The Best Artificial Christmas Tree

National Tree 7 1/2' Dunhill Fir Tree

Our Top Pick for 2016: National Tree 7 1/2′ Dunhill Fir Tree
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $187.90*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

The Christmas tree is the centerpiece of your home during the holidays. It is the one spot where your friends and family will gather together to enjoy one another’s company. You want that tree to be as beautiful as possible. It needs to fill the space in your home without over powering it while providing a realistic appearance. Today’s artificial Christmas trees have a natural look and come in both un-lit and pre-lit versions as well as various heights. Don’t worry. Finding that ideal tree for your home isn’t hard if you know what to look for.

Table of contents

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Pre-strung With 550 Ul Listed Clear Lights
Comes In Three Sections
Measures 4.5 Ft. Tall
Assembles Quickly And Easily
Quick And Easy Set-up
Pre-strung With 150 Ul Listed Clear Lights
52″ Diameter At Base
All Metal Hinged Construction
24″ Diameter
1346 Branch Tips
2514 Branch Tips
330 Branch Tips
Includes Metal Tree Stand
Different Heights Available
Sturdy Folding Metal Tree Stand

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): National Tree 7 1/2′ Dunhill Fir Tree

National Tree 7 1/2' Dunhill Fir Tree Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $187.90*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerThe 7 ½’ Dunhill Fir Tree by National Tree is a beautifully impressive artificial Christmas tree. Its height and 59 inch diameter make it an impressive centerpiece to your holiday decorating. It is large, but still fits nicely in the average size living room. It has 2,514 branch tips so you won’t have any problem finding a place for each and every ornament in your collection. Another benefit of having so many tips is the fullness.

All of the branches are attached to the center pole with metal hinges. Metal hinges won’t break as fast as the plastic versions, and the hinged construction allows for easier set-up. It will come in three sections. Place the first section in the sturdy metal base, and let the branches fall down. Place the second section on top of the first, and finish it by placing your third section on the very top. Each branch will fall down and be ready to fluff and decorate within minutes.

This tree does not come with lights. This allows you to choose which ever style of lights you want, and you won’t be stuck with one kind for the next several years. The tree weighs 45 pounds, and it is manufactured by National Tree in China. A five year warranty is included with your purchase as well as a reusable storage carton and instructions for assembling and shaping. It is both non-allergenic and flame resistant.

Each branch of this Dunhill Fir is created with realistic looking tips. Branches are very sturdy. You can easily hang your average size ornaments without the branches drooping. Those who have purchased this particular artificial Christmas tree enjoy the fact that the needles won’t shed. You may notice a few loose ones when you first take it out of the box, but its rigid construction ensures that the artificial needles are firmly in place.

Online reviews speak highly of this artificial tree. They like that the 7 ½’ Dunhill Fir Tree has a slightly irregular shape. It gives it a more realistic profile. The manufacturer’s website offers a video on how to fluff the branches so that you can achieve a full and beautiful look. Owners of this tree also liked the surprise of finding hidden hooks on the branches that you can slip your light string through for added security. It adds a professional touch to anyone’s home tree.

The top of the tree has a pole that extends high enough that you can use it to hold your star, angel, or any other tree topper easily. There is one longer branch that can be wound around the pole to camouflage it. This works nicely with stars and ornate decorations. It isn’t needed with an angel, and it can be pulled down with the other branches in this situation.

Those who have used this artificial tree found it quick and easy to assemble. Most were decorating the tree within 40 minutes. They describe it as having the look and feel of a much more expensive tree. It is ideal for anyone that is used to the look of a real tree but wants to switch to artificial.

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): National Tree 7-1/2-Foot Prelit Artificial North Valley Spruce Tree

National Tree 7-1/2-Foot Prelit Artificial North Valley Spruce Tree

View it on Amazon for $126.80*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerThe 7 ½ Foot Pre-lit Artificial North Valley Spruce Tree by National Tree is perfect for anyone that wants a stunning tree without the hours of assembly and stringing lights that is normally associated with decorating. It is an impressive size with a 52 inch diameter, and it includes 550 UL listed clear lights. These lights adorn 1,346 branch tips that ad realism to the over-all look of this tree.

This artificial Christmas tree has an all metal hinge construction with the branches attached to a center pole. It comes in three sections. You will place the bottom section in the metal tree stand and let the branches fall into place. Each additional section is added on top until it reaches its full 7 ½ foot height. Each of the lights includes the bulb lock feature to ensure they won’t come loose while decorating. Spare bulbs and fuses are included with your purchase.

