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The Great Christmas Debate - #2 Real Tree Vs. Fake Tree

  • 17-09-2018 8:23am
    Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 23,528 Mod ✭✭✭✭Loughc

    So here we are week number 2 in the Great Christmas Debate Series.

    We are under the 100 Day mark in the countdown and are getting closer to October!

    This week we have another classic debate, Real or Fake... trees?

    Real Trees have that glorious Christmas Tree smell that fills a room with Christmas cheer... but they shed, wither and require a bit of upkeep and maintenance to survive the Christmas period.


    The Artificial Christmas trees while over time are more inexpensive, you can have them up for longer and are easier to move and maintain but they are a pain to store away, often look a bit glum after a few years and have no wonderful scent.


    Rules, if you're voting we'd love to hear your reasons why for voting. Poll will close next Monday morning and the winner will be announced then.

    Let the great Christmas Debate, begin!

    Real Tree or Fake Tree? 25 votes

    AlunMoonbeamThe Ritzomb0wyn5ehpij9Mickerooronan.hBullBauldDavyD_83TootsRentDayBluesStaph0ph0rce0toutsvan_beanoZubeneschamalijonnybravoFolie a deuxJude13DigsTheShow 25 votes



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,727 ✭✭✭Jude13

    I've voted real. The reason being is that the whole idea of having a tree is the fact that its a real thing, in anyone's dream Christmas it would involve a real Christmas tree, with the smell and imperfections. It's an occasion and has a presence. The smell alone brings back real memories, like the smell of turf or a pipe. A fake tree is a substitution for a real Christmas, one just finds it too much work so goes halfway. Like cooking dinner for people but ordering in and putting on your own plates.

    In saying that as the heat makes the tree dies in days, really days, plus the fact that they are 250 euro plus we go for a fake one, fake tree fake Christmas. We have yankee candles and scenticeles and kid ourselves that it smells almost the same but we all know it doesn't and chemicals just can't match the real thing. So we have a watered down experience for practical reasons, the own brand version of Christmas.

    If I was in a winter climate I would have a real one.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,005 ✭✭✭✭Toto Wolfcastle

    I voted for fake. I like the idea of real trees but the reality is very different. They’re hassle to bring home, leave pine needles everywhere and if you buy them too early and don’t have a water system they die. It can be hard to find a nice shape and size too.

    Our fake one is hassle-free. Three pieces plus the stand, looks the same when you take it down as it did when you put it up and the shape is perfect.

    Fake + scented candle.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,229 ✭✭✭CheerLouth

    I'm torn on this one! We have both! We have a fake one in our kitchen which we put up in early December & we have a real one in the sitting room that we put up about a week before Christmas!

    Decisions, decisions.....

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,111 ✭✭✭Lord Spence

    I personally prefer fake trees aswell, we have had family tree for 12 years now and that alone means something, it leans to one side now but that is part of its charm. Alas this year its getting relegated to the kitchen as its time for a new sitting room tree, any suggestions on the best place to buy a new fake tree would be greatly appreciated by the way.

  • Posts: 0 Nova Low Selenium

    I voted for real. Never had a fake one so the smell of a real tree is a huge part of the Christmas experience for me.

    When I was a kid and suffering through the final few days of school before the Christmas holidays, I'd stick my head into the living room every morning before leaving and breathe in the scent of Christmas. It made me feel so happy and excited that it got me through the boring school day.

    Also I've always helped my dad choose the tree. It's our tradition I suppose. Even now in my 30s and with my own home, I still always go with him to help him choose a tree for my parents house.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,512 ✭✭✭baby and crumble

    I've voted for fake and there's a few reasons.

    1) I appear to be allergic to the sap or something in a few different types of real trees. We had one last year and I had horrible welts all down my arm just from carrying it inside from the car.

    2) The needles. They go everywhere. I was hoovering the up from in between our floorbaords in frickin MAY.

