How to Find the Perfect Christmas Tree

The perfect Christmas starts with the perfect Christmas tree. Whether you decide to buy a live tree every year or invest in an artificial tree that will last for years, taking the guesswork out of selecting your tree will give you peace of mind and remove the sort of stress no one needs during the holiday season. If you’re not sure where to start or how to go about finding the Christmas tree of your dreams, then you’re in luck. Read on and discover the answers to all your questions around figuring the perfect Christmas tree size, which style and shape will suit your home, and much, much more.

Live or Artificial?

Years ago, the answer to the question of whether to buy a live or artificial tree would have been obvious. Those old artificial trees just couldn’t compete with live trees. However, modern artificial trees are constructed from quality polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene (PE), and medal coated to resist rust. They offer more abundant, securely attached needles with more realistic textures. In fact, the latest injection-moulded PE needles accurately imitate the colours and textures of popular conifer species. 

Quality artificial trees stay vibrant for many Christmases, store easily, and remove the yearly hassle of procuring, transporting, and disposing of a live tree. For us, an artificial tree is the best – and only – choice.

Still, if your heart is set on a live tree, we want to help you find the right one and keep it looking lush for a full holiday season. Once cut, a live tree needs lots of water, and most live tree stands just don’t hold enough of it. Luckily, we stock Cinco live tree stands, the most ingenious live tree stands on the market. They secure live trees soundly, hold litres of water, and protect floors from incidental damage caused when setting up and watering the tree. Cinco also makes accessories to assist you with watering and nourishing your tree. Learn all about Cinco’s range here and in our dedicated blog post

How to Choose the Perfect Size Christmas Tree

Location

Deciding where you’ll place your tree is the first step in determining what size tree you need. Larger rooms can most likely house more generous trees. If you place a small tree in a large room, the tree can look lost and lonely. A big tree in a tiny room dominates and crowds. For the most part, the overwhelming majority of families station their Christmas tree in a lounge or living room, usually one of the more sizeable rooms in the home. 

If you intend to display trees in more than one room, we suggest a range of sizes to complement each room. Simply repeat the below steps for each tree.

Height

Forever banish the fear of ending up with a tree that’s too tall by using our tips to measure the height of your ceiling. You can use a ladder and measuring tape, a laser distance measure, or an app on your phone or tablet. (Safety first! If you’re going to use a ladder, we recommend enlisting a friend or family member to hold the ladder steady.)

Record the height measurement, then subtract at least 30cm from it to account for a tree topper. If you already have a tree topper, measure its height. Stick with the 30cm rule if the topper is than 30cm. However, if it ends up measuring greater than 30cm, then add the extra length to 30cm to calculate what you should subtract. To put it more simply, remember that you will need enough space to firstly place it atop the tree as well as leave distance between it and your ceiling. For those who elect to forego a tree topper, we still advise leaving at least 15cm between the top of the tree and the ceiling.

Extra considerations:

  • Added height from tree stands and decorative platforms.
  • Artificial trees come with their own stands, which are included in their advertised height. 
  • Basically, include the height of anything you plan to put under or on top of your tree which will increase its height.

Optimal Christmas Tree Heights

Tree HeightDisplay Space
Under 100cmTabletops, Side Boards, Desks, Shelves
100–180cmBedrooms, Kids’ Rooms, Small Spaces
180–205cmRooms with Low Ceilings
210–230cmRooms with 240–270cm Ceilings
240–450cmLarge Rooms with High Ceilings

Width

Related closely to shape (which we’ll discuss shortly), you’ll want to consider the tree’s width when planning your set-up. Once you’ve chosen the room, then choose exactly where you would like to locate the tree within the room. Measure the area and again subtract 30sqcm from that number. This will help you figure the maximum tree width your chosen space will support and give you room to place gifts and decorations around the tree. Bear in mind, you may need to move furniture to accurately measure the space.

