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Artificial Christmas Trees

The holiday season is upon us and if you’re anything like me, you’re already itching to put up your Christmas tree and cozy up your entire home with touches of holiday spirit! I’ve had my fair share of trees (both real and artificial) over the years and have learned all sorts of tips and tricks to make sure I’m buying an appropriate tree for my space.

The perfect artificial Christmas tree can give your whole house the appearance of a perfectly styled winter wonderland – think NYC in “Miracle on 34th Steet” – that’s what we’re going for! Keep reading to hear all of my tips for selecting the best artificial Christmas trees for your home this holiday season!

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Large natural looking artificial Christmas tree in living room next to fireplace.

Real vs. Artificial Christmas Trees

The age old debate: should you get a real Christmas tree or go artificial? While I’m a mountain girl at heart and will always love the smell and feel of a fresh-cut tree, those can be hard to come by in the Lowcountry. By the time they get to us, most trees are dried out, dropping needles, and hardly make it to Christmas day. Plus I dislike sweeping up around the tree!

I enjoy putting our tree up early before Thanksgiving and unfortunately the real trees just don’t last that long for us. If you do get a real tree, it is very important to keep it watered. A dry tree is a major fire risk!

Norfolk pine Christmas tree with sparse branches and led lights.

We’ve had several different artificial trees over the years and I truly love that I can take mine out of the box whenever I’d like (even if it’s before Thanksgiving!) and not worry about it making a mess. Artificial trees are also cost-effective in that you get to use them year after year. This is why buying a high-quality artificial tree is worth it – you get so much bang for your buck!

With artificial trees, you have so many choices to make: fraiser or pine? Flocked or classic evergreen? Skinny tree or wide tree? Prelit or add lights yourself? You can truly find the perfect tree to fit your personal style, or even have a variety of trees throughout your home if you just can’t decide!


Christmas Tree Sizes

Artificial Christmas trees come in a few standard sizes: 7.5′, 9′, and 10’+. Rooms with 8-9 ‘ ceilings do best with a 7.5′ tree. If your ceilings are 10′ then I’d recommend a 9′ tree and if you have extra tall ceilings or a vaulted space (like a foyer or living room), then you can even go for a 10-12’ tree to really make a statement!

Artificial cedar garland with twinkle lights on fireplace mantel and artificial flocked Christmas tree.

Width is another thing to consider when purchasing the perfect Christmas tree for your space. It’s recommended to give yourself at least 3 inches between the tree and walls to keep things from looking too crowded.

Whether you go for a pencil tree or a big, fat statement maker, definitely keep the 3 inch rule in mind! Also take into consideration any furniture that may be close to the tree. You want to leave enough room for people to easily pass by without feeling crowded.


Adding Ornaments

Now that you’ve got all the tips for selecting the perfect size tree, it’s time to decorate! Adding ornaments to your tree may seem easy, but there are a few foolproof tips to make your tree Pinterest-worthy.

Artificial flocked Christmas tree with knit stockings on fireplace mantel.

Whether you’re a maximist or minimalist will determine the exact number of ornaments that you place on your tree, but I always recommend mixing different sizes and finishes when it comes to ornaments. You can find metallic, sparkly, and matte ones depending on your own personal style.

I love adding texture and patterns in as well to keep it interesting. Make sure you push your larger ornaments further back on the branches to fill in any dead space and add depth. They also look beautiful when the Christmas lights catch them and reflect light around the room.

For a 7.5′ tree, I recommend no less than 100 ornaments to make sure things don’t look to sparse. A 9′ tree can take anywhere from 150-200 ornaments and if you have a larger tree, you can add up to 250 ornaments for a really full appearance!

The best neutral ornaments for an artificial Christmas tree, with mercury glass, suede, brass stars, and more!


It’s important to make sure your Christmas tree decorations are cohesive with the rest of your space and styling. I prefer for the bulk of my ornaments to be simple and neutral, but it’s always fun to add in personal touches with your favorite sentimental ornaments towards the front of branches.

I also love giving my kids their own miniature trees in their rooms to decorate in a more “kid-friendly” manner to keep things fun for them! Bring on all the mini ornaments and bright colors! If I’m feeling extra fun, I’ll even let them add colored lights.

Prelit or Unlit?

I have always disliked putting lights on the Christmas tree. They never look quite right to me and there always seems to be a gap that you just can’t fill. I love my pre-lit trees and will never go back to doing them myself, but if you’re set on DIYing it then I recommend investing in some really nice LED lights.

Mini Christmas tree from Target on front porch.

If you’re putting on lights yourself and prefer a more minimalistic look, you’ll need at least 1,000 lights for a 7.5′ tree, 1,500 lights for a 9′ tree, and 2,500 lights for a 10’+ tree. For a larger impact, you can add up to 5,000 lights to a 7.5′ tree, 6,000 lights to a 9′ tree, and 8,500 lights to a 10’+ tree. Make sure you start at the base of each branch (closest to the trunk) and move back and forth across every branch for a truly professional look.

McGee and Co. Christmas tree.

9′ Faux Spruce Tree – Living Room

Flocked Christmas tree from Target.

Flocked Balsam Fir Tree – Living Room

What about Garland or Ribbon?

If you’re looking to really elevate your Christmas tree, I love adding garland or ribbon to tie in even more texture and color. I think adding these elements can also help tie your tree into the rest of your home and holiday decor.

Natural Christmas tree in girl's bedroom.
Christmas Ribbon

I like starting with ribbon before adding my ornaments so that I have a nice base. I also find that it can be difficult to find enough space for the ribbon once my ornaments are placed. I prefer to use ribbon that’s 3-4″ in width and cutting 2-3′ strips that I can have the ends drape perfectly over the tree branches. You can even use a second ribbon type as an accent if you’d like!

King of Christmas tree in sitting room with natural branches and red ribbon.

As for garlands, I also recommend adding them after lights but before ornaments. Start at the top of your tree and work your way down, making sure to keep the distance between each strand as equal as possible.

Keep the garland nice and loose so that it drapes nicely and doesn’t look like it’s being stretched – we want it to lay across the branches. Keep the garland a few inches from the edges of your branches so that you can still see it, but have plenty of room to hang ornaments. I love a wooden garland or pretty blue ribbon for a coastal Christmas touch!

Storing Your Christmas Tree

How soon do you take down your Christmas Tree? I put it up so early in the season but I also like to see the glitter and lights until New Years Day. It depends on my mood, but some years I have removed it the day after Christmas. Other years, the tree comes down on New Years Day.

When taking down your artificial Christmas tree, it’s recommended to store it in a bag to protect it in the off season. Some trees come with a tree bag. Make sure you gently separate the main parts of the tree then fold the tree into itself, to avoid damaging any branches. Check out my favorite Christmas storage items below.

Christmas decor storage

The Perfect Christmas Tree

So what do you think? Are you ready to tackle finding your perfect tree this year? Will you choose flocked or evergreen? Prelit or DIY? Skinny or wide? Let me know your choices below and be sure to tag me on Instagram so I can see all your beautiful coastal Christmas trees!

Christmas tree roundup with natural looking pine Christmas trees, flocked trees, and the best trees for every budget.
christmas tree roundup


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