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You've probably got your ideal tree in mind: something that fills your front room, brings a touch of joy to a corner of your studio, or spotlights your family's favorite memories and traditions from years past. For many people, putting up the Christmas tree signals the start of the holiday season - some even leave their tree up year-round! Whether you're an early decorator, last-minute elf, or all-year-long Christmas fan, you'll want the right tree for your space and style.
However, finding the Christmas tree you want can leave you feeling a little Grinch-y. Brick-and-mortar stores have started displaying holiday merchandise earlier and earlier, and it's not uncommon to find trees out of stock before December even arrives. You could go the live tree route, but unless you've got a way to transport your Christmas tree from the lot to your home and a special water-holding stand to keep it from drying out, that won't be a hassle-free option either. (And that's definitely not a Christmas tree you can leave up year-round!)
Friday, September 17th
While Home Depot may not be the most glamorous place to buy a Christmas tree, it's definitely the best! (And besides, visitors to your home or office aren't going to care where you got your tree while they're oohing and aahing over how beautiful your decorations are.) Not only will you find more than 3000 artificial trees to choose from, but Home Depot is also the only store in our review that lets you order a fresh-cut tree with free delivery. Now that is the best of both worlds!
To shop the Home Depot online store, start either by clicking on one of the images (like Pre-Lit Christmas Trees, Most Realistic, or Color Changing) or by using the filters to narrow down the possibilities. You may already know the height of the Christmas tree you prefer, whether you'd like it to be a cedar or fir (or some other species), or if you'd prefer LED lights over incandescent ones. You'll get a super-browsable list of all the trees that match your specifications - and you may want to use the heart in the upper right corner to keep track of any styles you'd like to keep as favorites.
Each product page gives you an almost overwhelming level of detail, from 360° views to closeup images of branches; infographics showing you the height and base diameter, light count, realism level, tree shape and more; comparable trees for you to consider; and, of course, suggested accessories to decorate your tree.
Real Customer Comments
Because so many people buy their trees from Home Depot, you can also take advantage of what those customers have to say: most Christmas trees have shopper reviews and comments. The line we spotted with the most customer feedback (nearly 800 reviews!) was the Dunhill Fir Pre-Lit Tree with Clear Mini Lights. Available in heights ranging from 4.5' to 12' and corresponding prices from $129 to $579, most shoppers gave it a rating of 4 or 5 stars. You may also want to scroll way down the product page, where you'll often find images submitted by customers showing how the trees look in their homes.
Getting Your Tree Is Super Easy
Home Depot makes it ridiculously easy to get the Christmas tree you want. Because they're likely to have a brick-and-mortar location near you, chances are good that you can order online and pick up your order on the same day if you need a tree in a hurry. In fact, in our location, there were more than 60 trees available for in-store same-day pickup. Many styles could be scheduled for complimentary delivery from a nearby store, while most of the rest were available with free shipping.
And, returns are just as easy, especially if you've got a Home Depot down the street. The retailer accepts returns on all new, unopened merchandise within 180 days of purchase. Some items are eligible for online returns (i.e. you'll get a prepaid shipping label to send them back), but it was difficult to see which Christmas trees might qualify without buying them first.
Live Christmas Trees Also Available
What about ordering those live trees? On the main Christmas Trees page on the Home Depot site, look for a box that says "Order Your Fresh-Cut Christmas Tree Online Today" with an orange "Shop Now" button. Can you believe there were more than 50 options, from traditional Fraser and Douglas firs to potted pines, fresh garlands and wreaths, and holiday plants? Some were available for delivery, while others were in-store only. Still, if you're on the fence about whether to buy an artificial tree or a live one, Home Depot's got you covered either way - and you won't even have to strap it to the roof of your car!
Given that this is such a large retailer, it's no surprise that Home Depot has its fair share of complaints registered with the Better Business Bureau. However, the BBB still gives the company a near-perfect "A" rating and accreditation, and your shopping experience isn't likely to have the same issues people reported having when buying from specific retail locations (such as problems with employees).
