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gardenmom5

christmas tree shopping - vent. cry.

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I've been looking at trees for a while, and last year - dh wanted to wait for "sales after Christmas".  um honey, good trees sell out before Christmas.  so, I'm looking now.

 

I've found the most gorgeous tree, it looks like a real, NOT sheared, nobel fir....  it's 7 1/2'.   almost, it makes me want to downsize to a 7 1/2' tree.  it's not lit, so I would even be willing to put lights on the thing.  cry.  cry. cry....  so far, I've found some that are tolerably attractive in the 9 - 10' range...  

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Oh that IS a beautiful tree!

I've always bought a real tree for Christmas but the expense of it year after year has been bothering me. My daughters have resisted the idea of a fake one but they aren't the ones paying for it! The one you linked might just tip the scales in my favor!

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We need a new fake tree. We've needed it for...a while now. I never can seem to bite the bullet, because I can't find one that I really love and is unlit. I absolutely do not want prelit. This one might make my list of possibilities. If anyone else has a favorite, please post a link!

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. ooh- following! We had allergy issues this yeah and realized the tree was part of the issue. My parents stepped up and gave me their old tree but it is ancient and not the right size so I need to look for one to buy. So sad to give up the trip to buy a tree at Santa's Christmas Tree forest, but I admit not dealing with needles on the floor was nice. 

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33 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

. ooh- following! We had allergy issues this yeah and realized the tree was part of the issue. My parents stepped up and gave me their old tree but it is ancient and not the right size so I need to look for one to buy. So sad to give up the trip to buy a tree at Santa's Christmas Tree forest, but I admit not dealing with needles on the floor was nice. 

When we had a fake tree, we still had to deal with "needles" all over the floor.  They were just plastic instead of real pine lol.  

 

OP I hope you find the tree that's perfect for you.  

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We are in the market for a new tree, as well. Our old one was very nice, but was a hand-me-down from my parents  -- probably expensive, knowing my mom -- and was very old. Maybe 20 years old. Although it still was pretty, it would lose thousands of needles every time we set it up or put it down (not exaggerating), and the lights had all failed. We moved last year, and it did not fit well in this current house. DH finally got rid of this summer.

I need to start looking. I did see tons at the At Home store last holiday season. I had never been in that store before, and I was surprised at the great number of choices. Perhaps I will look there this year, but I'm not opposed to buying one online instead if I find something I like.

I'm not looking forward to shopping for one.

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We got ours here:

 

http://www.treeclassics.com/Majestic-Blue-Spruce-Artificial-Christmas-Tree-p/tcb-t.htm

Very happy with it - this will be the second year so cannot really comment on longevity but easy to assemble and take down. Doesn't look blatantly fake. We did snag it during an sale / promotion in November, I believe.

 

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14 minutes ago, Liz CA said:

We got ours here:

 

http://www.treeclassics.com/Majestic-Blue-Spruce-Artificial-Christmas-Tree-p/tcb-t.htm

Very happy with it - this will be the second year so cannot really comment on longevity but easy to assemble and take down. Doesn't look blatantly fake. We did snag it during an sale / promotion in November, I believe.

 

That's really pretty Liz! We got a new one two years ago and I am so happy with it. It looks very similar to yours. It has the lights that can be white or colored which is nice as dh and I have differing opinions on light colors, so now no one is a loser and we can change it up daily- or multiple times a day!! And yes- the new ones are so much easier to assemble. We got ours at Home Depot on Black Friday. Dh is telling me we shouldn't put it up this year because of the Crazy Kitten, but I can't imagine Christmas without a tree up! Dh thinks he'll eat the wiring though, not to mention climb the tree, so he might have a point. I don't want an electrocuted kitten, or a ruined tree. 

Anyway, I say if you love it GardenMom, buy it! 

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3 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

. ooh- following! We had allergy issues this yeah and realized the tree was part of the issue. My parents stepped up and gave me their old tree but it is ancient and not the right size so I need to look for one to buy. So sad to give up the trip to buy a tree at Santa's Christmas Tree forest, but I admit not dealing with needles on the floor was nice. 

