Welcome to our big Christmas tree test 2019, where we present all the Christmas trees we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and also added a summary of customer reviews on the web. With this, we would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best Christmas tree for you.
You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a Christmas tree.
The most important facts
- The Christmas tree has been an integral part of Christmas for quite some time. In general, you can choose between a fir, a spruce and an artificial Christmas tree.
- If you don't want to dispose of your Christmas tree every year, you can opt for a living tree in a pot that can be used for many years and also transplanted into the garden.
- Both during transport home and throughout its time in the living room, the Christmas tree must be secured and protected from heat and flames.
- 1 The most important facts
- 2 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 3 The Best Christmas Tree: Our Picks
- 4 Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a Christmas tree
- 5 Decision: What types of Christmas trees are there and which one is right for you?
- 6 Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate Christmas trees
- 7 Facts worth knowing about Christmas trees
The Best Christmas Tree: Our Picks
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a Christmas tree
What is behind the Christmas tree tradition?
It all began in the 14th century. Back then, the evergreen branches were considered a symbol of hope, protection and health during the gloomy time of the year. What was initially only affordable for the wealthy later became affordable for the lower classes as fir and spruce forests grew.
Since then, it has been impossible to imagine Christmas without it. Originally, the branches were decorated in green and red. These colours stand for hope and the blood of Christ that was shed.
Where can I buy a Christmas tree?
There you have the opportunity to choose between different types and sizes, to look at the Christmas tree on the spot and, if necessary, to test it for freshness. If you have any questions, the retailer will be happy to help. It is worth comparing prices at such stands, as traders often charge different prices depending on their location.
It is best to deal with the Christmas tree stand before you buy! If the trunk is too thick, it can still be trimmed at the dealer's if necessary.
There are also online options for ordering a Christmas tree. However, you have no way of checking the tree for good quality. Often the sellers do not offer a right of withdrawal, as real plants are perishable goods. On the internet, there is a particularly large selection of artificial Christmas trees that you might not find in the same size in furniture shops, etc. However, size and quality can also be difficult to find here. However, it is difficult to estimate the size and quality until the tree is finally in your room.
What does a Christmas tree cost?
In order to cover the annual demand for Christmas trees, special tree plantations are established. The path from sowing to the finished Christmas tree takes several years, depending on the desired height. A fir tree with a height of 2 metres needs up to 15 years before it can be felled and sold.
The fir is the most popular Christmas tree, but it is also the variety with the highest price. The spruce is a possible cheaper alternative to the fir. If you don't want to put a live tree in your home, you can also use a plastic Christmas tree.
They are a bit more expensive, but you can store them and use them again and again. Most sellers of Christmas trees also offer additional services, such as netting the tree. However, this is usually free of charge, as it is already included in the purchase price.
What are the alternatives to a Christmas tree?
The pallet Christmas tree
The pallet tree is simply made from a discarded wooden pallet on which a fir tree is painted with green paint. Decorate this Christmas tree with anything that can be nailed and hung on the pallet. Simply hammer small nails into the wood and hang the ornaments with loops. You can also wrap a string of lights around the individual panels. The pallet Christmas tree is either hung on the wall or simply placed in the room.
The Christmas tree ladder
This Christmas tree consists of individual sticks of different lengths that are arranged and attached in the design of an A-shaped ladder. That is, two long and sturdy sticks form the frame and are set up like an inverted V. You can then decorate the Christmas tree with fairy lights, garlands and ornaments to your heart's content. Between the two long, sturdy sticks that form the frame, place several shorter sticks that can be tied with ribbons or fastened with nails. Then place the Christmas tree on the wall.
The Christmas tree mobile
This variation consists of many baubles, which can be in one or more colours, the same size or different sizes. However, a little dexterity is required to make them.
For this you need a round metal grid, which is available for little money, a metal chain, transparent thread, decorative hooks and, of course, Christmas tree baubles. Cut the metal chain into three or four pieces of the same length. Attach these to the metal grid and the basic structure is ready. You can then attach it to a hook on the ceiling.
You can now attach the transparent threads to the grid, with a hook and a ball hanging from the end of each thread. The design is entirely up to you. The Christmas tree mobile doesn't take up much space and still offers enough room to place a whole bunch of presents underneath.
Decision: What types of Christmas trees are there and which one is right for you?
Christmas trees can be purchased in different shapes. The following are the common materials you can choose from:
These types differ in appearance and handling. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, which we will show you below.
What distinguishes a fir tree and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
The fir is the favourite among Christmas trees. Popular fir species are, for example, the Nordmann fir and the silver fir. The fir is characterised by its growth and rich colour. What is special about the fir is that its needles do not prick, but are flat and particularly soft. You should definitely take this into account if you have children who help decorate the tree or play near it.
The fir tree has a comparatively long shelf life; it often continues to give off its scent for several weeks without losing needles, even at room temperature. However, this also has its price. A fir tree generally needs 12 - 15 years before it is ready to be felled. Of course, this makes the tree a lot more expensive.