Selection? Pricing? Options for buying live trees? You've got all that and more, because Home Depot is your one-stop shop for any kind of Christmas tree you could possibly want. There's no other retailer - specialty Christmas market or big-box store - that can match them. For your perfect Christmas tree, you'll want to start your search with Home Depot.
Wayfair gives total truth in advertising when even their search bar says they have "anything home": if you need something to change up your decor, solve a pesky problem, or just have some fun, this retailer certainly has many options. Their Christmas tree selection is the most extensive by far, with more than 8000 to choose from.
Everything From The Affordable To The Super Expensive
Because Wayfair has been featured in so many of our reviews, we've discovered that our favorite way to explore is to look up the most expensive item in a given product category. When it comes to Christmas trees, Wayfair's highest-end tree is the ginormous 20' Giant Tree Clear LED from Holiday Tree, priced at "just" $7,699.99 (with free shipping!). It wasn't a big shock that there were no customer reviews - because how many people, or businesses even, want a tree of that size? - but we were surprised that there was only one left in stock at the time of our review. That lucky last customer will be grateful for the free delivery on this Christmas tree, which weighs in at almost 670 pounds!
Sort By Customer Rating
Another good way to shop Wayfair is to sort the Christmas trees by customer rating. The "Wayfair's Choice" line of trees, with more than 6000 customer reviews averaging 4.6 stars, is the Norwood Fir Green Spruce Artificial Christmas Tree with White Lights, made by Beachcrest Home. From $66.99 for a 4'5" tree to $254.99 for a 9' tree, you'll find them to be affordably priced. We also noticed that Wayfair had "open box outlet" pricing on some of these Christmas trees. For example, the 7' tree had a retail price of $284.99, a Wayfair everyday price of $133.99, and an outlet price starting at $50.24. If you're trying to decorate for the holidays on a budget, this could be a fantastic way to save.
Helpful Christmas Tree Filters
Despite having thousands of trees to choose from, you won't be overwhelmed by the shopping experience on this site. You can easily filter the products by tree size, shape, decoration/type (tinsel trees, pre-lit or pre-decorated, and so on), needle color, and light color/tone. You can also click the little heart in the upper right corner of each product image to save any favorites to keep in mind.
You'll get free shipping on all orders over $35 at Wayfair - which, other than the smallest tabletop-style trees, includes all of the Christmas trees they sell. This store also offers frequent discount codes; you may even get some in your USPS mailbox or spot one online in a social media ad.
Some Customer Issues
Our only hesitation with shopping at Wayfair for a Christmas tree is their slightly lackluster reputation for customer service. While returns are accepted within 30 days of delivery on any products not on clearance or that you've already assembled, there's no shortage of customers that say getting a refund can be a challenge. We also spotted complaints about large items being delivered with pieces missing or broken, and Wayfair hasn't taken care of it in a timely fashion. Most large retailers receive an equally large share of negative reviews, but the Better Business Bureau gives Wayfair a less-than-impressive "B" rating due to the more than 1200 complaints registered against the company in the 12 months preceding this review.
Great Choice For Your Tree
Our recommendation? Choose a Christmas tree from Wayfair that has several hundred positive customer reviews. That way, you're more likely to have one that is exactly as advertised, straight out of the box - with no need to try your luck with Wayfair's customer service team. We still give this retailer one of our highest rankings, mostly because you won't get a better selection of Christmas trees anywhere else.
Balsam Hill is on a holiday mission: to offer the most realistic Christmas trees, wreaths and garlands ever made. This is a higher-end retailer, and it shows.
One Of Our Favorites
We could tell that Balsam Hill put a lot of thought and effort into their online storefront. It's one of our favorite shopping experiences, mostly because everything is extremely visual - from depictions of the three different types of tree needles, light options, and tree shapes, to images that rotate if you hover over them with the mouse (e.g. full tree view, close-up of branches, etc.). You'll find even more detail on individual product pages - equally visually-appealing and intuitive in design.
