Real or Fake Christmas Trees?

We’re getting ready to rock around the Christmas tree but if you haven’t already bought yours, are you wondering whether to go for a real or fake Christmas tree? Do you know just how environmentally friendly a real tree actually is and how it compares to a fake one? We have all the facts plus how to get rid of your real tree in an environmentally friendly way. Read on…

Sisters with real tree

The Facts

An artificial tree is normally made from plastic which comes from oil which makes up for two thirds of its carbon footprint. A further quarter of its environmental impact comes from the industrial emissions when it is being manufactured.

A 2m artificial tree has a carbon footprint equivalent of 40kg of greenhouse gas emissions. This is TWICE the level of a real tree which is disposed of in landfill. However if you choose a more environmentally friendly way of disposing of your tree such as burning it then a fake tree has TEN times more emissions. In other words, if you have an artificial tree you would need to re-use if for at least ten years before it became as good an option as a real tree.

Real christmas tree facts

The way in which you dispose of your real tree is the most important factor. If you burn your tree on your bonfire, plant it or get it chipped it reduces its greenhouse emissions by up to 80%!

Benefits of an artificial tree:

Benefits of a real tree:

Daddy and I with a real Christmas tree

Daddy and I with a real Christmas tree


For us at Vialii Towers, real always wins. And we have a wonderful option for disposal thanks to our local Scouts who collect them each year and then arrange for them to be chipped and the mulch used locally.

If you need tips on what variety of real Christmas tree suits you best then read my blog all about it.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and many happy times around your Christmas tree, whatever kind you have.

Lulu & Tilda xx

Fir Trade!

I am soooo excited. You may have noticed Santa is busy getting ready for Christmas and is making lots of appearances at garden centres, shopping centres and even on trains! There is only five weeks to go so you better get your letters written and brush up on your good behaviour. One of my favourite things about Christmas is the tree, especially trying to climb it! There are lots of questions about whether a real or artificial tree is better for the environment, which variety of real Christmas tree to get, how to stop the needles falling off etc. So as usual, I’m at hand to answer all your questions as well as give you a little Christmas Tree decoration project to do…

Daddy and I with a real Christmas tree

Daddy and I with a real Christmas tree

Real or Artificial?

Now whilst some may claim that an artificial tree is better for the environment as you re-use it every year, there is still a huge impact on the environment by making it in the first place. Most are made from PVC which, from an environmental perspective, is a pretty horrible material. When you are fed up with your artificial tree and you throw it out, it will likely linger in land-fill for CENTURIES – not a great legacy to leave behind! Also, there is the carbon footprint to consider as most of the trees are made in the Far East and have to be shipped over here.

At Vialii, we believe that a real Christmas tree is much more environmentally friendly as long as you buy it local to where it was grown and that there is a re-planting commitment for all trees that are felled. Plus they smell lovely! A good quality, freshly cut tree can last up to 6 weeks if well looked after so don’t worry that you can’t put your tree up as early as the fakers! If I’m not convincing enough, consider this…A study in 2009 (Ellipsos) concluded that a 7-foot cut tree’s impact on climate is 60 percent less than a 7-foot artificial tree used for six years.

Living Christmas Tree

You can buy a live tree (with roots) but you can only have it indoors for a very short time and you will need to keep it in a cool place as it will come out of its dormant phase (in other words wake up!) and may not survive when you plant it back outdoors in the cold. If you are putting a live tree back outside you will need to acclimatise it back into the cold. If you find a supplier of cut trees who will plant lots more trees for every one they sell we think that’s the best compromise.

What's the best type of Christmas tree for you?

What’s the best type of Christmas tree for you?


What is the best type of real Christmas tree to buy?

OK, now that we have convinced you to get real, which variety should you opt for? Here are a few of the most common Christmas trees you will find for sale and some of their key features:

Nordmann Fir – the King of the Christmas Tree accounting for a huge 80% of UK sales. It has lovely deep green foliage on the top and blue underneath. It has lovely symmetry and shape and is less likely to drop its needles.

Norway Spruce – another popular choice and one which has a lovely smell. This one can be more likely to drop its needles so watch out and don’t buy it too early.

If you can find it, the Noble Fir is a great choice for needle loss, branch firmness, scent and the softness of the needles.

Fraser Fir – this one has a pyramid shape and soft needles which can be more family friendly. It has flat green needles and can be narrow making it a good choice to smaller spaces.

Top tips for looking after your real Christmas tree:

Now that I have helped you choose your Christmas tree, here is a fun project to make your own Christmas tree decoration…

Hand Print Santa Decoration

You will need:

To make:

1. Ask your grown up to help you draw round your hand on some white card then cut it out. This will be the beard.


Draw round your hand on a piece of white card

Draw round your hand on a piece of white card

2. Cut out an oval shaped face from the pink card (or use more of the white card and paint it pink or glue on some pink paper).

 Here I am gluing some pink paper to my Santa's head

Here I am gluing some pink paper to my Santa’s head

3. Cut a hat shape from the red card (or use white card and glue on your red fabric/paper). Glue some cotton wool along the bottom of the hat and a cotton wool pom pom to the top.

 Make your santa hat. I added some red tissue paper to mine and cotton wool.

Make your santa hat. I added some red tissue paper to mine and cotton wool.

4. Glue your cut-out hand (the beard) to the bottom of the face and glue the hat to the top of the face. Glue the googly eyes onto the face and attach the ribbon so that you can hang it on your tree.

I love a googly eye!

I love a googly eye!

5. Hang your beautiful hand-made decoration on your tree. Lovely for Christmas and a wonderful keep-sake.

Our Santa Hand Christmas tree decoratio

Our Santa Hand Christmas tree decoratio

Remember, don’t be naughty…I’d love to see pictures of your Christmas trees and your own hand made decorations so please send them to me.


Thank you to for the inspiration behind this decoration