt fall off unless you messed with the tree.

                After being converted i would never go back to a artificial tree again

                +real trees make your home smell beautiful
                +no need to pack it away after christmas
                +can choose a different size or style each year
                - you find needles for weeks after
                - have to decorate it your self

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                  23.10.2008 11:58
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                  A christams tree is a home tradition.

                  The heart of all holiday decorating is with the beloved Christmas tree, which represents spiritual inspiration and a wonderful family tradition and to decorate the tree with garland, beads and ornaments. Topping it all off with a beautiful tree-topper, star, or angel.

                  (Real Trees)
                  As retailers gear up for another season of record-breaking sales, they offer more choices in types, styles and colours of trees. Whether you're looking for a real or artificial tree, the decision is not an easy one and with the costs involved, you will want to make the right choice. Depending on how detailed you want your Christmas tree to be, you can opt for all the goodies, or keep it simple with a pre-decorated tree.But ones that are already decorated to me is not so much fun.

                  It is just a preference, but many people are willing to deal with the inconveniences of a real tree because they enjoy the fresh pine scent and natural beauty. Real Christmas trees are sold in farms and outside some superstores, and now you can find them from popular retailers who ship them in to sell directly to consumers.

                  Buying a real tree requires more time and effort. Many people shop for their trees at a local store, it's handy and they can be reasonably priced.But by the time you get it home, it's quite dry and the needles are brittle and often falling off,which is quite annoying and a big downside to buying a real tree.

                  (Fake Trees)
                  Not only do some of them look realistic, they are easy to care for. They may seem expensive,But when you consider that you can use them year after year,it is worth the buy.How realistic you want your tree to look is up to you.You can get different colours,sizes and shapes.You can even buy them with lights already attached nowadays.

                  Whatever you choose,I am sure it will look fantastic :)

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                    01.01.2001 18:09
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                    If you have a real tree for Christmas there is a chance for you to put something back into the environment. When you take the decorations off your Christmas tree there is a great temptation to just take the old tree to the local tip and throw it away, but we can do better than that. Many local authorities have a re-cycling scheme for old Christmas trees, where the old tree is shredded and the shavings that are produced are then used as a mulch or compost in pine forests. The acidity of the pine needles does not make it suitable for use as a general garden compost, but it is ideal for use in evergreen forests. In the Nottinghamshire area the Forestry Commission run the scheme. Before Christmas they sell trees at very reasonable prices, but when you buy a tree you do so on the understanding that you will return it for re-cycling after Christmas. Most of these schemes are advertised well in the local press or on local radio stations, but if you can’t find one straight away then when your local council offices open after the Christmas break why not give them a ring to see if such a scheme exists in your area. Do the right thing, re-cycle your tree.

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                    22.12.2000 21:23
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                    Put up your tree yet? You'd not no it was Christmas if you hadn't!!! This year has been much like the others rushes everywhere present's to get for the family and of course all the food. But what about the tree is yours real or fake in the experience I've had fake are more expensive but in my view they're much better than real by far. Fake unlike real don't cost you much as real are normally bigger especially if there outside but unlike normal tree's it's white I got it from BnQ you might have seen it on there advert it's quite nice and everything shows up well on it making it look lovely. So this x-mas chose fake over real. My tree's fake and a good one it is but my neighbour has decorated his real tree outside. I'm not saying it doesn't look nice as it look's great but he has all sorts of problems kids messing around with the lights to the weather playing it's par to. My tree is an average size ver real it saves you time, money and quite a bit of bother and you can always keep it for the following x-mas too!!! another money saving benefit of fake tree's.

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                      09.12.2000 07:32
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                      Fake Vs Real..... Above, the night sky. Through the clouds that brought the storm, litters of glowing stars can be seen, as the persistent crack of the thunder echoes around the fighting ground. Few have chosen to gather this night, only the hardened supporters of both the real and the fake Christmas tree, who, if need be, would be lead into fiery pits by their heroes. High upon the mountain, the two warriors arrive from opposite sides. Still the storm drives on, and still the thunder assaults the silence of the night... Real - a hardened fighter, complete with a wealth of experience. His pines glow and smell as if still rooted in their earthly home, and although they will soon yellow and decay, they stand bold and strong. The real Christmas tree, best suited to minds of tradition and good cheer, best placed among decorations of equal wisdom - complimenting the scatty tinsel, chocolate novelties and spinning bobbles. The real tree - quality, not quantity. The rock star - exciting but short-lived. The senior, the master, the original. Fake - resting on the spring-heel of youth, ever versatile and glowing with enthusiasm. Though lacking in style, the fake is young and strong. Durable to the bitter end, the fake tree does not fade with the Christmas buzz, but lives on, beyond it's duties. At best, the fake tree resides among sparkling lights and moving displays, a figure head of modern attitude. The fake tree - durable, if shallow. The pop star - energetic, if lacking in substance. ...A deadly quiet falls upon the crowd, as the two warriors meet centre stage. Though the Real puffs and pants in fatigue, the sparkle in its pine shines proudly. The Fake, wearing a flashy robe of multi-coloured light, bounds across the arena with an unfounded glee. Mid-way, the two trees meet. The first blow is landed by the Real - a thousand ripe green pines plunge into the Fake and stick mercilessly to the fake snow
                      , but while this causes a temporary fall, Fake soon returns with a running jump - a keen example of it's transporting advantages. Real plays his traditional card, but Fake counters with a deadly blow of durability. All through the night, the mighty battle shall wage. In truth, nether side shall submit, for it is not them but the crowds who shall decide. Preference, preference, preference. From the shadows it arrives, and declares them both captives.

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