What distinguishes a spruce and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
The spruce was originally the commonly known Christmas tree before it was gradually replaced by the fir. But even today you can still put a spruce in your living room at Christmas.
The tree differs from the fir in some important ways. For example, it lacks the characteristic fragrance. The branches grow more or less regularly, depending on the variety, but their stability makes them well suited for real candles. The needles of a spruce sit around the strong branches and can sting when touched.
Tip: For safety, make sure to put on gloves when transporting.
This Christmas tree has a much shorter shelf life than a fir. The spruce begins to lose its needles after only a few days. It spends about 8 - 10 years in the plantation before it is put up for sale at a reasonable price.
What distinguishes a plastic Christmas tree and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
By now, they look so much like real trees that it is hard to tell the difference. But at the latest when you pay attention to the scent, it becomes obvious. For many people, the scent of fir trees is an integral part of the Christmas atmosphere, something that the plastic version unfortunately cannot offer. However, those who opt for this option save themselves the time-consuming task of cleaning and disposing of the tree at the end of its life.
The advantages of the plastic tree also include its comparatively low cost. Once purchased, the tree can be used for many years, which saves a lot of money in the long run. On the other hand, the plastic Christmas tree has to be stored all year round, which can often lead to space problems in homes. It is also important to invest in good quality, otherwise the Christmas tree will quickly look cheap and inferior.
Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate Christmas trees
In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate Christmas trees. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular Christmas tree is suitable for you or not. In summary, these are:
Before you go out to buy a Christmas tree, you should think carefully about what size is right for you. The tree should not be in the way so that it can fall over and should have enough distance to furnishings for fire safety reasons. It doesn't always have to be a big Christmas tree either, a small tree on a table or a chest of drawers creates a Christmassy atmosphere even in small flats.
The smallest Christmas trees are usually around 1 m high. They are particularly suitable if you have little space or a small budget, but still want to create a Christmas atmosphere in your home. The small tree also fits under slopes or can be placed on a table.
This Christmas tree is big enough to stand on its own and small enough to fit in less spacious homes. At this size, you can also go wild with decorations and place a few gifts underneath. Such a Christmas tree is also suitable for a terrace or balcony.
In order to be able to set up a 2 m high Christmas tree, a little more space is required, as it takes up a footprint of approximately 1.70 m x 1.70 m. The tree fits very well in high rooms. The tree fits very well in high rooms, for example in old buildings. Jewellery fans will find plenty of space to make their Christmas dreams come true.
The density of the branches is an important factor for a beautiful Christmas tree. The branches should not be too far apart, otherwise the tree will look sparse. If the branches have grown very densely, however, decorating can be made difficult, as there is no room for large baubles and the like. How densely the Christmas tree has grown also depends on the type of tree. We have listed the most popular types of Christmas trees here.
|Nordmann fir||regular, bushy||soft||expensive|
|Noble fir||compact, irregular||soft||expensive|
Needle growth also varies depending on the tree species. Firs have soft needles that grow laterally on the twigs, but the needles of spruces are usually short and prick.
If you want to enjoy your Christmas tree for as long as possible, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Buying the tree long before Christmas saves time and nerves in the stressful pre-Christmas period, but quickly puts an end to the joy of the beautiful greenery in the living room.
As a rule, the Christmas tree should be bought no earlier than two weeks before Christmas Day. Wholesalers usually cut their trees early to be able to meet the high demand. You can usually get fresher specimens from small producers.
Tip: Always ask the retailer when the tree was cut.
When buying, you can also check yourself whether the plant is still fresh. Always look at the cut surface of the trunk; the lighter the wood, the fresher the tree. You can also scrape off a small piece of the bark and see if the wood underneath is still moist. Another test you can do is the needle test. When you shake or move the branch, no needles should fall off yet. However, the durability also varies depending on the type of tree.
|Nordmann fir||very long (several weeks)|
|Noble fir||very long (several weeks)|
|Blue spruce||medium (2 - 3 weeks)|
|Spruce||low (few days)|
|Red spruce||low (few days)|
A nature-friendly alternative to a felled Christmas tree is the so-called "Living Christmas Tree". These are firs or spruces that are dug up together with the roots and thus last a long time in the pot. This way, the tree can also be planted in the garden after the festivities.
If it doesn't have to be a big tree, you can also buy a young tree in a pot and use it every year, so you can enjoy it for a long time and save a lot of money. However, this plant will require care for the rest of the year.
The support for the Christmas tree is almost as important as the tree itself. It must be stable and prevent the tree from tipping over, otherwise there is a high risk of fire. It is worth investing in good quality. Many stands have a water tank in the base, which on the one hand keeps the tree fresh longer and on the other hand gives the stand more weight.
The classic version of the tree stand consists of a cast iron cross into which the Christmas tree is clamped with the help of screws. However, these stands are often not easy to use and very inflexible as far as the thickness of the trunk is concerned. There is often no way around artfully sawing off the trunk. Newer models have a cable pull that holds the tree in position without much effort. A foot pedal secures the trunk firmly in the stand and you do not need any additional help to set it up.