Branch Samples Available
Most of the trees you see come in multiple heights, which you'll see in greater detail when you choose a style of Christmas tree that interests you. If you want to get a better idea of the branches, consider ordering a branch sample kit for $19. It comes with samples from 24 different Balsam Hill trees, and BH will deduct the cost of the kit from your tree purchase. We didn't find this service offered by any other Christmas tree retailer on the market - just another indicator of this retailer's desire to provide a top-notch experience for their customers.
Onsite Sales Available
During our most recent visit to the Balsam Hill online store, there was a sale offering up to 50% off and free shipping. There were more than 400 Christmas trees included in that promotion, like a traditional 6.5' unlit Classic Blue Spruce for just $199 (originally $499) and a 10' Fraser Fir with clear LED lights for $1399 (originally $1899). Be sure to take a peek at the top of the site when you shop, in case there are any sales or discounts you might like.
One Of The Most Expensive Stores...
You may want to snag one of those discounts, because Balsam Hill Christmas trees are some of the most expensive in our review. Almost half of the trees they sell are priced over $800, with their highest-priced model being the 18' California Baby Redwood for $7499 (sale price, originally priced at $9499). The most economical Christmas tree for sale is the 4.5' Classic Blue Spruce, discounted to $149 from a regular price of $299.
...but The Quality Is Top-notch
But, loyal Balsam Hill customers would say their trees are worth the extra money. One feature you'll find that is particularly popular is the "Flip Tree": BH describes it as "stored upside-down on a built-in rolling stand" that "flips into display position in seconds for unmatched ease of setup". That's right: no more painstakingly inserting each branch, or trying to fit the topper into the base with these trees. Naturally, that convenience makes for a more expensive Christmas tree, but think of the time and hassle you'll save.
3 Year Warranty
Plus, Balsam Hill warranties all of their trees for three years - and that includes repair or replacement of lights on pre-lit trees. Remember how aggravated you felt after your lights burned out after just one season? You won't have that experience again with a Balsam Hill Christmas tree (well, at least not for three years!).
Simple Return Policy
Alternately, if you need to return your tree, you'll have the standard 30 days from the date of delivery to get it back - or before Christmas Day, whichever comes first. You can pay $25 for a prepaid return label, or if you plan on exchanging your Christmas tree for something of equal or higher value, Balsam Hill will cover that cost.
A Christmas Tree You'll Love
There's so much to love about the Christmas trees at Balsam Hill, from unique set-up features to stunningly realistic branches that may even fool you into thinking they're fresh from the tree farm. You'll definitely spend more for a Balsam Hill tree, but you're going to love it for many years to come.
You don't have to be an arts-and-crafts person to appreciate the Christmas tree selection at Michaels. While you can add as much DIY to your holiday decor as you like - and this store has all of the extras to help you get it done - there are almost 800 trees to use as your canvas, so to speak.
Simplify Your Christmas Tree Search
The Michaels site isn't overly flashy, but it does simplify the process of finding the right Christmas tree. Instead of browsing 700+ trees, enter any filters you need to narrow down the possibilities: you may already have a preferred tree height, a price range, or a light type in mind. And, because Michaels has so many retail locations, you can also toggle the button that says "Free Store Pickup" if you'd like a Christmas tree you can order online and bring home at your convenience. The store also offers same-day delivery for $9.99 on many items, and free general delivery if your tree is priced at $59 or more.
Read The Customer Reviews
As you'd expect with a bigger-name retailer, many of the trees sold by Michaels have customer reviews you can consider if you want to make sure you're buying a high-quality product. With just over a thousand shopper ratings at an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars, the most popular tree in the store is the 7' Pre-Lit Artificial Christmas Tree with Clear Lights by Ashland. No wonder: at a sale price of $39.99 (regular price: $109.99), it's a great deal! We encourage you to scroll down on the product page - for this Christmas tree or any other - and see if there are real-life photos posted by customers. On this particular tree, we thought it was really helpful to see the before-and-after photos from when it was taken out of the box to when it was fully fluffed, beautifully decorated and lit.
Generous Return Policy
Michaels has one of the most generous return policies we've seen: you have up to 180 days to bring items back to a retail location or by mail, as long as it's new, unused and in original packaging (so no putting your tree up in November and trying to return it in April!).