The National Tree 7 ½ Foot North Valley Spruce is non-allergenic as well as flame resistant. The storage carton is heavy enough to be reused for storage year after year. It will help keep the tree looking new. The tree itself has a five year warranty while the lights come with a two year warranty. It has a traditional cone shape, and it is full enough that you can’t see through it once it is decorated. It weighs 38 pounds, and it is manufactured by National Tree in China.

Online reviews love the appearance of this artificial Christmas tree. They state that the hardest part of set-up is fluffing the branches. It does take a little work to achieve a nice full look, but once finished, people loved how evenly dispersed the lights are. They also found that there is plenty of room for ornaments and garlands on this tree. The shape comes out perfect, and it only takes about an hour to get it from the box to ornament ready.

The 550 clear lights do come with replacement bulbs just in case any break or burn out. These are traditional lights. If one goes out, the entire string quits working. Some people thought there were not enough lights to cover a 7 ½ foot tree properly. One hundred lights per foot of tree is the average recommendation, but there are many people that enjoy the softer glow of fewer lights. Those who felt it needed more were able to easily add extras throughout the branches.

The National Tree 7 ½ Foot North Valley Spruce with lights offers strong branches that handle the weight of your ornaments well. Those who have seen the tree describe it as looking as good as or even better than the higher priced versions found in department stores and big box warehouses. It is ideal for anyone that is transitioning from a real tree to an artificial one.

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): National Tree 4-1/2-Foot Prelit Artificial Kingswood Fir Pencil Tree

National Tree 4-1/2-Foot Prelit Artificial Kingswood Fir Pencil Tree

View it on Amazon for $64.57*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardThe 4 ½ Foot Pre-lit Artificial Kingswood Fir Pencil Tree is a slim and beautiful Christmas tree that is ideal for any situation where space is at a minimum. It will fit nicely into an entry way, apartment, bedroom, or any other small space. It even looks terrific as a table top tree. Its slim 24 inch diameter ads to its compact features without making it appear any less grand.

This tree is strung with 150 UL listed multicolor lights that give it a traditional look and feel. The 330 branch tips will hold your average size ornaments perfectly without drooping. Heavier decorations will do better when hung further back onto the branch where the wire is stronger. The all metal construction has hinged branches that are attached to the center pole. A folding metal tree stand is included that will keep this tree sturdy throughout the holiday season.

Spare bulbs and fuses come with the Pre-lit Kingswood Fir Pencil Tree. These are the traditional candescent Christmas tree lights. The tree itself is non-allergenic and flame resistant. It will come to you in a reusable storage container that will keep the tree protected and looking great for years to come. This box measures 11 by 13 by 39.5 inches. Those with smaller homes not only appreciate the size of the tree, but they enjoy that it doesn’t require very much storage space either. It has a five year warranty and a two year warranty on the lights. The entire tree weighs 8.6 pounds, and it is manufactured in China by National Tree.

This tree comes in two pieces that have to be put together before using. Once the initial assembling is finished, you will have to spread the tips of each branch out to achieve a full look. The lights all plug in together at the base of the tree where you can then plug it into a power strip or the wall outlet.

Those that have posted online reviews love the 4 ½ Foot Kingswood Fir Pencil Tree for tight spaces. It is a big hit with seniors that have downsized their living quarters or simply do not want the hassle of a larger tree. Customers have stated that the easy assembly and light weight construction is perfect for anyone that suffers from arthritis. It also makes a great starter tree for young couples that are living in smaller apartments. Not only does the height work wonderfully, but the diameter won’t take up very much floor space. This feature also makes it a great pick for tabletops.

The taper on this particular tree from National Tree gives it an attractive profile. Most pencil trees have a cylinder type appearance. This one slowly tapers to a slightly wider bottom. It blends in well with larger trees, and it doesn’t stand out as a fake tree. The 150 multi-colored lights give just the right amount of a glow. The greenery has a very realistic look to it, especially once it is fluffed and decorated which is why it has received high quality and value ratings.

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Portland Fir Tree 4.5-Feet with 250 Clear Lights

Portland Fir Tree 4.5-Feet with 250 Clear Lights

View it on Amazon for -*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickIf you want to ring in the holidays without spending a fortune, the Portland Fir Tree by General Foam Plastics is the tree for you. This compact Christmas tree is constructed from quality materials, and it has a natural looking décor. It has a height of 4.5 feet, and it only measures 40 inches at its widest point. This gives it a nice full look not normally found on shorter trees. It remains sturdy in the four leg base that is included in the price.

