It's December, which means it's time to start decorating your home for the holidays. But should you go to the local Christmas tree farm, lot or tent or should you go to the store and buy an artificial tree? Here are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of tree.

Artificial trees

Pros:


It’s cheaper. Sure, you may shell out some serious cash when you make your initial purchase, but since you’re not having to pay for a new tree every year, you can get your money’s worth.
It’s easy. Haul it down from the attic, unfurl the branches and voila! Your decorations are up. Plus, you can buy it pre-lit. Anybody who’s ever tried to string lights on a tree can attest that it’s not a task for the faint of heart (or the impatient). Buying a pre-lit tree saves time, money and maybe a few fights with family members.
You can buy them in fun colors. Fiber optic tree? Shiny, pink, metallic tree? A tree covered in fake snow? You can buy ‘em all.

Cons:


It could have negative environmental effects. If you buy an artificial tree, the American Christmas Tree Association recommends keeping the tree for nine years to offset the environmental impact.
It looks the same every year. If you like some variety in your life, once you commit to an artificial tree, you commit to the same style, size and appearance for years.

Real trees

Pros:


Shop local. If you buy a real Christmas tree, you’re supporting tree farmers in your community.
You can recycle them. Often cities will collect Christmas trees after the holiday to recycle them, or you can turn them into mulch or firewood to use in your home.
It smells nice! Why buy a Christmas tree-scented candle when you could have the real thing?
It’s fun. Going to the Christmas tree farm with your loved ones and picking out the perfect tree can make for a fun holiday outing, and let's face it, chopping down your tree is extremely satisfying.

Cons:


They’re more expensive. According to a study by Square and the National Christmas Tree Association, real trees cost an average of $73.
They require upkeep. You have to make sure they stay watered and healthy, and you have to clean up the needles that fall onto your floor. They can also be full of sap, which means decorating can get sticky.
They’re a fire hazard. According to a 2017 study from the National Fire Protection Association, Christmas tree fires tend to be more deadly than other fires.