BBB's Highest Rating
The Better Business Bureau gives Michaels their highest "A+" rating, despite several hundred complaints on file. Most of them describe problems with in-store purchases or bad experiences in-person with employees, which shouldn't have any bearing on your Christmas tree purchase online.
Even though a craft store might not be a place you think to shop for a Christmas tree, Michaels should be on your list. They offer great prices, a terrific selection, and an unmatched return policy (complete with the flexibility of returning online orders to a local store).
Searching for a tree that steps waaaaaaaay outside of the traditional evergreen look? Shop at Treetopia first. Maybe you're trying to make your home look like Dr. Seuss' Whoville, to display a rainbow of trees to show your pride, or you simply want a tree like no one else's. You'll definitely find that here!
Traditional Trees Also
But, if you're looking for one of those "regular" Christmas trees, don't worry. Treetopia carries almost two dozen - though some of those are still more novelty-themed, like the Knocked Upside-Down style and the Color Carnival Flocked design.
The construction of the trees at Treetopia is meant to give you a decoration that will last. You'll find hinged branches, a sturdy top, and a protected trunk, along with lights that are professionally hand-wrapped. But, if that's not enough, rest assured that a 2-year light warranty and 5-year foliage warranty have you covered too.
Attention To Details
Treetopia also offers a handful of perks on all of their trees, traditional or not. Tree stands are color-matched (who wants a green "trunk" in a pink tree?), and the light strings are as well. Most trees come with an on/off pedal for the light switch, and plenty of spare fuses and bulbs. You can also find novel features that are designed to make it easier and faster to get your Christmas tree all set up, like Quick Set Lighting Systems and Grow & Stow designs.
On both colorful and traditional Christmas trees, height options range from 4' to 15'. Pricing tends to be more competitive than other retailers, especially with any promotional discounts that might be in place at the time of your purchase. We spotted a seasonal sale of up to 50% off while we were visiting the Treetopia site. You'll also get free shipping on any ground orders within the continental United States.
Good Return Policy
If you need to make a return, your Christmas tree will need to be in new and unused condition, in the original packaging and sent back within 30 days of receipt. Treetopia is one of the few retailers that will still take returns after that 30-day window, but expect to be charged a restocking fee of 20%. Their customer service department can provide a return shipping label for $17.99 - which is probably much less than you'd spend if you tried to arrange for it on your own.
High Customer Praise
Most shoppers have good things to say about this Christmas tree retailer. We spotted comments that praised Treetopia's lightning-fast shipping speeds (even during November's peak season), and many saying that the tree they bought was the most beautiful they'd ever owned. That's high praise indeed. The BBB backs that reputation, giving Treetopia an "A+" rating over the 13+ years they've been in business.
Great For Novelty Christmas Trees
Treetopia is our favorite store to look for well-constructed novelty trees. Even though their selection of traditional Christmas trees isn't extensive, the retailer still has something to offer for just about everyone. For those who want to add some (more) color to their holidays, Treetopia is a fun place to shop for Christmas trees.
Christmas Central keeps their shelves stocked year-round, offering not just winter holiday decorations but indoor and outdoor decor for every season. In business for nearly four decades, this retailer is based out of Buffalo, New York and has been featured in Elle Decor, HGTV, and Better Homes & Gardens.
More Than 1,400 Christmas Trees To Choose From
You'll find an ample inventory of more than 1,400 Christmas trees at this store, in addition to plenty of ornaments, decorations, lights and tree accessories. Strangely, there was no way to shop specifically by height on the main Christmas Trees page. You'll have to use a different filter, like Pre-Lit or Unlit trees, and then see what's available in the size you need. You can always sort through the options by color, needle type, light type and color, whether the tree is for indoor or outdoor use, and several other criteria.
Easy To See What's In Stock
You won't see as many customer reviews on individual products here: even when we sorted trees by popularity, most of them only had one or two ratings from shoppers. But, we appreciated that even the quick view of each tree told us how many were still in stock - especially for shoppers who are trying to buy during peak holiday season, it's helpful to know if you should be in a hurry if you've got a definite favorite.