The clear lights have been placed by hand on each branch in order to provide you with a balanced look of twinkling lights from every angle. You will be able to see how the 250 incandescent lights are evenly scattered over this easy to put together tree. It comes in three separate hinged pieces that are placed together. The lights plug into each other, and you can plug them into a power strip or directly into the wall outlet.

The branches are strong enough to hold all of your favorite ornaments without looking weighted down. There is plenty of room underneath for a train and presents. The lights on this Portland Fir will remain on, even if one of the bulbs burns out. Extra bulbs come with this flame resistant tree. After the holiday, you will find this artificial tree is simple to take down and store until the next year. This tree comes with a standard two year warranty from General Foam, and it is manufactured in Mexico.

Online reviews describe the 4 ½ Foot Pre-lit Portland Fir Tree as being incredibly nice for the price. Many were surprised with just how beautiful and natural it looked. They appreciated the fact that they didn’t have to pay an expensive price for such a high quality tree. It looks full when fully assembled and fluffed, and the clear lights are terrific. Most said it was easy to put together, didn’t take up much space, and had a realistic appearance and profile. Those who were switching over from having an annual live tree were not disappointed in their choice.


Pre-purchase considerations

Size

The first thing you will think about when you start shopping for your artificial Christmas tree is the size. Think about where the tree will be placed. Measure how high the ceiling of this area is, and then pick a tree height that is six inches less than it. This will ensure that the tree fills the space while leaving room for your tree topper. Consider the trees girth and width once you have selected a height. Full trees are traditional, but slim designs are perfect in compact spaces.

Shape

Think about the profile of a tree as well as its density. The profile is what will make your tree unique. If you are the type that loves to decorate with ribbons and garlands, look for an artificial tree with deep branch pockets. Many trees on the market have an upswept look to their branches with a bowl shaped bottom. These allow for plenty of room for presents underneath, but down-swept branches are more dramatic.

Branch Tips

You will find artificial Christmas trees with a wide range of needle types and branch tips. Many are molded from the actual branches of trees like Douglas Firs, Western Hemlocks, Royal Spruce, and other favorites. They have a very realistic appearance. Most of the polyethylene tipped artificial trees will have needles made of PVC mixed in for a fuller look.

Treatments

Extra character can be added to an artificial tree with pre-applied treatments. These will add to the tree’s beauty before you even start to place ornaments on it. Those with hand applied berries and pinecones bring nature indoors while a snow flocked tree will create a vintage feel. Remember that flocked trees won’t hold up well outdoors.

Lights

Many artificial trees will come with the lights. Pre-lit trees will have clear or multi colored lights hand wrapped around the branches. The bulbs range from incandescent to LED. Look for always-lit or continuous lights as a main feature. These types of strings will remain lit even if one of the bulbs burns out. If you would rather do your own lights, look for one that isn’t pre-lit. These trees give you the freedom to change the type of lights you use from one year to the next.

Special Features

Manufacturers have made huge advancements in trees. Artificial trees can be found in easy to assemble versions with wire reinforced tips and steel trunks. They even offer trees with realistic bark. Remote controls eliminate climbing behind the tree to turn the lights on and off, and pro shape technology allows you to have your tree unboxed and ready to decorate in minutes. Hinged branches and memory wire tips mean that you won’t have to spend hours adjusting the tree to get it to look just right.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

If you want a spectacular artificial tree that looks beautiful without all of the work, the 7 ½ Foot Dunhill Fir Tree from National Tree is perfect. This tree will impress your guests with its natural appearance, and you will love how easy it is to assemble. If you want to take it one step further, National Tree also provides customers with the 7 ½ Foot Pre-Lit North Valley Spruce Tree. It has all of the wonderful features as the Dunhill Fir, but it comes with the lights already on it. The National Tree 4 ½ Foot Pre-Lit Kingswood Fir Pencil Tree makes any small space festive with its slim design and life-like branches that are adorn with multi-colored lights. Those who want Christmas cheer without the high-end price tag will love the Portland Fir Tree. It stands 4 ½ feet tall with 250 clear lights. The small but full profile of this artificial tree is sure to please.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!

Resources

  1. Kaitlyn Wells, What to Look For In an Artificial Christmas Tree, Consumer Reports, November 9, 2015
  2. D. Wang, Buying Guide: How to Shop for an Artificial Christmas Tree, Huffington Post, December 5, 2011
  3. Amanda, Cheapest Pre Lit Christmas Trees, A Very Cozy Home, November 27, 2015

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