If the family really enjoyed picking one out, maybe you could get a small real tree and put it in your backyard?

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2 hours ago, Storygirl said:

We are in the market for a new tree, as well. Our old one was very nice, but was a hand-me-down from my parents  -- probably expensive, knowing my mom -- and was very old. Maybe 20 years old. Although it still was pretty, it would lose thousands of needles every time we set it up or put it down (not exaggerating), and the lights had all failed. We moved last year, and it did not fit well in this current house. DH finally got rid of this summer.

yeah - fake trees lose needles too...….  at least they're not covered with bugs when you bring them in the house.

 

35 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

 

Anyway, I say if you love it GardenMom, buy it! 

except.... it's 7 1/2 feet.  I'm looking for a 9' minimum.   part of me misses my 11' tree.. the other part of me is glad to be rid of it.  (the going up and down 8' ladders - and still having to stretch- to decorate it.)

 

while I say I would be willing to do lights(it's unlit) - I hate doing lights.

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42 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

yeah - fake trees lose needles too...….  at least they're not covered with bugs when you bring them in the house.

 

except.... it's 7 1/2 feet.  I'm looking for a 9' minimum.   part of me misses my 11' tree.. the other part of me is glad to be rid of it.  (the going up and down 8' ladders - and still having to stretch- to decorate it.)

 

while I say I would be willing to do lights(it's unlit) - I hate doing lights.

I think pre-lit trees are the greatest things since sliced bread. If they came out with a pre-decorated one I'd be even more thrilled! 😄

Also, the new tree we have doesn't shed a bit, which is nice. I don't think the one you are looking at would shed either. They have made great advancements in fake Christmas trees! Now they need to make kitten repellent, LOL. Or a tree that instantly shakes the kitten off. 

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I love our fake tree. But replacing it is going to be a pain. The prelit died and we cut it off. After that experience, I don't know if I'd ever get prelit again. Doesn't matter how good it is - it'll almost certainly fail before the tree does.

I do really like that one though. But they're so expensive. For our weird old house, we have to have a tall and skinny tree.

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3 hours ago, Liz CA said:

We got ours here:

 

http://www.treeclassics.com/Majestic-Blue-Spruce-Artificial-Christmas-Tree-p/tcb-t.htm

Very happy with it - this will be the second year so cannot really comment on longevity but easy to assemble and take down. Doesn't look blatantly fake. We did snag it during an sale / promotion in November, I believe.

 

 

I have the 9’ version of this and also got it on a pre-Christmas special the first week of December. I love that it is tall yet relatively narrow at the base. 

ETA wait, this one of mine is not prelit but that is fine with me. One of my others is prelit and every year I wonder if it’ll be the year they don’t light. 

Edited by Seasider too
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I also need a more narrow tree to fit in our crowded house, but tall as we have vaulted ceilings. 

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We need a new fake tree too. Every year I say I am going to buy one after Christmas. And after year I feel like we overspent on Christmas so I don't buy a new tree.

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5 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

yeah - fake trees lose needles too...….  at least they're not covered with bugs when you bring them in the house.

Or poison oak.  NOT a fun Christmas memory.

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I bought a new fake tree last year. There was nothing wrong with the old one except that it was a wide, space hog. My kids protested, but I went to Walmart and found a narrow/skinnier tree (same height). I love it - it has a few pine cones and flocked needles to look snowy. It's soooo pretty decorated (I do all white/silver/glass/gold ornaments).

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Get it.  "pre-light" it yourself. I'm sure some youtuber will walk you through the process. Pay in monthly installments if you wish.  You'll use if for at least a decade.  Your happiness is worth $20 a year. Just do it! I say go for it and I'm the person who tells people not to shop.

I'm thinking of getting a few of these so I can just leave them up until March.  It's nice to have more lights in the winter.  I'm also considering decorating my tree in sections and securing the ornaments so that I can put it away decorated and just add the fragile pieces in December.  I like the way it looks but I don't love the process of putting that stuff out or dismantling it.  