Disappointing Shopping Experience
Shopping here wasn't as enjoyable of an experience as we had with many of Christmas Central's competitors. Maybe it was the text-heavy descriptions or somewhat utilitarian product photos (or the fact that we couldn't shop by tree height without choosing a tree style first?), but that's not a huge minus. Prices on Christmas Central were also slightly more expensive than some rival stores, which may have also dampened our holiday enthusiasm.
If you'd like to save a little on your purchase, keep an eye out for a pop-up when visiting the Christmas Central site. We got a discount offer of 10% on our first purchase if we signed up for the retailer's email newsletter. The store also offers free shipping if your order is over $77; otherwise you'll pay a flat fee of just $5. In other words, unless you decide to just buy some lights, ornaments, or other small items, you'll probably get your order delivered for free - even on large items like Christmas trees.
Standard Return Policy
What about returns? The policy at this store is fairly standard: you have 30 days from the date of delivery (or before December 25, whichever comes first) to get your purchase back to the warehouse, and all products must be in unused condition. You'll be responsible for the return shipping fees, unless you choose a store credit over a refund.
Mixed Customer Feedback
Shopper feedback for Christmas Central is mixed. The most common complaint we found was that many items weren't shipped on time. More than a few customers said that even though they'd paid for expedited shipping, their Christmas items took longer than a week to arrive - or that the products had arrived damaged and they had a hard time getting a satisfactory response from Christmas Central reps. On the other hand, more than 1800 shoppers gave this store a 5-star rating, and the Better Business Bureau rates it as an "A+, with only a little over two dozen complaints filed in the three years leading up to our review.
Middle Of The Road
At the end of the day, there was nothing glaringly negative about buying a Christmas tree from this store - but there also wasn't anything that made us excited about shopping here. You might find the right tree at the right price, along with plenty of accessories for trimming it perfectly and decorating the rest of your home as well. We just wound up feeling like Christmas Central was missing some of the seasonal sizzle displayed by other stores.
With a name like Christmas Lights Etc., it's easy to guess what this store has to offer. In fact, they proudly advertise that they're "America's most shopped online Christmas lights store". Many customers even buy lights for other occasions here as well (like Halloween or even for decorating a teen's room).
Much Smaller Selection
How about Christmas trees? Christmas Lights Etc. has a much smaller array of trees to choose from, when compared with rival retailers: just 22, ranging in height from 4.5' to 15'. That makes it less likely that you'll find the exact combination of features you need, like 7' tall with clear LED lights or an unlit 6' Winchester Fir.
Higher Pricing Than Other Stores
Pricing here was also higher than many other stores. You'll spend nearly $700 to get a 7.5' tall Pre-Lit Noble Fir with Warm White LED lights, while other sellers have the same style and type of Christmas tree (albeit in different brands) for hundreds of dollars less.
Good Option For Large Commercial-size Christmas Trees
On the other hand, if you're looking for a commercial-size Christmas tree - think anywhere from 10' to 100' tall! - this may be your only option. You'll have to contact Christmas Lights Etc. to request more information, because they don't publish pricing or ordering details online for these specialty Christmas trees.
Fairly Standard Return Policy
What if you want to return your purchase? If your tree is defective in some way, you should let the company know within 30 days of delivery to get a replacement (if your model is still in stock). On the other hand, if you want to send it back because you changed your mind, expect to pay shipping fees both ways and have a 10% restocking fee deducted from your refund.
Exceptional 10-year Warranty
A factor that may sway your decision is Christmas Lights Etc.'s exceptional 10-year warranty on all pole trees. If your tree also has lights, Energy Star models are covered for 3 years of seasonal use, and incandescent lights include a year of coverage. Should you happen to be in the market for a commercial tower tree, you get a 5-year greenery warranty.
