Pining For the Real Thing, the Nation Has Spoken: Real vs Artificial Christmas Trees

64% of respondents voted in favour of real Christmas trees, compared to 36% preferring artificial

With nearly one in four UK households displaying a Christmas tree each year*, research conducted by the Ideal Home Show at Christmas has settled the debate of whether Britain prefers real or artificial Christmas trees. With 64% of respondents in favour of the real tree, only 36% opted for artificial.

The survey was sent out to the Ideal Home Show at Christmas’ social media followings, reaching over 7,400 people. Comments from survey respondents indicated that although a real tree was preferred, many purchase an artificial tree due to lower costs and practicality.

The top reason for buying a real tree is the pine-tree aroma and appearance. Reasons against buying a real tree included allergies, size and shape, falling needles, cost, durability, the risk of pets damaging the tree and reluctance to cut down a tree as decoration for just a few weeks.

Contrary to popular belief, real trees have a much lower carbon footprint than artificial trees. In a statement from The Carbon Trust** (, it is reported that a two-metre artificial tree has a carbon footprint of around 40kg C02e, more than twice that of a real tree that ends its life in landfill, and more than ten times that of real trees that are burnt.

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen shared his thoughts on the real-versus-artificial debate, commenting: “While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with an artificial Christmas tree, I think if you’re going faux you have to embrace the fake with tinseltastic enthusiasm. Opt for a gold or silver color scheme to ensure the very best disco-inspired decoration!”

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