Edited by KungFuPanda

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I have two trees from Balsam Hill. I bought unlit based on advice here on the boards. You fluff, stack, light, decorate. It's some work, but no problems from it for my asthma. Some others here said does or mold on the trees can be a perverse alternate problem for asthma. The BH trees came with bags for the parts. I can assemble them, even the 9', by myself.

The Balsam Hill site has quite a bit of information and is pretty upfront about what you'll be getting. I think that's the thing with being happy. If you want the realistic branches, then you'll want to watch the percentage of the fluff branches. The lower the price of tree, typically the more fluff. 

I agree, Target, Home Depot, Hobby Lobby, etc. also have pretty trees! The Balsam Hill are exceptionally nice, very full, with a high percentage of the most realistic branches. We had always, always done real trees, so this was a terrible blow to my dh to go fake. It's why I went with a really snazzy fake one. But you know, I like the flocked ones, walmart ones, etc. too! Actually, I got a white Walmart tree for my dd's room, haha. I think they're all good.

Here's one to get you started. They have all kinds. And pay no attention to the prices. Everything goes on sale with them, lol. Just make sure you order well before Black Friday, mercy. https://www.balsamhill.com/p/sugarlands-spruce-wide-artificial-christmas-tree?sku=2808248

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4 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

I have two trees from Balsam Hill. I bought unlit based on advice here on the boards. You fluff, stack, light, decorate. It's some work, but no problems from it for my asthma. Some others here said does or mold on the trees can be a perverse alternate problem for asthma. The BH trees came with bags for the parts. I can assemble them, even the 9', by myself.

The Balsam Hill site has quite a bit of information and is pretty upfront about what you'll be getting. I think that's the thing with being happy. If you want the realistic branches, then you'll want to watch the percentage of the fluff branches. The lower the price of tree, typically the more fluff. 

I agree, Target, Home Depot, Hobby Lobby, etc. also have pretty trees! The Balsam Hill are exceptionally nice, very full, with a high percentage of the most realistic branches. We had always, always done real trees, so this was a terrible blow to my dh to go fake. It's why I went with a really snazzy fake one. But you know, I like the flocked ones, walmart ones, etc. too! Actually, I got a white Walmart tree for my dd's room, haha. I think they're all good.

Here's one to get you started. They have all kinds. And pay no attention to the prices. Everything goes on sale with them, lol. Just make sure you order well before Black Friday, mercy. https://www.balsamhill.com/p/sugarlands-spruce-wide-artificial-christmas-tree?sku=2808248

Holy Cow!  How good is this sale?

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22 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

Holy Cow!  How good is this sale?

 

Right? That tree would have to last 34 years before it would make it worth buying over a real one at the tree farm here! 😳

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25 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

Holy Cow!  How good is this sale?

Yeah, 40-70% off plus coupons. 

But that's lit. I bought unlit. I was just trying to find something sorta the look she wanted. They have artistic trees and regular trees and all kinds. But the nice thing is you can filter them by the level of the higher end bristles, so you know what you're getting is what you wanted. My guests are pretty picky, so I needed something that no one would walk up to and figure out. It was fine. Not romantic or unique like our real trees, but fine. And lighting it yourself isn't a big deal. Learn the pie wedge technique and it goes quickly. Then you can get the blend you like of twinkle and regular lights, etc.

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5 minutes ago, AmandaVT said:

 

Right? That tree would have to last 34 years before it would make it worth buying over a real one at the tree farm here! 😳

Haha, unfortunately this thing probably will, lol. I'm a change, variety person myself, but you can't do that with a boughten tree. Hence my walmart fun tree. I'll probably get some more fun trees. 

No, I did it for my asthma, and dh realized he could put up with it. I don't know if we'll try a live tree again at some point. The convenience is really nice. And it's not actually *that* much more expensive. We usually pay $100-150 for a live tree of that height (9-11+), and I think we paid $600 and $800. I don't really remember. But basically it was just a few years to break even. And it stopped my month of asthma from the trees.

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The other thing to watch, besides % of high end bristles, is the width of the tree and the light counts. On prelit the light counts vary with higher and lower end trees. For the taller trees (9-11'), you may have some assumptions about width. For our space, width was important to making it look real. I like the narrow, elegant trees, but we needed wide. And I liked that the BH site had all that data upfront, so you could compare your trees and not be guessing or wondering. 

