How to Shop for a Christmas Tree

How to Shop for a Christmas Tree

Posted by Fortunoff Backyard Store

Spruce up your space.

Get ahead of the holiday season and start your hunt for the perfect artificial Christmas tree now. With entrance trees, novelty trees, and real Christmas trees to choose from, the options can be overwhelming. But we can help! We connected with our experienced holiday buyers to learn what to look for in a high-quality artificial Christmas tree and what to avoid. Here's how to find the best value while shopping for holiday decor:

1. More Branches = A Better Tree

When shopping for a Christmas tree, tip count (or branch count) is the most important number after cost because it speaks to the value. The branch count (or tip count) refers to the number of branches/tips on an artificial Christmas tree. This number determines how many ornaments you can hang on your Christmas tree before experiencing crowding issues and how full your Christmas tree looks. Depending on how many holiday ornaments you have and your decorating style, a fuller tree with more branches may be more advantageous over a sparse tree.

The average tip count for one of our faux Christmas trees is 2,150, which is more tips than our competitors on average. If shopping with us in stores, our trained sales associates can tell you how many branches/tips come with each Christmas tree, or you can visit our website and find this information on our tree's product page. It’s one of the many ways we guarantee you a quality product.

Note: If you need help determining what size tree to get for your space, visit our Christmas tree measuring guide.

2. Materials Matter – Especially with Christmas Trees

A tree with many branches is great; a tree with high-quality branches is better, and not all tree needles are created equal. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and PE (polyethylene) are the most common fake tree tip materials.Still, they are very different and will change how your tree looks, feels, and costs. PVC needles are what most people expect when they picture a faux Christmas tree. While PVC doesn’t make the most realistic needles, PVC trees are durable and cost-effective, making them a very budget-friendly option.

If you care more about realism, we recommend PE needles. PE needles are sturdier than PVC needles and soft to the touch. They are molded directly from real fir needles and are the most realistic needle option on the market. But Christmas trees with PE needles are more expensive than trees with only PVC needles, so the more PE branches your tree has, the more expensive it will be. At Fortunoff Backyard Store, we blend both types of needles into our exclusive line of Christmas trees. You get the most realistic tree with the most branches without breaking the bank, guaranteed.

3. Pre-Lit Trees VS. Unlit Trees

A tree without built-in lights may be the best option if you have plenty of string lights to decorate with. An unlit tree will be less expensive than a pre-lit tree if everything else is the same between the two trees. However, if you don’t have string lights or no longer want to deal with the hassle of lighting your tree, a pre-lit tree is your best bet and comes with a medley of bonus features.

When shopping for a pre-lit artificial Christmas tree, pay attention to the light count, the light type, and the tree features. Like the tip count, the light count is a value statement. More lights means you get a brighter tree for your money, but don't neglect the light type. LED and incandescent lights are the most popular light options for artificial Christmas trees. Incandescent lights are less expensive than LED lights but more traditional. They’re not as bright, so they imbue your tree with a warm glow and often come in multiple colors. Most incandescent lights often aren’t Bluetooth compatible and lack other technological upgrades like SureLit™ technology, a feature that keeps your light string shining even when a bulb burns out. For those upgrades, opt for pre-lit Christmas trees with LED lights.

Our LED pre-lit trees are brighter, more energy efficient, and their bulbs last longer than our incandescent pre-lit trees, making them the most cost-effective option over time. Plus, our LED trees come with many enhanced features, such as:

  • Bluetooth
  • SureLit™ Bulbs
  • Dual Color LEDs®: A light feature that allows you to shuffle through up to seven light colors and light function presets
  • PowerConnect™ Poles: An enhancement that streamlines tree set-up and saves you from connecting light strings between sections

Visit our tree forest.

Our Backyard Specialists will point out any extra features Christmas at Fortunoff Backyard Store Artificial Trees include. If you're shopping online, check the product description for feature information.

Did you find this guide helpful? Explore our Christmas Help Center! We tackle everything from the pros and cons of real and artificial Christmas trees to how to find the best Christmas tree for your space. If you’ve got a question about Christmas trees, we’ve got answers.


Customer Service Hours

Mon-Sat: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CST

CALL 855-337-8785


Contact Us
About Us
Trade & Contract


Outdoor Dining
Outdoor Seating
Outdoor Decor
Umbrellas & Shade


Fabric & Furniture Care
Guardsman® Plan
Financing Options
Affirm Financing
Progressive Leasing
Pickup & Delivery
Return Policy
My Account
Track Your Order


All Showrooms
New York
New Jersey