    3) We have cats. It's bad enough trying to keep them from murdering the tree because of the lights and the glitter, but add in what they think is a real tree and all they do is try to climb it and eat it.

    4) I don't like how wonky real trees can look. I know some people think that's quite charming and it is, but our sitting room (the only place we could possibly fit a tree) is quite small and there's only one place we can realistically put it. We have a small little space and wonky trees just get in the way.

    5) I do like the smell, but in reality I pick up some really good pine scented candles (DW home and Sand & Fog do the best smelling and longest lasting scented candels ever, and they're always in TK Maxx) and that way I can control the smell.

    6) If I'm honest I know I could take care of the tree from one year to the next, re-pot it, all that jazz but I am lazy about gardening and I hate it so realistically whenever I've gotten a real tree it's dead by March and then I feel guilty. At least I can get a few years out of a nice fake tree.

  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,939 Mod ✭✭✭✭Moonbeam

    Definitely a real one but they are very expensive and logistics can be an issue,
    I I love the smell of them,the look of them and after christmas I love the smell of it burning in the fire!

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,014 ✭✭✭✭Mc Love

    Fake. They've a better shape, last longer and dont have the hassle going out in the cold to pick one and then transport it home!

  • Registered Users Posts: 35,024 ✭✭✭✭Baggly

    Fake. Environmentally its crazy we have an entire industry devoted to bringing trees into our house once a year so that they can slowly die.

    Also they are major hassle if you do bring them home. Sizing, cutting, loose needles. Its not worth it. Its a decorative part of Xmas.....its not like you are using it before pulping it into paper later. Its crazy to me how many trees are bought.

    Fake ones also look consistently better when decorated imo!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,727 ✭✭✭Jude13

    Um, the environmental angle doesn't work very well for a fake tree. Source crude oil, refine to petroleum, use the by product to make basic plastic raw materials, manufacture said plastic (all associated plant and machinery), ship from china. Use for x number of years, send to landfill for it to degrade for a few centuries.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,144 ✭✭✭TheShow

    Love the ritual of going down and picking out the tree. And the stories about the lobsided trees or too tall trees.
    Fake trees are easier, but don’t provide those memories year on year.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,597 ✭✭✭donegal_man

    In an ideal world it would be real however my son has a serious allergy so it has to be a simulated (don't like to call it 'fake') tree.

  • Hosted Moderators Posts: 22,828 ✭✭✭✭beertons

    I voted fake. They don't shed, you know it will fit, and you can hang the insence smelling fir sticks on them, so it seems to the nose that its a real one.

  • Registered Users Posts: 472 ✭✭Staph

    I voted for real as I love the smell and look of it. I have a water stand and this really helps with it looking good through out the season. I don't mind the extra effort involved, compared to a fake tree. In fact, I love all the aspects of picking it, transporting it and finally getting to appreciate it when its decorated. I love the natural shape of the real tree and I think fake trees have this weird conical shape that in no way represents a real one. The vacuuming of needles and topping up the water stand are totally worth it, as the alternative is having a fake tree.

  • Registered Users Posts: 35,024 ✭✭✭✭Baggly

    Jude13 wrote: »
    Um, the environmental angle doesn't work very well for a fake tree. Source crude oil, refine to petroleum, use the by product to make basic plastic raw materials, manufacture said plastic (all associated plant and machinery), ship from china. Use for x number of years, send to landfill for it to degrade for a few centuries.

    Its a one time cost though - and its very easy to keep a fake tree for decades. Added to that, a lot of the plastic we recycle can be used for fake trees (they dont require a high grade of plastic input).

    For real tree manufacture you can include the manufacturing cost of transport, cutting, disposal; not to mention the cost of local governments having to clean up ones that are dumped on the side of the road.

    We are literally growing trees to keep them in the house for a month before binning them.

    Waste is one thing, but needless waste is crazy.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,727 ✭✭✭Jude13

    Without going down a weird non christmassy track there's no comparison between the environmental impact of a plastic tree (made on the other side of the world mostly) to a biodegradable natural tree farmed in Ireland.

