Artificial Christmas Trees

An alternative to the live tree

While some may argue that artificial Christmas trees look too fake or plastic, 70% of Americans have one. It's no wonder; artificial Christmas trees are more economical and convenient than their real counterparts. There's no watering required or mess from needles. They're also safer (dried out real trees are fire hazards); they're reusable and they come in a wide variety of styles. Certain varieties of real trees aren't available in all regions, but it's not so with artificial trees. In addition to different varieties, artificial trees come in different heights, widths and colors. However, on the downside, artificial trees lack the sense of tradition associated with real trees. To some people, an artificial tree just isn't the same.

The first artificial Christmas trees were tabletop trees made from green-dyed goose feathers. The feathers were attached to sticks that resembled branches. These trees originated in 19th century Germany as a result of national deforestation efforts. These feather trees were first sold in the U.S., in 1913 via the Sears catalogue.

The modern version of the artificial Christmas tree started to appear by the 1940s and 1950s. The first artificial tree was created in the U.S. by the Addis Brush Company. The Addis Brush Company used the same technology to make the "pine needles" and their toilet brushes. The plastic bristles were dyed green and inserted into wires twisted to resemble branches. These branches were subsequently twisted together to form the trunk. Obviously, these first artificial trees were very fake looking. Artificial trees have come a long way since those first models and every year they look more realistic.

How to Choose a Great Faux Tree

To find the most realistic looking tree possible, select a tree with a high branch tip count. Fuller trees also tend to look more realistic than slim trees. And rather than a generic tree variety, find an artificial tree modeled on a specific variety like Scotch pine. Finally, look closely at the artificial trees on display in stores. Going by the picture on the tree's box makes it harder to know what the tree will actually look like. An artificial Christmas tree doesn't have to look phony. In fact, in many cases real and artificial trees are indistinguishable.

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