December is fast approaching, which means it’s time to start thinking about putting up your tree.
There are those festive fans who sort their tree in November, but, the majority of people in the UK wait until advent starts on 1 December.
Another consideration is whether to opt for a real or artificial Christmas tree this year.
Deciding between the a real of faux tree isn’t always an easy choice. A real tree is always a welcome addition to the home (nothing quite beats that gorgeous pine scent), but, unless you’re able to plant your tree back into the ground after use, it’s not the most sustainable option.
In the the UK, stats show that we create 30% more waste than usual during the festive period with some seven million trees entering landfill each year, where they rot and produce methane gas.
So, it’s easy to see why artificial trees are becoming fashionable again. Last year, John Lewis reported a surge in sales of fake trees with many shoppers opting for one they can pack away and reuse year after year. It’s a cost effective option and environmentally friendly.
Or is it?
Environmentalists and energy analysts don’t consider artificial trees to be better for the planet. According to The Guardian, each tree’s carbon footprint is surprisingly big thanks to lengthy shipping distances, the emissions produced when each tree is made and the oil required.
Tree rental’s another option. The ‘woke’ trend is on the rise, according to the Telegraph.
According to Galvaston Farm in Leicestershire - one of the UK businesses that offers a tree rental service - they only see a small percentage of returned trees dying when replanted (last year this was 2%).
But, as enticing as a rented tree might seem, the service isn’t available nationwide. Before ordering your 2019 rental, you do need to check your country is in the approved delivery list.
So, until tree rental services are more widely available, it seems most of us will have to stick to a real or artificial tree.
To help you out with your search, we’ve sourced the best, most affordable and most realistic artificial options you can order online.
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Shop real Christmas trees
Patch Plants Nora Christmas Tree | From £39
The Nordman fir is a non-drop tree that boasts a classic shape and is sustainably grown. Patch ensures they grow more trees to plant the ones replace every year. It’s a fairly low-maintenance tree: the stand, which you can also buy through Patch as an add-on, just needs a little water regularly.
John Lewis really does sell everything - including real Christmas trees. Each of the company’s firs are grown over 10-12 years in Ireland and have a gorgeous scent. The needles are deep, so you shouldn’t have to constantly clean up.
Shop artificial Christmas trees
Argos’ top selling tree this season, this ‘half tree’ has been designed with curious cats and toddlers in mind. Plus, there’s more space for presents underneath.
Very luxe looking, this tree has a classic, full shape and fairly realistic looking branches. It’s pre-lit with over 300 lights, too.
If you’re after a tree that will go the distance, this is the one. It is expensive but, it’s a beauty and looks as good as the real deal. Plus, as it’s pre-lit, you won’t have to spend an hour untangling lights before you put it up each year.
Amazon Azadx Christmas Tree | £16.95
This bargain tree comes adorned with snowflakes, pine cones and red fruits (all artificial, naturally) so doesn’t require a huge amount of decoration. There are four sizes available (4ft - 7ft) so you can choose to upscale, should you wish.
Available in four sizes, 5ft - 8ft, this snow-dusted tree will add a touch of Christmas magic to your home. It’s a little more expensive than some artificial trees, but offers free, fast delivery.
If space is an issue, this super slim Christmas tree is the ideal solution. It’s been lightly dusted with ‘snow’ and takes minutes to build. Ideal for small corners and small budgets.
Listed as a bestseller on the brand’s website, this gorgeous faux fir looks really quite realistic. The White Company’s design team has worked hard to ensure it’s the most natural shade of green possible and updated the shape to give it a more natural look.