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shadling21's avatar

Problems with pre-lit, artificial Christmas trees?

Asked by shadling21 (6467 points ) December 14th, 2010

This year for Christmas, I want to get my mom a new Christmas tree. We have a fake one that is looking rather worse for wear. While she longs for a real tree, the convenience and cleanliness of a fake one is too appealing.

Do any Flutherites have experience with artificial trees, specifically ones that come with lights already on them? Are burnt-out bulbs annoying or easy to deal with? What trees have you found that are most convenient?

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20 Answers

chyna's avatar

I’ve had the pre-lit one for five years and no problems yet. I didn’t put one up this year though.

Kardamom's avatar

We just got a new artificial pre-lit tree. We had another one, but it was a bit taller and a bit heavier when it came time to store it in the attic in its box. The new one is quite a bit lighter and has a smaller box that can fit in the downstairs closet.

Both of them are terrific. These new lights (from the last 15 years or so) don’t have the problem with the whole string going out if one bulb goes out. So you can just replace the individual bulbs whenever you want, but even if you don’t, it’s not even noticeable.

We just had some new neighbors move in across the street. They moved from a small apartment and didn’t have a Xmas tree, so we asked them if they wanted our older tree and they jumped at the chance to take it. They’re a little younger and don’t mind the weight of it and plus it’s tall and they have a nice tall ceiling and a big room to put it in, for the first time in their lives. They said it was pretty easy to put up and there it was, shining in the window the next day.

So when considering an artificial tree, you should figure out where you’re going to store it and decide if the weight might be a problem for the person who has to box it up and move it after Christmas. The other consideration is the means of setting it up. Both of our trees came apart in 3 sections, but the branches all remained attached and kind of just folded up against the “trunk”. Some of the fancier trees have all of the branches that come loose and have to be stuck into the “trunk” individually and you have to get them in the right spots. I would not reccomend that kind. We used to have those at work and it took forever to put them together. Our 2 home trees were easily and quickly assembled and the lights are already on there, so you don’t have to fiddle with that either. You just have to make sure you get the bottom piece on the stand first, then the middle section, then the top.

Then you will want to check the prices. You are likely to get a better deal on a tree at Home Depot, Big Lots or Target than you would at a Xmas specialty store. Ours was about $90 for a 6 footer, but you can get a decent one for even less than that.

As for the scent, you just need to go and get yourself some real greenery. Trader Joe’s has these wonderful smelling wreaths and you can get pine boughs to put in vases all over the house. That’s much easier to clean up afterwards than a whole tree. : )

theichibun's avatar

Fake trees suck. They don’t die, but they still shed. If you’re going to have to clean up after the tree you might as well get a real one.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Fake trees don’t carry the fire hazard of real trees. If you can count on being able to replace the bulbs on the pre-lits, I say go for it, it’s just easier as you get older and maybe don’t want to take it down as soon. A quality one won’t shed the same as a real one.

deliasdancemom's avatar

We have had prelit fake trees for a while now, never had a problem with burn outs, usually end up buying a new tree before we loose any bulbs

deliasdancemom's avatar

The new led bulbs last forever and are easy to replace and u only have to replace one at a time

picante's avatar

The best artificial tree (it comes prelit or not) is from Hammacher Schlemmer. www.hammacher.com Pricey—yep. And worth every penny.

Cruiser's avatar

Just got my first pre-lite fakey tree last weekend. That beauty pops open on it’s own and I may just leave the ornaments on it for next year.

perspicacious's avatar

Well, they are artificial is the biggest problem. I like a real tree. The prelit part—no biggie. If you are going to have a fake tree the rest doesn’t matter (to me).

ChocolateReigns's avatar

What’s next? Trees that come with ornaments on them?

chyna's avatar

@ChocolateReigns Actually, there is a department store here that does exactly that.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I get the appeal of real trees, I really do. However, they require a lot more maintenance to keep them from burning up your house. And unless you recycle them, (not an option for everyone) it seems a bit of a waste.

deliasdancemom's avatar

On a related note about recycling xmas trees, our local zoo accepts them, as they elephants enjoy them! Perhaps some of your local zoos do too?

JilltheTooth's avatar

Zoo tip, good idea. I was always able to recycle mine by either storing them for a year and having a fire the next year, or giving them to a group that shredded them and gave away the mulch. In some communities, the Boy Scouts do that.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I personally just couldn’t do with a fake Christmas tree, but understand why people have them. Some alternatives: a cut tree that is recycled, a live tree that gets replanted, and a Norfolk Island Pine that can be kept year round and decorated during the holidays.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

@JilltheTooth Also, in some larger cities (not where I live) you can put your old Christmas tree on the curb and the recycling or garbage company will come by and take it. Like the leaf pick-up in the fall.

danica09's avatar

I just got my first pre-lit tree this year and have had it up a week. It comes in three sections and this morning the top sections lower half is not lit. What do I look for to fix it?

chyna's avatar

Do you have the sections plugged in as they are supposed to be? Section A to Section A, B to B, etc? Because if you don’t have them plugged in, in the order they are supposed to be, that will cause the lights to not work.

Kardamom's avatar

@danica09 What @chyna said is correct about having the light strings plugged into each other in the correct order. But the other possibility is that that particular string of lights is faulty on its own. You may have to get another string of lights (same length) to substitute. And every now and then you willl get a string of lights that some how gets a pinch in it (while it’s on your tree) and won’t work, but when you straighten it out and plug it into a wall socket by itself it works fine. I would still recommend replacing that string of lights, because if it has a pinch in it somewhere, it is likely to cause problems.

oldgranmum's avatar

At my age, all trees are the same. At least, if you have fake tree, you’ve killed one less real tree.

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