  • Registered Users Posts: 35,024 ✭✭✭✭Baggly

    I disagree but sure you are right in terms of its not in the spirit of the thread, so happy to agree to disagree :D

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,727 ✭✭✭Jude13

    Next you'll be telling me you like Roses, watch Mrs Brown's boys (and think its good), and say happy holidays!

  • Registered Users Posts: 35,024 ✭✭✭✭Baggly

    I hate Roses, i dont watch MBB (nor have i liked the snippets ive seen) and most definitely dont say happy holidays!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,727 ✭✭✭Jude13

    Back on the nice list it is then (Disclaimer: I have no influence on Santa's list)

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  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 11,426 Mod ✭✭✭✭miamee

    Although my heart says real, I voted fake. I've had the same one for over 10 years now and it still has a few years left in it yet. A lot of fake ones can look awful but mine looks good , I invested in it when I got it :D I do love the smell of a real one, it's the essence of Cchristmas but I couldn't justify the cost every year at what is already an expensive time of year.

    Side note: we got a new couchrecently, a corner one. But it now fills the corner where our Christmas tree normally goes so now we'll have to find a new spot for it :eek:

  • Registered Users Posts: 35,024 ✭✭✭✭Baggly

    Hang a yankee candle pine fir air freshener on it :D

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,708 ✭✭✭pawrick

    I go for fake, it's easier to get one which fits the room and there is less work involved.

    My preference though would be for no tree as I'm the one who has to set it up, decorate it and prevent the cats frying themselves when they inevitably chew the wires or eat the tinsel, it does make for a festive looking litter tray however.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,772 ✭✭✭✭Whispered

    I voted fake. I prefer the idea of real but I end up all stuffed up and headachey with them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,380 ✭✭✭chuckles30

    Fake for me - too much hassle trying to get a real one in and standing.  Also, I like my tree up in my sitting room from the Toy Show to Jan 7th.....there would be no green left!!  I also love the symmetry of the fake one.  Mine has done 12 Christmases so far and is still as good as day one.   It's in 2 sections, so easy to assemble - goes back in the box and back under the spare bed for the other 10.5 months of the year.  Still in the original box too!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,194 ✭✭✭DvB

    Artificial for me, and no qualms about admitting it. The one thing the real trees have going for them is the smell & that can be replicated now with candles & suchlike.
    I find the hassle surrounding real trees with their inconsistent appearance, them dying out if up longer than a week or 2 in centrally heated homes etc, the needles going everywhere & then the disposal afterwards is just too much hassle. I enjoy just being able to get our two out from the attic & decorating them without the grief of having to out buy one (at a total rip off price given what I saw last year) & transporting it home before I can decorate it.

    We always had an artificial tree growing up & it became almost an essential part of growing up & our famiy christmas, one year we broke with tradition & it simply wasnt the same, my mum ended up binning it (the scraggy looking real one) on Stephens Day & getting our trusted artificial one down instead, so I suspect I've been brainwashed somewhat in that regard!
    "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year" - Charles Dickens

  • Registered Users Posts: 35,024 ✭✭✭✭Baggly

    Lol - its like a member of the family you keep locked in the attic for 11 months of the year :D

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,172 ✭✭✭jellybear

    Oh this was a tough one!!
    I voted for fake. I'm a bit OCD about uniformity etc so aesthetically, a fake tree is more pleasing.
    I do love the smell of a real tree, but the shedding would drive me bonkers!

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,687 ✭✭✭✭Zubeneschamali

    Not even a question: real trees are real, fake trees are fake.

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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 23,528 Mod ✭✭✭✭Loughc

    I went for Fake myself, the ease, convenience and durability wins it for me for the fake tree.

    The idea of having to but a real tree every year stresses me out, and then worrying about buying it too early into the season, and then trying to find a good one at a good price, all and all too many stresses I would want at Christmas!