SIREN Web Exclusive: Real or Fake? The Great Christmas Tree Debate

By Sam McDanel and Marena McCollough

SIREN staff

Picture this – it’s Christmas Eve and the fireplace is crackling. The stockings hang, just waiting to be filled, and the tree is decorated with bright bulbs and lights.

But is it real or fake?

Over the years, there’ve been debate about which type of tree is better, but they both have their pros and cons.

Real Christmas trees have a few upsides. They fill the house with the scent of pine, and they can be a lot of fun to cut down yourself. More than 25 million trees a year are also planted to help our environment — so the more purchases, the more our oxygen level improves.

Unfortunately, real trees do have significant downsides. Real trees can be very pricy – sometimes as much as $10 a foot. They also can cover the house with pine needles, which become a pain to clean up. And they can be high maintenance, with constant watering necessary.

Artificial trees clear up many of the problems presented by real trees, while creating some new issues. Artificial trees are very “low maintenance” — you just put them up and you’re done! No watering or trimming required. It also helps those who are allergic to natural pine.

The downsides would be storage, price, and assembly.  Artificial trees can be anywhere from $50 to $500, compared to the price of a natural tree, at around $30 to $75. You also have to take a few hours every year to disassemble and reassemble the artificial tree.

We polled a class of Lincoln Park students, asking what they thought about this debate. Real trees beat fake trees by 60 to 40 percent.

Whether it’s fake or real, the Christmas tree is a household holiday staple. It’s a tradition beloved by many.