They'll also send you sample branch packs for a small deposit. I just looked at them a lot and then looked at things in the stores till what I was seeing made sense. But getting the sample packs could be wise. I know someone who, ahem, sorta had some returns and unhappy first attempts, lol. 

The trees are so pretty, I really wish I had gotten DIFFERENT trees, if that makes sense. I just got them both the same, but the variety would be fun too.

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7 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Haha, unfortunately this thing probably will, lol. I'm a change, variety person myself, but you can't do that with a boughten tree. Hence my walmart fun tree. I'll probably get some more fun trees. 

No, I did it for my asthma, and dh realized he could put up with it. I don't know if we'll try a live tree again at some point. The convenience is really nice. And it's not actually *that* much more expensive. We usually pay $100-150 for a live tree of that height (9-11+), and I think we paid $600 and $800. I don't really remember. But basically it was just a few years to break even. And it stopped my month of asthma from the trees.

 

We're pretty lucky - we have a great tree farm where we can cut our own every year and the price just went from $30-$35 for any sized tree. DH and DS a few years ago. 🙂

 

1417453039_ScreenShot2019-09-15at8_44_33PM.thumb.png.4000838bfb2a86bfce3022a5cc9bb782.png

 

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32 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

The other thing to watch, besides % of high end bristles, is the width of the tree and the light counts. On prelit the light counts vary with higher and lower end trees. For the taller trees (9-11'), you may have some assumptions about width. For our space, width was important to making it look real. I like the narrow, elegant trees, but we needed wide. And I liked that the BH site had all that data upfront, so you could compare your trees and not be guessing or wondering. 

They'll also send you sample branch packs for a small deposit. I just looked at them a lot and then looked at things in the stores till what I was seeing made sense. But getting the sample packs could be wise. I know someone who, ahem, sorta had some returns and unhappy first attempts, lol. 

The trees are so pretty, I really wish I had gotten DIFFERENT trees, if that makes sense. I just got them both the same, but the variety would be fun too.

I'm tracking width of each of the trees.  I've seen 63" -  80" so far for 9', and none of those are "narrow".

I'm less concerned about tip count -  I detest sheered trees, and it seems the more tips the more it looks like a sheered tree. I'm very focused on shape.  probably fewer lights rather than more.  the last couple years we've done my "snowflake" tree, not my eclectic school art day to Christopher radko, 'vintage' to modern...

I looked at trees at all the stores last year -I didn't like any of them. (even Costco's was more "sheered look".)  I'd seen one two years ago - when I wasn't buying one - at lowes? homedepot?  that was really promising

 

eta: the tree I currently have - I finally took a pair of 'pruners' to it and cut out a bunch of branches.

Edited by gardenmom5
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4 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

I looked at trees at all the stores last year -I didn't like any of them. (even Costco's was more "sheered look".) 

Ok, what is a sheered look? You mean like very regular? BH has some trees that are trying to be more artistic like that. They're not bad, like not dish scrubber perfect, but yeah they're not as unique as natural, sigh.

5 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

eta: the tree I currently have - I finally took a pair of 'pruners' to it and cut out a bunch of branches.

LOL That works!

6 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

I'd seen one two years ago - when I wasn't buying one - at lowes? homedepot?  that was really promising

They might have them up on their sites already. At least then you could compare what you thought you were remembering...

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

Ok, what is a sheered look? You mean like very regular? BH has some trees that are trying to be more artistic like that. They're not bad, like not dish scrubber perfect, but yeah they're not as unique as natural, sigh.

LOL That works!

They might have them up on their sites already. At least then you could compare what you thought you were remembering...

sheered = the "perfect" pyramid. they're dense, and very hard to decorate.  they don't look like a tree you'd actually find in nature.  (but I don't like pruned azaleas either)  I hate them.  that is the dominant style right now.

I've been on their sites - as well as a number of manufacturers sites.  and Costco has their trees up.  same tree - just range from 7 1/2' - 12'.

