Are you real or plastic?


(Peter Bird) #1

It's that time again. The trusty plastic christmas tree is down from the loft, a bit dusty and a tad shorter this time around as another few centimeters dropped off in transit. We purchased this particular arboreal artifact from La Foire Fouille in Angloulême in 1989 for the 'très corrct' price of 25F or about 4€ which works out at about 16 centimes per year.


We tried normal trees in the UK but the needles were a pain, literally and the various tricks and products aimed at preventing the shedding of these needles never seemed to work.


Question is, what do you use 'chez vous', plastic or the real thing ? If it's the latter do you buy a new tree each year or dig up a replanted tree if indeed you have managed to keep the tree alive ? Can a tree be successfully replanted following the traumatic life inside the heated house for the weeks before and after the festive season. What is the trick to keepng the needles on the tree and not in sticking in your feet ?




(Gordon Kent) #2

Bought a plastic tree from Tesco before coming here 8 yrs ago for £9.99. Still looking good.


(Liz Clark) #3

Plastic…with fiber optic lights, saves a lot of hassle and the dogs and cats do not pick up fallen needles in their fur or paws


(Peter Bird) #4

Well done Gerda, a woman after my own heart...

Just think, the tree becomes cheaper every year you use it !


(Gerda Bolton - de Bie) #5

I love a real tree, but have to admit that for the last 15 years I use the plastic tree that we bought when we moved to Florida. I paid the paltry sum of 25 USD for it which even then was a bargain for a 7ft Nordmann tree.

I love the size and the lack of dropping needles, but I still miss the smell of a real tree..

And if I had found a real tree here in France with rootball I might have bought one.. but they are all just cut and stuck in a wood base.. So no planting it in the garden afterwards :/


(neil whitehead) #6

Has to be real for the wonderful smell wafting around the house. We have a couple of 30 foot spruces in the garden, one of which has lights on. Indoors, thinking about lopping off a branch of one of the other trees, drilling holes in it and inserting bits of the spruce.....or I may just go and buy one!


(Peter Bird) #7

Maybe Ewan but i'm a cheapskate !


(Ewen Adamson) #8

Perish the thought of a plastic tree, though at 16c per year it's beginning to make attractive the alternative to live (or soon to be deceased) sapin. The price these days for a Christmas tree lopped off a lonesome pine seems incredible. When I first arrived I bought rooted ones which have all survived and after a few years start shooting up but having run out of space in the garden I'm on the chopped off sort. I just love the gummy, turpentiney smell of a real tree and I've not found the needles a big problem.

Ewen


(Helen O'BRIEN) #9

Duuhhhh ! I just got it ....


(Holly Hill Mangin) #10

Up until last year, we had a real tree. My husband loves them and the smell is great, but I was tired of finding pine needles two months later even with regular cleaning. Then there is the cost. We were finding small trees, about 4 feet high, for 30 to 40 euros and the price went up from there. I'm used to trees that tower (ok, about one and a half feet tower) over me (5'7"), so the cost for a tree every year was getting out of hand. Then there is the fact that they are only up for a month at most.

Last year, I talked the Mr. into getting a fake, and we found a relatively nice, tall one for 100 euros. It's not as big around as I'd like, but I figure it will last for a good 5-10 years-hoping-and with all the decorations on it, it's ok if a couple of "needles" are shed.


(Katherine Davies) #11

Real for us, always, but a very small one which usually costs about €15. Buy it from the same outdoor lot set up in Jarnac each year. We ask the fellow to chop off a couple of inches from the bottom, then put it in a bucket of water in the barn until we’re ready to set it up a few days before Christmas. We use a stand that holds water and it continues to take water in, retaining its needles, for the most part, until it comes down on Twelfth Night.


(Jeanette Leuers 2) #12

always loved my real tree...planted in a dry rocky space... In front of my first French house..it was tiny..but surprised me...growing huge, fast...and with its lights...looked like The Official Village Tree, in a few years. It was so cheap,but very beautiful...I'm looking for another real tree...that might do as well. But there's a big stylish blueish fir tree..on one of the wee islands that are ..sort of, my garden..A long cable, and some lights, it could be stunning..


