Let me just say that I’m a big fan of live trees. I am, however, not a fan when they dry out and look like this two days before Christmas…
The branches that were once strong and up-turned, were sagging to the point that the garland and ornaments were sliding off. And this was with proper watering, trimming the trunk after bringing it home, buying it freshly cut, adding sugar to the water, etc.
Not only did that one die, but our two other smaller trees died as well – a lesser issue, since our presents weren’t going to circle them on Christmas morning, but still a bummer.
We replaced our tree two days before Christmas, but I immediately started browsing the Balsam Hill website for realistic-looking artificial Christmas trees. Being a live-tree-loving-girl, if I’m going to switch to the reliability of an artificial tree, it has to look really good. Many of my blogger friends had Balsam Hill trees and I trusted their reviews, so when I had the opportunity to work with them and review a tree myself, I jumped at the chance.
I selected the 8′ Noble Fir with Clear Lights and the Easy Plug option.
So, right away, I can say that everything about this tree is top notch. Not just the tree itself, but all of the accessories that come with it to make setting up, storing, and maintaining the tree easier. It comes with storage bags for the tree as well as one for the stand, replacement pieces, and more.
All of the sections of the tree are tagged, making it easy to assemble the pieces in the proper order.
Now, I have to confess something… I pulled the first section out and the branches were flipped up (for storage), so my first view was of, what looked like, pretty typical plastic needles. Oh no! This doesn’t look realistic!
The needles I was seeing were just the filler needles that are on the interior of the tree. The branches that show are covered in life-like needles. Even my 10 year old boy, who doesn’t usually pay attention to decorating things, mentioned how real the branches look.
So, another thing, as I was setting it up, I was preparing myself for the hunt for the ends of light strands, so I could plug the sections into each other. I sort of got ahead of things and started putting the tree together before I read the directions. I couldn’t find the plug ends, so I went to the directions. I was instructed to plug the Easy Plug into the wall, turn the lights on, and then assemble the tree.
As soon as I followed the instructions, I realized why I needed to turn the lights on first…
Both sections lit up! Without fumbling with any plugs. The power runs through the trunk and simply dropping the section into place makes the lights work. Hallelujah!
The worst part about having a live tree is definitely stringing the lights, weaving them in and out of every branch. With this tree, I just snapped the sections together, unfolded and fluffed the branches, and it was ready to decorate.
The Easy Plug feature is another favorite part for me. My usual turning-on-the-Christmas-tree-lights-routine has involved crawling under the tree to plug it in. This cord has a small button/pedal that can be clicked with your foot. It’s one of those little things that makes me happy each time I turn the tree on from an upright position.
The tree isn’t fully decorated, yet, but I added enough to get it started. Since this tree looks like the most perfect real tree ever (no holes or wonky branches), I want the decorations to have more of a humble/homespun feel.
So, I used wool pom-pom garlands, checked fabric “ribbon”, sprigs of faux lambs ear and white berry bunches to start. So far, I’ve added a few mercury glass ornaments and tin houses.
I also added these clip-on LED Christmas candles, also from Balsam Hill. These were another product that had some surprises. First of all, the candles are battery powered, so no cords are running through the tree! Also, they came with the batteries! I’ll let you know how long the batteries last. Hopefully, they’ll work for a full season.
The second surprise was that they have a remote control and can change colors. My boys always ask for colored lights and we’ve done some outside and on a small tree in their room, but not on our tree. I draw the line! So, they are thrilled that they can make them colored and I am thrilled I can change them back to warm, white lights.
And one other special thing about this tree is that it sheds less than any other real or artificial tree I’ve owned. There was literally just a few needles on the floor after set-up and a lot of fluffing.
I appreciate all of the attention to detail and quality Balsam Hill brings to their products. These realistic trees are an investment and they should be quality, easy to set up, and have features that set it apart from less-expensive artificial trees. And I can say that this one checks all of those boxes.
If you’re in the market for an artificial tree, garlands, wreath, and other Christmas decor, Balsam Hill has sales all over their website and free shipping on everything for Cyber Monday.
If you’d like to see other Balsam Hill trees in action along with reviews, you can follow these links…
Thistle Wood Farms | Norway Spruce
The Handmade Home | Vermont White Spruce
The Inspired Room | European Fir
The French Country Cottage | Frosted Frasier Fir
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Balsam Hill. They sent me the tree and other products to review on this blog. This is a company I’m honored to partner with (and I’ll share more on that in a week or so.) All words and opinions expressed in this post are completely honest and my own.