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1 minute ago, gardenmom5 said:

they don't look like a tree you'd actually find in nature. 

Yeah BH tries and they actually model their trees on photographed real trees. Some of their newer trees are more varied like that. 

Maybe just buy the amazon tree and try it? I mean, I've done all sizes of trees in my space. At that price, it's a reasonably good deal.

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5 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Yeah BH tries and they actually model their trees on photographed real trees. Some of their newer trees are more varied like that. 

Maybe just buy the amazon tree and try it? I mean, I've done all sizes of trees in my space. At that price, it's a reasonably good deal.

I have a vaulted ceiling - 7 1/2' is just too short.  and... I really don't want to do lights.

BH does have an alpine balsam....  it does look like something you'd see at the tree line.....  dh would probably say it looks like  a snoopy tree (he did about a different one. - that I actually liked better.)

maybe I didn't scroll through their site as much as I thought - I found this one.     of course, it's not in stock.... (GRRRRRR). kinda pricey though.

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4 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

I wondered if you'd like that one. 

The other tree has a notify option. I would *think* it would come in. I ordered my trees in maybe Sept/Oct and they came quickly, without incident. I think only people who wait for Black Friday deals get frustrated by things bogging down, wanting their trees sooner. 

Did you check the clearance section?

I dream of short, fat trees, hehe...

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Fwiw, I'm guessing my trees are this https://www.balsamhill.com/p/classic-blue-spruce-artificial-christmas-tree?sku=5022200  They're probably not what you want, but they really don't look too bad. They're the type of tree we'd get anyway, and our great room is big enough that people really don't notice unless they go sniff.

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Bigger tree in the vault, smaller tree in the entry. Not horrible, just not magical or unique. Maybe my asthma has been under control enough to do a real one, I don't know. The other thing is the really full fake trees have to be FLUFFED. Hours of work. It's kind of methodical, but it's work. So a trim tree could be kinda smart in that sense, because less tips = less fluffing.

IMG_3969.thumb.JPG.6bba6659a89df358404b0dd6ecc54e7e.JPG

 

 

IMG_3973.thumb.JPG.44a7a3495f96144d37a3f89a79ae6d5b.JPG

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1 hour ago, gardenmom5 said:

I've seen 63" -  80" so far for 9',

The balsam you liked is 52" at the 9'. So it's just a trick really to imagine what the tree will look like at that size.

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2 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

I wondered if you'd like that one. 

The other tree has a notify option. I would *think* it would come in. I ordered my trees in maybe Sept/Oct and they came quickly, without incident. I think only people who wait for Black Friday deals get frustrated by things bogging down, wanting their trees sooner. 

Did you check the clearance section?

I dream of short, fat trees, hehe...

I did the notify.  fingers crossed.

there were a couple (mt. and Biltmore), but meh....

now - I want to smell the noble or the alpine.....  the alpine fir I had in my yard, died.  (construction up the street changed the underground water flow) I loved smelling that thing when the sap was moving on a summer day. 

dh got a REALLY fat/thick noble one year.  (real).  2dd was 14 months, and climbing everything in site.  we joked it could defend itself from her. (it would have been a challenge for cats.)

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17 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

The balsam you liked is 52" at the 9'. So it's just a trick really to imagine what the tree will look like at that size.

dh would veto that alpine.   the narrowest I'm looking at is 64" at 9'.

then there's the Biltmore that's only 8' or 10'...  the one I like - that's not in stock - is 66".

we'll see... at least the widest are "only" 76", whereas on another site they were 80".

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dh doesn't like the "Yukon" - as it's too lopsided.  we may or may not end up getting a tree this year.  but will keep looking.

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We got a new fake tree (prelit) last year, and it was a miserable experience.  I’m not a big fan to begin with, and I just can’t understand why they make so many ugly ones!!!

 

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I really liked that tree too, or at least one very similar, when I was shopping for a new one last fall.  It hurt my heart too because it was too wide and 6 inches too tall for my tight space. I feel you, GMo'5, I feel you.

I'll never own a prelit tree again.  It's just something to go wrong before the tree needs replacing.

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