Real vs. Artificial Christmas Tree: Which Do You Prefer?

Do you prefer a real tree or an artificial one? The elves at Popular Pittsburgh have both and wanted to pass along some of the pros and cons of each one for you to consider before you start to decorate for the holidays.Real VS. Artificial Christmas Tree

Real Tree


  • Real trees are the genuine article and are traditional.
  • They smell better than a plastic tree, bringing that fresh, holiday aroma to your home day after day.
  • Each tree has its own personality, making your Christmas tree different every year even if you put on the same ornaments from year to year.
  • It’s more fun to cut down a real tree than to head to the attic and haul out a box.
  • Real trees are grown locally.


  • Real trees are inconvenient. You can’t just pull one out of a box that is stashed in the garage. You have to go buy one, and the cost accumulates each year that you buy one. After a few years, an artificial tree may save you money.
  • It can be a chore to trudge through the snow to get a tree. In addition, getting it into the house and setting it up can sometimes be a challenge. (Have you ever dealt with a tree with a crooked trunk?)
  • People can be allergic to real trees.
  • You must water them. Real trees are a commitment.
  • Needles can drop – sometimes in large quantities.
  • Needles are sometimes sharp when you are trying to take them down (or step on them accidentally as the needles fall to the floor during the holidays).
  • They have a limited shelf-life.
  • You have to dispose of them.

Artificial Trees


  • Artificial trees are consistently beautiful. If you value perfection, artificial is the way to go.
  • They can be left up for a long time (but please, that’s not a good reason for still having a tree up on Memorial Day).
  • In the long run, they may save you money.
  • They are often friendlier to allergy sufferers.
  • Sometimes they are easier to assemble and take down.
  • You don’t have to water them or worry about stepping on (and cleaning up after) shedding needles.


  • To get a good quality tree, you will have to shell out a lot of money initially.
  • A bad artificial tree is as bad as a cheap toupee.
  • There’s nothing “magical” about an artificial tree – a plastic tree did not inspire “O Tannenbaum.”
  • Many artificial trees come from China, not the USA.

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