six of the best alternative christmas trees

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Indy Lifestyle Online
1 Dried flower tree, pounds 75 Terracotta pot from France with a "tree" made from red celosia. Difficult to hang things on, but that may make it even more attractive to minimalists. From Green & Pleasant, 129 Church Road, London SW13 and 1 Eastgate Court, 195 High Street, Guildford, Surrey.

2 Baby real tree, pounds 35 Here's one for people who get exhausted just thinking about Christmas. Green & Pleasant will find you a small fir tree, put it in a handsome terracotta pot and mail it to you. They will even decorate it for an extra pounds 10. From Green & Pleasant, as above, and mail order on 0181-741 1539.

3 Iron candlestick tree, pounds 16 Guaranteed not to shed any needles. If you think it looks a bit stark, wrap tinsel, ivy or ribbon round the wire. At 3ft high, the only drawback is that you may have trouble finding storage space for it during the rest of the year. From branches of Ikea.

4 Wood candlestick tree, pounds 4 Scandinavian in feel. Very small (about eight inches), very cheap, but rather sweet, it would look good on a dining- table or dotted round the house. The candles sit in metal cups so it won't burn the place down. Also from branches of Ikea.

5 Spiral twig tree, pounds 9.45 This has an attractive old-fashioned look, particularly when decorated with fake holly berries (pounds 1.65 a bunch) and traditional wooden decorations (pounds 9.95 for 30). All from the General Trading Company, 144 Sloane Street, London SW1, Cirencester and Bath. Available mail-order on 0171-730 7220.

6 Twig tree, pounds 45 (32in) A rustic alternative. You can either hang baubles on it or simply rest them among the branches. Comes in two sizes, and a groovy white version which looks particularly good with wild-coloured baubles. From branches of Habitat.

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