Naturally, when it comes to width, you have some wriggle room; how much will depend on the availability of extra space within your home, along with your willingness and ability to shift and shuffle the room’s contents. Slimmer trees often solve the problem of limited space.

Troubleshooting

Besides height and width, here are other factors to consider when contemplating where to station your tree.

Safety: Keep your tree away from sources of heat, including entertainment systems, incandescent lighting, and windows that receive great amounts of direct sunlight, especially hot summer afternoon sun. We also include heaters in this advice. It’s just a good rule of thumb. Every few years, we suffer through a wintry Christmas. And, if you put up your tree for Christmas in July, heaters would definitely be in use. 

Visibility: You’ve gone to all the effort to source a beautiful tree, so of course you’re keen to show it off. Choose a spot in the centre of a wall or a snug corner the tree can have all to itself.

Power Source: Have you ever seen a Christmas tree without lights? –To be completely honest, we have, and they can look gorgeous. But if you’re anything like us, you need lights on your tree. Wherever you plan to put your tree, remember to choose a spot with power points nearby. Be sure to tuck any cords out of the way, too.

Traffic: The optimal home for a Christmas tree is as far as possible from areas of high foot traffic, especially doorways.

Natural Light: Ensure your tree sparkles during the day by letting a little natural light play over it. Both trees and ornaments retain their colour for longer in indirect ambient light.

Kids & Pets: If you have little nippers or fur babies, you’ll want to double check that you have firmly secured your tree, so it won’t topple. Place unbreakable ornaments on the lower branches or leave them bare. Instal temporary waist-high gates in the doorways that lead to the room where the Christmas tree holds court.

Shape

All Christmas trees are conifers. As the name implies, they have a conelike shape with a wide base that narrows to a pointed tip. Most Christmas trees come from three species: pine, fir, and spruce. You can tell the difference between them by examining their needles. Pine needles grow in groups of two, three or five, while fir and spruce needles grow singly. Pine needles are thin and long, fir needles flat, and spruce needles have a square shape. Different species of live trees tend towards squat, elongated, or irregular shapes depending on age and growing conditions. Sometimes, you will need to trim branches to create a more uniform shape.

Artificial trees, on the other hand, always have a perfectly symmetrical shape. Brands can produce a wide range of silhouettes or specialise in a select few. Broadly speaking, artificial trees come in fuller conical or more tapered European-inspired shapes. 

Expert Tip: Fluffing an artificial tree properly will guarantee you take full advantage of its shape. Start from the trunk to encourage fullness from within. Work outwards along each branch, separating all the twigs and forks without leaving any large gaps.

FAQs

Q: How do I choose the perfect Christmas tree?

A: Choose the room first, then measure the height of your ceiling and the space where you want to locate the tree. (Personal taste plays a role here, too.)

Q: What’s the best way to measure the height of my ceiling?

A: Use a phone app, laser measurer, or recruit a mate to hold a ladder while you climb up and measure with a tape.

Q: How tall should my perfect Christmas tree be?

A: First, figure the maximum height the room will support. Calculate the height of the ceiling in the room where you will station the tree, then subtract at least 30cm for the tree topper. Also subtract the height of any tree stands or decorative platforms. Once you have the maximum height, both that and your personal taste will dictate how tall you’d like your tree.

Q: How much space will I need for my tree?

A: The overall space you’ll need will depend on the height and style of the tree you choose. Trees are widest at their base. Measure the floorspace you want to dedicate to your tree, then subtract 30sqcm from this. 

Q: What else do I need to consider?

A: Visibility, heat sources, sources of direct light, the availability of power points, foot traffic, kids, pets, and safety.

The Right Tree for You

Now that you’ve chosen the room, measured the space, and taken care of any other considerations, the time has come to shop for your tree. If we haven’t persuaded you to try an artificial tree this year, well, you can’t blame us for trying. (We hope that you won’t mind if we have a crack again next year!) Live tree devotees, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a safe drive to the Christmas tree farm. May you find the tree that will make Christmas magical for your family. 

