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Pining for the real thing, the nation has spoken: real vs artificial Christmas trees

Ideal Home Show at Christmas

• 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, who appears at the Ideal Home Show at Christmas 2017 in November, 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 colour scheme to ensure the very best disco-inspired decoration!”

The show features eight dedicated sections across home and lifestyle, including interiors and home accessories; home improvements and outdoor living; eat and drink; style; Christmas decorations; a Christmas arcade with toys, games and books; kitchenware and the new-for-2017 Pet Pavilion. The events display nearly 300 Christmas trees including an array of both real and artificial options.

In addition to Laurence, My Interior Design School and Vanessa Feltz take to the Christmas Theatre stage to share with the audience advice and tips on how to decorate their home this Christmas, including tree decoration, exterior lighting and more.

The show takes place from 9 to 12 November at Manchester’s EventCity and 22 to 26 November at London Olympia. Tickets are available now from or by phone on 0844 209 7330.

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