Real or artificial? Which type of Christmas tree is right for you

Posted at 12:23 PM, Dec 14, 2022

Many families debate whether to get a fresh Christmas tree every year or opt for a fake tree that will last for years to come. The decision comes down to preference.


The average price of a real Christmas tree was reportedly about $70 in 2021. However, that price was expected to go up in 2022 by about 5 to 15 percent due to inflation.

“Like all areas of agriculture, real Christmas tree reproduction, the costs are up,” said Marsha Gray, the executive director of the Real Christmas Tree Board.

Artificial trees vary dramatically in price. Consumer Reports says the average artificial tree cost $131 in 2020. However, inflation has hit just about every industry, so shopping may expect to pay more in 2022.

How long does a real Christmas tree last?

Most experts agree that a real Christmas can last about a month.

The lifespan of an artificial tree varies by brand and how it's cared for. Some can reportedly last up to 20 years.

Tips for caring for a real tree

Getting a real tree in water is important to maintaining its freshness. The National Christmas Tree recommends that stands should provide 1 quart of water per inch of the stem's diameter.

It adds that drilling a hole in the base of the trunk does not improve water uptake.

Tips for caring for an artificial tree

Balsam Hill recommends storing artificial trees in a bag or container. The company says keeping it in a cool, dry location can help prevent it from acquiring a musty odor.