Christmas tree safety

The Christmas Tree Debate…Real vs Fake

In The Community

Dayton and Cincinnati have some amazing tree lots and options for cutting down you’re own tree, but do you want a live tree or an artificial tree??Each has its own charms and niches, which can make the decision tough for some. However, knowing the advantages and disadvantages of both types of trees can help make it an easier decision. So, here are the pros and cons of artificial and real Christmas trees:

Artificial Trees

A person can go to their local department store and buy an artificial tree. While this option might lack some of the charm and nostalgia a real tree provides, there are many benefits to going this route.


•Artificial trees are reusable year after year, making it the less expensive long-term option

• Likewise, they do not require disposal each year, contributing less waste to landfills.

• They are easy to install, dismantle, and store. Many nowadays come pre-lit and decorated, saving time.

• Less maintenance and mess, as they don’t need to be watered, and the needles will not fall out.

• Most of them are fire-retardant, so there are safety benefits, as well.

• Aesthetically, they appear almost identical to real trees. Some are very realistic!

• They will not trigger the same allergens that a real tree would.


• They collect dust, which could leave them a little more vulnerable to fires caused by candles and electrical malfunctions.

• The chemicals in artificial trees can be harmful to humans. Manufacturers can use polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, aluminum, and steel. PVC is fire-resistant but can contain especially harmful chemicals, like arsenic, lead, and phthalates (substances used to soften plastics), which are recognized endocrine disruptors.

• They are not recyclable or biodegradable, and their production adds to the carbon footprint.

Real Christmas Trees

When one thinks of the season, much of the time, a natural tree comes to mind. This is the option of nature and tradition. For many families, it’s a seasonal tradition every year to pick out their favorite tree before taking it home to decorate it with homemade ornaments and keepsakes. It is very easy to understand the appeal of a real Christmas tree, but they are not right for everybody.


• These are the trees that the tradition was based upon, and subsequently, they evoke a unique and subjective feeling that cannot be replicated by an artificial tree.

• Purchasing a real tree helps support U.S. farmers and transportation companies, as opposed to artificial trees that are primarily produced and shipped from overseas.

• There are thousands of tree recycling programs across the U.S, so it is not as wasteful as one might assume.

• Real Christmas trees are biodegradable, resulting in less environmental damage. Some communities have started experimenting with using them to help fight beach sand erosion.


• Buying a new tree every year means a greater total cost over time.

• Real trees require maintenance, such as watering and cleaning the fallen needles. Spilled water and rusting tree bases can damage flooring.

• They can harbor mold, fungi, and bugs.

• They are typically more prone to fires, especially when they’re not properly hydrated.

• They are frequently grown with pesticides that can be toxic to animals and, in some cases, people.

Final Verdict

In truth, there is no real “right answer.” Every family has its own needs, and those needs can change from year-to-year. An artificial tree can be seen as more of a long-term investment, but not everyone is looking for that convenience at the expense of the nostalgia and experiences that can come with a real tree. It is important to note that each has different safety implications. If not properly maintained, either option can present a fire hazard to families and their homes. Likewise, real trees can attract mold, fungi, pests, and allergens into the home. If your clients need fire and smoke, mold, or water damage cleanup during the holidays, refer them to PuroClean. We are on-call 24/7 and will respond immediately.

Last edited on 5th of November 2020