Are you a fan of real or fake? Christmas trees, that is…!
Last year we had a real tree, but this year at Fresh Design HQ we’ve gone all artificial. It’s been a lot less hassle putting it up, there are no worries about pine needles dropping everywhere and we can re-use it again next year. The best thing though is that it looks incredibly realistic.
The tree is a 6ft Norway Spruce from Balsam Hill and it’s definitely the most real looking artificial Christmas tree that we’ve ever had. It’s got a narrow profile, so doesn’t take up too much room, but still retains the bushy feel of a real tree.
It arrived well packaged in three separate parts with a good set of instructions. Rather impressively, it also came with two sets of soft cotton gloves to wear when shaping the tree, a tree stand with rubber feet, some spare bulbs (and spare rubber feet) and a large zipped bag in which to store the tree after Christmas.
I’ve never had a pre-lit tree before, but oh my goodness, what a bonus! I’m not the greatest fan of putting lights on the tree and normally seem to end up thinking I’ve got them all evenly spaced, then standing back from it and discovering a large gap. Or getting in a muddle whist putting them on and ending up with the cables all twisted. Thankfully there were none of these lighting issues with the Norway Spruce.
The three sections of the tree slot together, one by one. Each section was clearly marked and labelled, so it was easy to see what slotted in where. The branches are hinged and naturally fall into place as you undo them, although you do also need to shape them – that’s where the gloves came in handy!
Likewise, the light fittings were easy to follow too. Each section of lights plugged into sockets in the middle section, and then you simply plugged it into the mains to turn them all on. It was the simplest lighting of a tree that I’ve ever done!
I was aiming for a pure metallic Christmas decoration scheme this year – silver, gold and copper – but in the end decided that a bit of red was needed too, for an extra pop of colour.
There’s deliberately not too many decorations towards the bottom of the tree, as it’s too tempting for our cat! (So far, she’s been quite good this year, with only the occasional batting and grabbing of baubles….fingers crossed it lasts).
Whilst the base of the tree was fine, I added a dark willow tree skirt from Next to neaten it up and finish it off.
If you’ve not come across Balsam Hill before, they’re a US company who launched their trees to the UK market in 2011. They pride themselves on providing realistic artificial trees and are definitely successful in achieving this.
Compared to other companies, their trees aren’t cheap. But having bought cheaper fake Christmas trees in the past that most definitely didn’t look real, it’s clearly worth paying more for a quality artificial tree. You get the whole package too with Balsam Hill – the spare bulbs, gloves and storage bag are all useful extras.
The 6ft Norway LED pre-lit spruce tree has now sold out, but there are plenty of other trees in various sizes and shapes available, from slim line to big and bushy, pre-lit and unlit and even flatback trees for small spaces. Do check them out. If you’re still not convinced, you can even order a branch sample kit to check out the quality for yourself.
There’s currently up to 40% off in their sale and free delivery to the UK and Ireland. So if you’ve not yet sorted out your Christmas tree this year, opt for the easy solution with Balsam Hill.
(Disclaimer: We were sent the tree to review, but all views and opinions are honest and our own).2