Christmas 2014: 13 best artificial trees

Love the sparkle of a Christmas tree, but hate the mess of a real one? It's time to make an investment in an artificial alternative

Since their invention in the early 1930s, artificial Christmas trees have become increasingly popular. One of the biggest advantages is the cost savings; you pay out only once, yet your tree can be used year after year. They’re convenient, too, with modern ones requiring very little assembly time, and most store away easily. Plus, they’re less messy and they don’t need watering.

If you’re looking to buy one, think about whether you want it to look like the real thing, whether you want it pre-lit, whether it's for outside or in, and, of course, the size.

1. Vermont White Spruce: from £189, Balsam Hill

Balsam Hill Vermont White Spruce.jpg

This is the most authentic-looking tree we’ve seen – some branches are even hand-painted. But that’s not all that justifies the large price tag. It’s also got pre-attached lights in a choice of candlelit or multi-coloured and it assembles in just four minutes. There’s plenty of options with sizing, too, ranging from 4.5’ to 9’.

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2. Washed Wood Swivel Tree: £35, John Lewis

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New this year, this avant-garde tree is crafted out of washed wood. Bound to bring some Christmas cheer, it’s designed to be fanned out and decorated as you see fit. It stores nice and flat, which is handy too.

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3. Bay Berry Spruce: £50, Aldi

Aldi Bay Berry Spruce.jpg

This only comes in one size – six foot – and the branches need quite a bit of separating to get a decent shape, but it’s unbelievable value for a solid tree that is easy to put together in the metal stand. The zip-up storage bag means it won’t collect dust the rest of the year.

Available in store

4. Ullswater Snow Tip: £150, Tesco

Dobbies Ullswater Snow Tip Tree.jpg

This 2.7 metre tree isn’t the best tree if you like hanging oodles of baubles as the full, dense branches make decoration a tricky task, but the shape looks fantastic and it comes with decorative pine cones already included on its hinged branches.

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5. Snow Effect Pink Tree: £25, Marks & Spencer


Add a bit of camp to your Christmas with this 3ft pink tree. Great for something more vibrant and contemporary than the traditional green options, it will add a bit of gaiety to your yuletide decorations, while the stylish snow  effect is really pretty.

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6. National Tree Company Liberty Pine: from £130, Hayes Garden World

National Tree Company Pre-lit Liberty Pine.jpg

The varying shades of green, together with the snowy effect and pine-cones, give this full tree with thick branches a real wow factor. There are all kinds of options – slim shape, pre-lit and pre-decorated among them. There are plenty of sizes too, starting from five foot.

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7. Neptune Copper and Green Tree: £52, Habitat


If you find traditional trees too twee, this contemporary alternative should hit the mark; its subtle, sophisticated impact that works particularly well in a minimalist home. It’s available in two sizes and made from Lurex-wrapped metal.

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8. Green Pencil Pine: £25, amazon


No room for a Christmas tree? Turns out you might do after all. This space saving option is thin, but tall enough to still be eye-catching. With a maximum diameter of just 60cm, you can surely find a corner to squeeze it in to turn your room into a winter wonderland. It’s quick to put up and currently on special offer.

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9. Five Foot Half Tree with Snow: £40, Tesco


Homebase has come up trumps with this snow covered half tree. It’s unusual enough to make it a great talking point, but its nice average size means it fits in most homes. There are enough branches to give it a fresh feel every year with different decorations or just leave it au naturale.

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10. Recycled Cardboard Tree: £81, Etsy


Make an eco-statement with this modern and unique tree that’s made of 100 per cent natural recycled cardboard. Available in white, green or brown, it can easily be stored away flat under a bed in just six pieces and comes in different sizes too. Add lights to make it twinkle in the dark.

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11. B&Q Pre-Lit Pop-Up Tree: £28, B&Q


Can’t be bothered with the thought of tangled lights and broken baubles? Check out this pop-up, pre-decorated and pre-lit tree that comes in either black, white, green or gold. Even though it’s 6ft, it’s tall and thin, meaning that it fits into the smallest of rooms, instantly giving it a yuletide lift.

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12. Flocked Pre-Lit Downswept Pine: £134, Very


Another tree that’s quick and easy to put together, this one’s appeal comes from the gently sloping, snow-brushed branches that make you feel instantly festive. Available in two sizes – six foot and seven foot – it comes in three sections for easy assembly and  it’s easy to store away, too.

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13. Linea Six Foot Flocked Whistler Tree: £105, House Of Fraser

House of Fraser.jpg

Finished with a light dusting, this snowy tree looks surprisingly natural and, unlike many artificial Christmas trees, there is absolutely no mess when you assemble it. Providing a cosy and instantly festive atmosphere, it is currently heavily discounted and available in six, seven or eight foot.

Buy now

Verdict: The Balsam Hill Vermont White Spruce is the most authentic-looking tree we’ve seen, while the Neptune Copper and Green Tree is fabulous for something a bit different.

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