Featured Image Credit: Daily Mail
Featured Image Credit: Daily Mail

Real tree VS plastic tree: The ultimate Christmas debate

5 mins read

Christmas is a time when people like to stick to traditions; this even comes down to the tree. People often say to me that they would miss not having a real tree in the house. However, I couldn’t imagine not having our usual fake one.

Whilst the Christmas tree might not be the biggest deal, you would be surprised by how many people are stuck in their ways with the whole real VS fake tree debate.

But what is the real difference between the two? I will be determining the important pros and cons for both along with raking them on four categories out of five: transportation, appearance, upkeep and finally their environmental impact, to determine which kind of tree is better for your family at Christmas.  

Fake Trees

Featured Image Credit: HUFFPOST


  • They are more cost-efficient: Ultimately buying a fake tree can help save money. They can be used repeatedly rather than spending money on a new tree every year.
  • No shedding: Some real Christmas trees shed and ultimately and end up being a bit messy. Whereas plastic trees will stay intact and not require the extra hovering.
  • Fewer issues with allergies: Many people can be sensitive to various plants, some specifically Christmas trees. Therefore, having a fake one cuts out any concerns.


  • Can require more effort when setting up: Unlike real trees, fake ones need to be constructed which often means extra jobs like spreading out branches and making sure everything is looking fluffy before you can decorate it. It all takes that little bit of extra work to get it right.
  • They cannot be recycled: Of course, the whole point of getting a fake tree is so you can keep it for years. However, when you eventually would like to get rid of it is made from plastic and therefore cannot be recycled and will end up in landfills.
  • Transported from abroad, so does not support local businesses, unlike local tree farms. Fake trees are often made and transported from abroad which can run into ethical problems.

Real Trees

Featured Image Credit: HomeBase


  • They smell good: Real trees smell nice which is always a bonus.
  • They take in harmful greenhouse gasses: Like all plants, they produce fresh oxygen and take in Cardon Dioxide.
  • Different sizes to choose from: Not only can you get different types of trees, but they are all unique, meaning you can pick one that best fits your environment.


  • Shorter life: real trees may begin to rot after being up for a certain amount of time, meaning they may need to be taken down quicker. The amount of time they are up for is can be unpredictable.
  • Transporting and disposing of them can be difficult: Getting a real tree back to your home is something that you often need a car to do. Disposing of them in the appropriate manner can also be a challenge.
  • Expensive: The cost of real Christmas trees going up in price and during a month that can already be very expensive, it might be an additional cost that isn’t worth spending.

Final Rankings (1 lowest, 5 highest)

Fake Trees:

Transportation: (4) easy to get home and put in storage.

Appearance: (3) can look great if given more care.

Upkeep: (5) very easy as they require no maintenance once put up.

Environmental Impact: (2) not the best for the environment, to make or throw out.

Real Trees:

Transportation: (3) usually needs a car and they can be heavy.

Appearance: (5) they always look beautiful.

Upkeep: (2) sometimes need to be watered and the shedding means they need to be hoovered after.

Environmental Impact: (4) better for the environment and are recyclable.

Overall, what tree you decide to buy this Christmas really comes down to what your personal circumstances are. If money is tight then maybe a small fake tree is the way to go, or if you are prioritising reducing your carbon footprint then why not get a real tree? Either way, they both end up looking beautiful with a bit of love and care.

Featured Image Credit: Daily Mail

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