Where to Buy a Real Christmas Tree Online (and Save!)

Christmas Tree in Living Room with Presents

November, with its cooler temps and best-of-the-best shopping days, is in full swing. With Christmas just around the corner, there’s no better time than now to start thinking about that twinkling centerpiece to deck the halls with yuletide splendor.

Since you may be reluctant to encounter large crowds in tree farms, shopping for that festive fir may look a little different this year, and it doesn’t necessarily mean resorting to artificial varieties. Worry not: There are smart ways to shop for the real deal to make your holiday season merry and bright, right from the comfort of your home.

While that yearly trip to a “cut-your-own” Christmas tree farm is certainly a tradition families around the world look forward to throughout the year, there’s no disputing that there’s a less-than-merry component to consider. These outings require ample amounts of time, the right transportation, manpower, and now with the pandemic, the reality of large crowds. That’s where Christmas tree delivery services come in and matter now more than ever.

It’s true purchasing an artificial tree can be more convenient, especially when they come pre-lit and with nearly every retailer offering a vast array at constantly slashed prices. But, rest assured you can still fill your home with that oh-so-nostalgic fresh pine scent of a real tree, even without leaving your home to purchase one. If you’re one of the 30 million Americans opting to keep the Christmas spirit alive with a fresh-from-the-farm variety, you’re in luck.

Here are a few tips and tricks to shopping for a fresh-cut tree online, including where to shop, what to look for, and when to order them to ensure you receive the highest-quality spruce at a reasonable price.

Can I Buy a Real Christmas Tree Online?

Absolutely. You may be surprised to learn that many of your favorite online retailers like Lowe’s, Wayfair, The Home Depot, and Walmart offer fresh-cut trees straight from farms, featuring some of the best species including Douglas Fir, Nordmann Fir, and Norway Spruce. Provided they don’t sell out immediately, these can be delivered straight to your door in time for the holiday. Plus, many retailers like The Home Depot and Lowe’s offer free shipping, making your purchase even more convenient. Other lesser-known-options include Weir Tree Farms, Hammacher Schlemmer, and A Tree to Your Door.

How Do I Select a Real Christmas Tree Online?

Each retailer has its own selection of species, sizes, prices, as well as festive accessories like ornaments, fruits, and lights for decorating them. Before you start shopping, we suggest choosing the desired location of your tree, one that is ideally away from any heat sources, and measuring it. Once you have those measurements, consider the following factors as you peruse each retailer’s selection: your desired height and width, its color (a sign of its longevity), its maintenance needs, delivery times and costs, and of course a style that complements your home. Each retailer has a very detailed description on their trees (some offer handy guides like The Home Depot) and their own pre-ordering and delivery policies, so be sure to read closely before making a purchase.

Do Real Christmas Trees Go On Sale?

Unfortunately, with the ongoing shortage of trees outpacing the increasing demand, the cost of real trees has gone up in recent years. That’s not to say you can’t find ways to save on them. But, don’t expect sales on the day you may expect to: Black Friday or Cyber Monday. In fact, according to research, the most expensive day to buy a tree is Cyber Monday. Sales data shows that Christmas tree prices start off high on Black Friday when the average cost is $79. By Cyber Monday, that price increases to $84. That said, you can still find savings. A great place to check for special offers on Christmas trees from lesser-known farm-to-door sellers is Groupon. If you’re willing to compromise on quality (hey, you can hide a flaw by facing it toward the wall) and be a little patient, the best week to buy a Christmas tree on a budget is the week before Christmas, when you can save up to 22% and score the same tree for anywhere from $68 to $59.Very often large retailers are looking to clear their inventory and will offer savings then. Other options to save on your tree include considering a smaller size, as well as a less-expensive variety. For example, firs typically cost more than spruces or pines, as the cost ultimately boils down to how long it takes to grow each variety.

How Do I Buy a Real-Looking Artificial Tree?

Should limited inventory and slightly higher costs deter you, you can, of course, always consider an artificial tree. You can buy these from any number of retailers, including those mentioned above, in addition to Wayfair, Amazon, and eBay, and these do go on sale quite often, including now. The greatest deals for these trees are, you guess it, around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you have your heart set on a real tree, opt for artificial realities that look most realistic. These are not hard to come by these days. We suggest looking for varieties that look fullest in appearance, meaning they have the most foliage and highest-quality branch tips. Also take into consideration which materials the needle types are made of. While PVC needles (which are more flat and paper-thin in appearance) are what most artificial trees are constructed of, they don’t have as realistic a look as the PE (polyethylene) models, which are made by injecting the material into a molding system along with varying colors to create more authentic, lifelike branches and needles. When shopping for artificial trees, take a close look at the materials used, as these ultimately will give you a long-lasting evergreen that resembles the real deal, especially from a distance.