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Being an interior designer and decorator for homes and businesses, I have found that artificial Christmas trees seem to be the tree of choice for many. I do remember the days, when I was much younger, and my first exposure at selling Christmas trees was working on a live Christmas tree lot. When I think back, I remember how each year, I rushed out to rent a prime spot to set up my Christmas tree lot. We always went up to North Carolina to buy the Christmas trees and then we would work hard to set up our lot in Mt Pleasant, South Carolina. It was always intense work because there was such a short time span in which you could really sell and make money. The last thing I wanted was to get stuck with a bunch of Christmas trees that didn’t sell and would have to be hauled off. The work was seven days a week around the clock in outdoor winter conditions with folks haggling over prices. Working outside in the cold could be miserable especially when it rained. It wasn’t always easy, but I learned a lot and it helped shape me into the manager and salesman that I am today.
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The life expectancy of a real tree isn’t very long. This was especially true if the tree was cut too early (30 days in advance) as it wouldn’t stay fresh and would dry out quickly. It was important to know your tree farmer and be able to get the trees cut right before arriving to load them up. Some thing I learned: Christmas trees have sap, they drop needles which can be painful to bare feet and hands, they have bugs on them, and it can be a real struggle getting lights positioned on the flimsier limbs. Artificial trees do not have these issues and many have LED lights already attached. We rent artificial trees to homes and businesses and find that they work well for our clients.
One time we had a client (HOA at Daniel’s Island) that insisted on a live 30-foot-tall tree to go outside near their tennis stadium. It was much harder to decorate that tree because the branches just couldn’t hold all the heavier incandescent light strands. The old strands had more cooper and were heavier than the new LED lights. While Artificial trees use man made synthetic materials they do have a green friendly side. Using an artificial tree helps slow down deforestation, they are reusable for ten or fifteen years, and the pre-strung LED lights conserve energy.
My favorite part of an artificial tree (also termed “fake” Christmas Tree) is that they have three-foot collar sections which can be added to the trunk to make them taller or removed to make the tree shorter. It’s easy to make an artificial tree fit in its space. If you have an 8’ ceiling you don’t want an 8’ tree because it needs room for the topper. I recall one year when one of our decorators used a silver flume design she created for the topper. It resembled a silver pineapple top and was really stunning, but because it was hitting the roof, we removed a section of the tree to make it smaller and then the topper looked perfect. The point is that we can fine tune the size. Example: if a tree is a little shorter than the roof line then we can bring it to the right height for a custom made topper. We want the artificial tree to fit it’s showcase area perfectly and look custom made for the spot. I’d say that’s one of the biggest mistakes I see in the industry. People will stuff artificial trees in areas that they really don’t fit well or they are use trees that are just too dinky for the size of the room. Of course, live trees can be cut down, but not made larger. Live trees really do make a mess with the needles dropping around the floor and this requires vacuuming or sweeping each week.
Now I do have to give real trees a plug and that is: they are naturally elegant and their smell really can’t be replicated. The natural scent of a fresh cut Christmas tree fills the air and adds something special to the holiday season. There are some products out there that try to replicate the smells, but I haven’t found anything that smells as good as the live cut Christmas tree.
Going back to artificial trees, I’d say that when we rent large artificial trees people don’t always understand that it takes 30, 40 or 50 hours to get these trees decorated and set up. I’ve had people in Kiawah and Seabrook Island say, “oh, you can just drop the tree off here and we’ll be good to go,” and they often fail to realize the amount of time, labor and thought that goes into decorating, loading, transporting and setting up a large artificial tree.
If you are thinking about having an artificial tree you should consider renting one. The rental rates run around the cost of buying one, but the labor and backache that is involved in doing it yourself is dramatically less. Our trees come with pre-lit LEDs with some pre-decorations and we often add color schemes for the coastal areas. We call this our Coastal Collection. We also do some custom trees, but most of ours are the pre-lit, pre-decorated trees which are set up in private residences for parties, lobbies, foyers and employee lounges. If you are interested in having an artificial tree delivered you may click here.
Again, we are the leader in winning awards for Christmas decorations. To create a white winter Christmas, hire Christmas Décor to help you with your exterior and interior Christmas designs.
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