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Real or Artificial Christmas Tree? We Help You Decide

It's a debate that has lived on through generations: real tree or artificial tree for Christmas? Andrew Ormond with the Home Depot joined us on the CBS 58 News at 4 to help you decide what is best for you. 

Andrew says there are good reasons to choose a real tree: 

         Nostalgia: Real trees evoke a traditional sense of home during the holidays with their evergreen aroma and feel.

         Tradition: Tree shopping can be turned into a fun family tradition.

         Unique: Each real tree is unique and you can select a different style each year.

         Cost: Price of a real tree is initially less expensive.

         Environment: A Christmas tree is a renewable resource; it’s biodegradable and can be recycled.

If you decide that a real tree is right for you, there are simple ways to make sure the tree you get will last:

      Branch test: Grab any branch on the tree between your thumb and forefinger, gently clamp down and pull towards yourself. If you end up with a handful of needles, the tree is already past its prime. The branch should be so limber that you can tie it in a knot.

      Smell test: Crush the needles in your hand and then check the scent. If the tree doesn't have a scent, don't buy it.

      Bounce test: Bounce the tree. If the exterior needles fall off, it's sure sign of a bad apple. Needles that fall off from the interior of the tree are normal.

      Measure trunk to match stand: Make sure the tree's trunk fits your stand. Trimming the diameter of the tree by cutting away the bark will strip the tree of its cambium layer, which absorbs water. Ask your tree provider to make a fresh cut when you buy the tree, allowing the tree to absorb water and stay fresh.

Ormond says there are several reasons that an artificial tree is right for them: 

         Longevity: Artificial trees (if stored properly) last for up to 10 years; each holiday, you can store it and re-use, maintaining the same style year after year.

        Pre-Lit: One of the biggest benefits of artificial trees are the most come pre-lit. Customers can choose from traditional incandescent and energy-saving LED options.

         Ease: Easier to set up and maintain; you do not have to water an artificial tree to keep it alive or worry about messy clean-up of needles or dripping sap.

         Long-term Savings: Save on cost of tree over time due to one-time purchase and re-use.

         Safety: Artificial trees provide less of a fire hazard when used correctly, with various options in tip type:

Ormond says if you go with an artificial, here are some of the options you might consider: 

    PVC tip – more traditional look

    PE tip – newer and more innovative to closely the look and feel of a real tree

    Dual Function – allowing customers to switch from white to multi-color light options

    Remote Controlled Lights – allowing customers to control the tree’s features remotely

    Quick Connect Set Up – allowing customers to easily and quickly connect the tree with three pieces 

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