Still reading? – Terrific! Then that means you’ve ‘twigged’ that choosing an artificial tree represents the best option for a festive season with a lot less fuss. Come along with us and wander through a wonderland of artificial trees. We can’t wait to show you some of our favourites in the forest!

Brands & Styles

Most of our trees come from two of the world’s most popular brands: Oncor Trees and Black Box Trees. Both offer a wide variety of styles and sizes to cater for all tastes. Each one also offers standard hinge and hook options. A tree with hinged branches sets up in minutes. Each branch comes already attached to a selection of the tree, so all you need to do is stack each section and fluff the branches. Those hinges also mean that you can take the tree apart and put it away even quicker. Those who treasure the tradition of trimming a tree need look no further than a tree with hooked branches. These trees require more setup and take down time, but your family has its own special tree decorating ceremony, you won’t mind that at all. Let’s take a look at a short summary of both brands:

Black Box

  • Majority of tree styles have hinged branches.
  • Trees exhibit a more European-inspired look: some branches protrude from the central cone.
  • Most popular style: Washington Fir.

Oncor

  • Majority of trees have hooked branches.
  • Trees exhibit a fuller conical shape. (Floor length styles available.)
  • Eco-friendly: constructed from recycled materials.
  • Most popular style: Texas Blue Spruce.

Green Trees

The bulk of our customers choose green trees for their natural look and versatility. Those searching for a tree with a fuller profile fall in love with Oncor’s Smoky Mountain Fir. On the opposite end of the spectrum, slimmer trees like Black Box’s Slim Maclura or Oncor’s Slim Parana Pine tempt those who prefer a more svelte silhouette. Whatever your preference, you cannot go wrong with a green tree, especially if this is to be your first artificial tree.

Flocked & Prelit

Dreaming of a white Christmas? – Flocked trees sport snowy or frosted branches as though they were just felled in a wintry Alpine forest.

Need to decorate for Christmas in a hurry? – Turn to a prelit tree. Warm white LED lights provide the perfect backdrop for all your ornaments. And you can always add more lights! Take a squiz at our Connectable Ready range.

Can’t decide between prelit or flocked? – Go all in with the best of both worlds!

Trees of a Different Colour

Speaking of ‘going all in’, if you feel like wrapping yourself up in Christmas whimsy, then get ready to ‘rug up’. Colourful and festive, the Blue Glitter Arctic Spruce, Pink Passion, and Colchester Champagne trees radiate glitz and glamour. The Arctic Spruce is flocked. The Pink Passion is flocked and prelit. The Colchester Champagne tree’s needles are shiny tinsel. Whether your taste trends towards chic, likes firmly in the realm of kitsch, or journeys into camp territory, you will transform these ‘trees of a different colour’ into Christmas masterpieces that everyone will remember.

Did someone say merry and bright? Fibre optic trees couldn’t be more of either. If you love a light show, then elevate your Christmas to gleaming new heights with our White Iridescent and Green Fibre Optic trees.

Tabletop trees are the perfect Christmas tree for sideboards and mantlepieces.

Tabletop Trees

Spread Christmas cheer all around with petite pines and tree-inspired table pieces. Decorate your mantlepiece with larger pieces or use them as centrepieces. Strew tiny trees like these bristle trees, glitter trees, or trees in pots on tables, desks, shelves, and wherever else you need a hint of Christmas.

A Christmas tree is arguably the most meaningful holiday decoration for holiday enthusiasts, and the process of selecting your perfect Christmas tree should be a happy memory. Considering that you know everything we know about Christmas trees, we hope you’ll enjoy decorating for the festive season more than ever before.

Be sure to bookmark this page so you can easily find it and share it with anyone who needs a helping hand with finding the perfect Christmas tree and all the best accessories.

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