Overall, this smaller retailer has a decent reputation, as demonstrated by their "A+" rating and accreditation from the BBB. Despite being in business for over 20 years, Christmas Lights Etc. only had 9 registered complaints there. And, while most of the store's feedback is on their smaller items like lights and other decorations, more than 1300 shoppers gave the retailer a perfect five-star rating. Some were compliments from repeat customers who have used Christmas Lights Etc. for nearly a decade - a strong recommendation indeed.
Easier Time Elsewhere
But, because the selection is so much smaller at this store, we think most customers will have an easier time finding their ideal Christmas tree elsewhere. You might consider Christmas Lights Etc. if you need a longer warranty than most or if you're shopping for one of the larger commercial trees, but otherwise we think you'll be more satisfied with the more numerous options of another Christmas tree retailer.
King of Christmas wants you to have the perfect tree for making holiday memories. In addition to wreaths, garlands and accessories, this store features more than 100 styles of Christmas trees - all with a handmade look, to give you that HGTV look at a price you can afford. Trees from King of Christmas have been featured on Good Morning America, Fox News and Bravo, as well as in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine and American Farmhouse Style.
Very Small Inventory
To find the Christmas tree that's just right for your home, start with the Artificial Christmas Trees dropdown at the top of the site. You can shop by tree height, light, color, shape and price. Another filter you might not see elsewhere is "Realism": do you want your tree to have the classic artificial tips or ones that are more like what you'd find in nature? It's easy to find what you're looking for, although with just over 120 Christmas trees in their inventory, King of Christmas comes up a little short compared with stores that offer options by the thousands.
Helpful Customer Reviews
We liked that most of the trees offered here have numerous customer reviews. The most popular Christmas tree we found was the King Flock Pre-Lit with Warm White LED lights. It comes in a range of heights, and there were nearly 600 shopper comments; 95% of shoppers gave their King Flock tree a 4- or 5-star rating and said that it was even more beautiful in person than what they saw online.
Out Of Stock Issues
Unfortunately, even more than a month before Christmas, many sizes of this particular tree (along with several other styles) were already "out of stock for the season". You could click the "Notify me when available" button if there's a tree you've got your heart set on and you're willing to wait (maybe even until after the holidays); otherwise, you'd need to settle for a different height or style.
Standard Return Policy
If you want to return your tree, you have 30 days from the date you placed the order to start the process - and it has to be before December 24th of the year you made the purchase. You'll be responsible for return shipping fees if your order was over $149.
Disappointing BBB Rating
King of Christmas doesn't have the best rating with the Better Business Bureau: a "C" grade for failure to respond to a customer complaint. But, compared with other Christmas tree retailers with hundreds of reported problems, it doesn't seem like such a low rating is deserved here.
Mixed Customer Reviews
Turning to their social media channels, we found several dozen reviews from customers over the past year. Most of them gave King of Christmas a 5-star rating and praised the quality of the trees and quick customer service response time. But, it seems this retailer is hot or cold in that regard: there were a handful of people who gave them one star, saying that their Christmas tree had arrived damaged and they had a hard time getting a hold of anyone at King of Christmas to take care of it.
Room For Improvement
Because of this hit-or-miss track record and a selection that isn't particularly impressive when compared with rival Christmas tree retailers, King of Christmas winds up with a middle-of-the-road evaluation. You could probably get a lovely tree there, and you might even get excellent customer service too. But, you can shop much more confidently with another company - and have many more Christmas trees to choose from at the same time.
Fortunately, online retailers make it possible for your Christmas tree to arrive right on your doorstep with just a few clicks of the mouse. Instead of driving all over town hoping to find the one you want in stock, you can get the world's biggest inventory at your fingertips. From traditional firs and pines - with or without lights and flocking - to novelty designs like upside-down trees and unusual colors (think hot pink, candy cane stripes or even red-white-and-blue!), you'll have no problem getting the Christmas tree of your dreams.
As you shop for your Christmas tree, how can you tell which retailer should get your business? Here are several criteria that can help you make the choice:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best online retailers of Christmas trees. We hope this information helps you make your holidays merry and bright with the perfect tree for your home or office!
Select any 2 Christmas Tree Stores to compare them head to head
The Boston Globe
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Thu, 16 Sep 2021