(Laurence Clary) #13

We use a bay tree that we have in a pot outside thoughout the year, providing us with bay leaves for cooking when necessary, and coming inside to make a quirky Christmas tree for 2 weeks a year. Dressed with small white baubles it looks very stylish, and costs nothing! We've done this for about 10 years and will continue until the bay tree dies, then we'll pick another!


(Brian Milne) #14

Normally real, we have a log it stands in and a dark green velvet cloth underneath, the colour of Santa's clothes in the Germanic and Italian Swiss tradition until consolidated as the standard by Coca Cola Corporation in 1931 (although the Bishop of Myra in what is now Turkey chose red and white in the 4th century). The cloth collects fallen needs. We have mainly traditional decorations but have modern, simple lights - mainly because the girls want them.

This year we shall have nothing. With builders in and dust and muck everywhere we want stuff out of the house, not in. Any invitations to visit other people's trees though...


(Valerie Skinner) #15

Faux fir - sat here laughing at that. Brilliant.


(Annette O'Sullivan) #16

P.S As the kids have got older it has become somewhat of a tradition to drive out with a hacksaw and argue over the "perfect" tree. Doing it "just" before Christmas really means it's started in our house ;-)


(Annette O'Sullivan) #17

We usually have a real tree. We go and cut it just a few days before christmas and place it in a bucket with rocks/bricks with a small amount of water at the bottom. This holds the tree fast (stops it being knocked over) and keeps the base moist so the needles don't dry out so much. It does drop some needles but nothing you can't vacuum up every few days. Afterwards we take it to the dump where it is mulched for recycled garden products.
Pine trees are very quick growing and if you are near farmers and forest it's not too much hassle to ask permission to take one. I think the problem lies in taking the tree too early so by Christmas it really is dying off!
Only managed to save a real tree once but I guess it can be done if you were to keep it permenantly in a large grow tub but shifting it with the weight of the soil would be madness!


(Lis Steeden) #18

Never ever will we have a plastic Christmas tree in our house! Being Danish by birth, but having lived in the UK for many years, and now having our first Christmas in Provence this year…nothing’s changed. We always celebrate our Danish Christmas on the 24th, on the 25th we celebrate our English Christmas. Our tree will come into the house normally the 22nd, but as we are having our Gløgg Party on the 21st, the tree might very well cone inside a day early! It will stand in a big red ceramic pot, with lots of stones/gravel/bricks in this to balance it, but also so we can water it right up to the 6th January, where we take it doww. The pot and tree will stand on top of a round handmade embroidered jute cloth, by moi, another Danish tradition, which will collect most of the needles, another Danish tradition, should there be any! Both on the 24th and 25th we will lit c 40 live candles on the tree, always have done in true Danish tradition, and would not have it any other way…as well as we always have a star on top if the tree, as most Scandinavians do. It’s completely safe, as the tree is fresh, the candle holders used are safe, which is a thing I have had to explain to our English friends while living in the UK…over and over again…ie why would most Danish homes have all these live candles lit on their beautiful Christmas trees, if it was not safe? …and it looks sooo beautiful… :)…wishing you all a very Happy a Christmas and all the best for the New a Year… :wink:


(Jo Blick) #19

I make something with a branch. Not a whole tree. Usually yew or hazel . Hazel looks great painted white.
Coppicing is good this time of year and I don’t like the tradition of cutting a whole young tree down just for decoration. They can be composted so maybe Im being over cautious.
i find the whole xmas tree buying, and consumer frenzy horrifying. I don’t have storage so a plastic is not for me.
But I love celebrating this season its what gets us through to spring and brings us together. Seasons greetings everyone :slight_smile:


(Karen Phillips 2) #20

Mines fake too! As is the very realistic bower I thread over the inglenook! My excuse( though why I should need one?) is that the lights sparkle better on the artificial surface. I like a bit of Christmas sparkle and glow and love being in France where its acceptable to leave the decorations up well into January when the days outside can be very grey!