Opinion: The pros and cons of real and fake Christmas trees


Riann Masi, Writer

As the Christmas season begins, some of the main questions asked are what gift you should get for a family member or what color lights should be on the bushes outside. Besides these questions, the age-old question of whether to purchase a real or fake tree also arises. 

According to USA Today, 10 million people purchase artificial trees every Christmas season. Buying these trees means that the tree has to be shipped from out of the country locations, increasing carbon emissions. Plastic Christmas trees are also not biodegradable, unlike real trees, and cannot be recycled. Sure, they will last long in your house, but they will last longer in a landfill.

Real trees aren’t all good either. These trees, whether Spruce Pine or Douglas fir, have to be constantly fed water to stay alive and fresh through the Christmas season. If you don’t water the tree regularly, the tree will die and be more prone to fire. Real Christmas trees also harbor bugs, molds and fungi. 

Compared to the positive, real trees are often cheaper than fake trees. A study from the National Christmas Tree Association in 2018 states the average price per tree was $78 while per fake tree even though reusable, the average price was $104. Real trees can also be repurposed into mulch or firewood. If you do just simply throw out the tree, it will break down and decompose; fake trees can’t do that. 

An added plus to real trees is the smell. The holiday of Christmas is surrounded by the it’s traditional seasonal scents. You can always light a candle to get a similar smell, but a real tree is the real deal. Along with the cutting down a real tree can be many families’ yearly tradition. 

There are also positives to artificial trees, such as there being no mess. With the tree being plastic, needles do not have a tendency to fall and clutter the floor and are low-maintenance compared to real trees. With having to continuously water and get rid of fallen needles, the no-mess easy low-maintenance artificial tree is a plus for many families. Though to contrast this statement artificial flocked trees do shed “needles”, creating a mess. 

Christmas traditions have been around for centuries so whether it’s a real or artificial tree for the holiday memories will be made. A poll on the Fenton InPrint Instagram showed that out of 112 respondents, 60 of those students at Fenton High, 55 percent preferred fake trees over real trees. If you’re on the fence on whether it should be a real or fake tree looming over the presents for Christmas, simply weigh the pros and cons for what your family will enjoy the most.