O’ Christmas Tree: Decorating inspiration for every style. (and how to pick the right tree!)

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When it comes to Christmas trees there are plenty of differing opinions on what’s best. Artificial, fresh cut, off the lot, or totally D.I.Y. There is a debate about what kind of tree is “best” but the truth is there is no definitive answer. When it comes to Christmas trees we say “to each their own!”
If you still haven’t decided which type of tree is right for you reading through the info below may help you solidify your decision. Then comes the best part – decorating!

Artificial Tree:

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Pros:
Artificial trees have an approximate shelf life of 6 years (some last much longer)
They are less likely than real trees to be a fire hazard
Convenience factor – available whenever your ready to get your season started, needs no water, less maintenance
Least expensive option over lifetime of tree
Can be bought vintage (aluminum tree anyone?) which can be a green option
Can be dismantled and branches “upcycled” into wreaths, garlands or outdoor decor
Can be donated at the end of use to a donation store to find a new home

Cons:
Almost all artificial trees are made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) a non-biodegradable, petroleum-derived plastic, a non-recyclable toxin
Most older trees have been found to have dangerous levels of lead contamination
They cannot be traditionally recycled – anywhere.
Almost all artificial trees are made in China, as a result consumers must be aware of more lenient environmental practices, as well as the long distance shipping consequences.

Fresh Cut Tree: (fc) / Pre-cut Tree: (pc)

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Pros:
Fresh cut trees support local businesses.
A tree farm it is considered a sustainable agricultural resource (after all we aren’t cutting down trees from a forest – they would not exist apart from the tree farm)
Each tree cut down is replaced with at least one seed.
Trees that are not chosen continue to grow becoming home to wildlife and providing oxygen.
Less likely than pre-cut to catch fire (fc)
Uses no industrial processes therefore causes no hazardous waste
Most cities have tree composting programs which will “recycle” your tree at the end of the season
Easily composted

Cons:
Some tree framers use pesticides on tree crops
People may experience uncomfortable feelings associated with chopping down a tree
Trees may have to travel long distances to the lot causing negative environmental implications (pc)
Dry trees pose a higher risk of fire hazard (pc)

DIY Tree:

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Pros:
Reuse items you have or collect to construct your own tree
Your ingenuity will delight (and maybe inspire) your holiday guests
Trees are totally sustainable – no negative environmental impacts
If you don’t have room for a 3d tree you can diy a 2d one
A unique Christmas tree that is totally you

Cons:
Some may feel nostalgic or longing for a more traditional tree. (any Charlie Browns out there?)

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As designers we love seeing everyone’s individual style on display at Christmas time. What type of tree do you have? Whats your favorite decorating scheme? Leave us comments (or even better) links to photos of your Christmas decor!

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