Facts worth knowing about Christmas trees
How can you keep a Christmas tree fresh?
Here we have collected a few tips for you on how to keep your Christmas tree shining in its green splendour for as long as possible.
- Keep the tree cool at home until the party! This is best done outside on the terrace on the balcony or in the cellar.
- Keep the Christmas tree moist! To prevent the tree from drying out, leave it in the net, put it in a bucket of water and put it up no earlier than necessary.
- Avoid a temperature shock! Do not bring the Christmas tree directly from outside into a heated room. It is best to store it in the garage or cellar for a day.
- Use a stand with a water container! To ensure that the tree lasts as long as possible during and after the festivities, it is best to use a tree stand that can be filled with water. It is best to keep checking and re-watering.
- Avoid sources of heat! The heat from heating, fireplaces, etc. draws a lot of moisture from the Christmas tree and it dries out more quickly.
Cut a few centimetres off the trunk before putting it up so that the plant can absorb the water more easily.
What is the correct way to dispose of a Christmas tree?
Traditionally, the Christmas tree is disposed of at the end of the Christmas season, on 13 January. In Germany, trees are usually left until 6 January, the day of the Three Wise Men, while others continue to enjoy them until the beginning of February.
Before throwing away the Christmas tree, it should be completely decorated. Special care should be taken with tinsel, artificial snow and glitter sprays.
These materials should be disposed of properly, otherwise they can cause massive damage to the environment. Never simply leave the Christmas tree out in the forest or in nature, this can quickly earn you a fine. Many cities offer certain services free of charge after Christmas, such as options for disposal at the recycling centre or composting.
In many places, there are also special dates set aside for the municipality to collect the trees. Then all you have to do is leave the Christmas tree in front of your house on the right day, or bring it to collection points from where it will be picked up by the waste collection service.
These dates are usually already marked in your municipality's waste calendar. Another option would be to chop up the tree and put it in the organic waste bin or your own compost heap in the garden. If necessary, the Christmas tree can also be used as firewood for the stove and fireplace.
If you want to donate your tree to a good cause, you can also donate it to farms or zoos. However, it is best to ask in advance whether there is a need for the tree and make sure that it is an organic Christmas tree that has not been treated with chemicals.
Is it allowed to cut a Christmas tree yourself?
Wouldn't it be great to have a Christmas tree in your room that you have cut yourself? There are definitely places where it is allowed to cut down a tree yourself. But if you are not really sure, it is advisable to call the forestry office first and ask, otherwise you could be charged with damage to property and theft.
Often the forests are privately owned, in which case you have to ask the owner personally. However, some offer to cut a tree in their forest for a fee.
When felling a Christmas tree, it is advisable to go at least in pairs so that someone is on hand in case of an accident. As a rule, a forestry commissioner or the supplier is also on site to monitor whether everything is proceeding properly. To cut a tree, you also need the right tools. If you don't have an axe or saw, you can often borrow one directly from the supplier. Good gloves and a tape measure or folding rule are also useful.
How to transport a Christmas tree correctly?
If you plan to transport the Christmas tree by car, you must take a few safety precautions to ensure that it does not slip and become a danger to you and other road users. In such cases, there is also a risk of fines. You must comply with the following safety regulations:
- The tree must not protrude more than 1.50 m when transported in the boot or on the roof
- If the top protrudes more than 1 m at the rear, it must be visibly marked with a red flag, board or cloth
- Headlights, indicators, front and rear windows must not be covered by branches
- When transporting on the roof, the tree must be well secured to the luggage carrier with tension straps
The top of the Christmas tree should always point backwards. When transporting in the boot, it is best to fold the seats down so that the tree protrudes as little as possible from the back. If the Christmas tree is transported on the roof of the car, you should wrap it in foil or a blanket so that it does not lose moisture in the wind.
What to do if there is a fire?
A Christmas tree that is suddenly ablaze is probably one of the nightmares of the Christmas season. Fire prevention should never be underestimated, as fire spreads rapidly in living spaces. You should always take care to keep the tree away from other flammable materials, don't let candles burn all the way down and be careful that fairy lights don't overheat. Children and animals can also be a potential source of danger.
Always have a fire extinguisher, a fire blanket or at least a bucket of water ready as long as the tree is in the living room and especially if candles are burning on it!
Since Christmas trees usually remain in the room for several days or even weeks, you should also be especially careful after the festivities. The plants dry out quickly and should never be left unattended near candles, fireplaces, etc. The dry needles catch extremely quickly. The dry needles catch fire extremely quickly and act like a fire accelerant.
If the tree actually starts to burn, alert the fire brigade immediately! As a first measure, fire extinguishers, water or a special fire blanket thrown over the fire will help. If the fire cannot be extinguished in the shortest possible time, leave the home immediately.
The smoke and soot can cause great damage to the respiratory tract and cannot be kept out even by cloths in front of the face. Caution: Even if you think you have already extinguished the fire, always alert the fire brigade! Only special cameras can detect hidden sources of fire.
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