Written by Terry Smith

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Best outdoor artificial Christmas trees without lights

So, you’ve decided to go all out this Christmas, and give the outside of your home as much attention as the inside when it comes to decorations. You’ve probably thought about giant inflatable Santas’ (checkout the outdoor Christmas decorations for that :D), snowmen, reindeer, fake snow, and of course: an outdoor Christmas tree. If you want an outdoor Christmas tree with lights I’d recommend a quick look at this page too!

If you’ve looked into outdoor artificial Christmas trees, you would have noticed that there are pre-lit trees and trees without lights. Which is better? Well, that depends on you. Are you the type of person who likes the convenience of just plugging in a tree and enjoying the show? Or is giving your tree a personal touch with your own lights and decorations your thing?

There are a few advantages to setting up your own Christmas tree lights rather than buying a pre-lit tree. For example, if there is a problem with the lights not working, it is much easier to replace them.

Obviously, you’ll have a lot more choice in what kind of lights you can have on your tree if you don’t buy a pre-lit product, and with so many different options available to you these days, you could create something very unique and spectacular.

In this article we’ll cover the important things to know about outdoor artificial Christmas trees, and give you our opinions on some of the best-selling products out there, to let you know whether or not to bother spending your pennies on them.

So, whether you’re looking for a smaller tree to stand in a pot, like in the photo below, or you want a towering 8ft tree to grab the attention of passers by, we’ve got you covered.

Christmas Tree to stand in a pot
Christmas Tree to stand in a pot

My picks for best outdoor artificial Christmas tree:

  1. Himaly Unlit 7ft tree- best outdoor Christmas tree for porch if you pick the 5ft size. (best outdoor artificial Christmas tree)
  2. Raxter artificial Christmas tree – best alternative and great on a budget
  3. Abaseen Christmas tree
  4. The twiddlers artificial Christmas tree – best small outdoor Christmas tree
  5. Gymax Christmas tree – best tall outdoor Christmas tree for gardens
  6. Kaemingk Christmas tree – best luxury artificial Christmas tree

 

What is an outdoor artificial Christmas tree without lights?

I don’t think it will shock you to find out that an outdoor artificial Christmas tree without lights is exactly what it sounds like, i.e., a Christmas tree with no electrical components or LEDs, that can be used outside of the home.

I only refer to them as outdoor Christmas trees without lights as there are products that come pre-lit and have lights already built into, or attached to, the tree, and this is my way of separating the two.

Outdoor artificial Christmas trees have to be able to withstand the harsh conditions we sometimes get over the festive period, here in the UK. That means that the materials used have to be hardy, waterproof, and resistant to things like corrosion, mould, and all the other naturally occurring damage that comes from staying outside.

The tree also has to be sturdy and have a way to anchor it down. You don’t want to wake up on Christmas day and have to go and get your tree off your neighbours roof now, do you?

One of the main benefits of having an outdoor artificial Christmas tree is that there is a real limit to how big your tree can be other than the size of your garden. So, if you’ve always wanted an eight feet tall goliath of a Christmas tree but your ceilings won’t allow it, an outdoor tree is the answer.

The quality of these trees can vary by quite a large margin, and price isn’t always a good indication that one product is better than another. On the other hand, you should expect to pay more if you want a very realistic looking tree that will last a long time.

How realistic can an artificial tree look? Well, the one featured in this video is one of the more expensive products, and I would say it looks pretty good to me. What do you think?

Possible problems with outdoor artificial Christmas trees

When anything is left outside for long periods of time, you’re going to have to deal with weather-based damage. Obviously, there is the wind to contend with, and we all know how strong the gusts can get in the winter, but even in nicer conditions you still have to be aware of things.

For example, there is the damage that comes from clear, sunny skies in the form of UV rays. These rays can fade the colours of your artificial Christmas tree pretty quickly if it hasn’t been made to withstand this kind of thing. Over time, UV can actually degrade the quality of the plastic used for some products too.

Then there is rust and corrosion. It is very, very difficult to protect metal parts completely from rust, but good quality paint work, galvanised or stainless steel, and materials such as aluminium are the best for being rust resistant.

Talking of metal parts, the base of your tree should be made of this stuff and it has to be big enough to support the size and weight of the tree properly. I’ve seen some trees that are available in different sizes, but the base is the same size for all of them. Obviously it isn’t great if you choose an 8ft tree but still have a base meant for a 5ft one, so be careful when buying.

If you’re putting up a Christmas tree outdoors, you probably want people to see it. This means decorating it with some good quality outdoor Christmas lights. When dealing with this type of lights, you have to consider which power source you’ll go with: batteries, solar, or mains, and each has its pros and cons. If you’d like to know more about this, please visit our page on the best outdoor Christmas lights.

When your tree first arrives, it will not look it’s best but don’t worry. Usually, it just requires you to fluff out the branches to get the best effect, and here’s a video showing you just how to do that-

What is the best material for an outdoor artificial Christmas tree?

Most budget artificial Christmas trees will be made out of the same material, and that is PVC. This is a hardy material and is suitable for outdoor trees too.

Some people don’t like PVC trees as they don’t always look the most realistic, and if a lifelike tree is what you’re after, then look for a product that has a combination of PVC and polyethylene (PE) branches and tips. If you check out the photo below this section, yu’ll see an example of a PVC and PE tree.

This combination is used on a lot of artificial Christmas trees and, if done correctly, can give a fantastic overall effect, with the PE parts usually taking the foreground as they are generally the better-looking parts.

When choosing an outdoor artificial Christmas tree for your garden, the metal components are also important. I’m talking about both the base and the actual main branches, although the latter are sometimes made of plastic on some trees.

For the base/stand, you want a strong metal like steel or iron as it has to take the weight of the tree, even when the tree is blown around in the wind. The branches have to be strong enough for you to hang decorations on them without bending and dipping out of place, or your tree will not be able to look its best.

Christmas Tree with strong metal base/stand
Christmas Tree with strong metal base/stand

My experience and examples of using outdoor artificial Christmas trees

My first outdoor Christmas tree adventure wasn’t the most successful. I made a rookie mistake and didn’t check if the product was UV resistant, and within very little time, my lush, dark green tree was looking a bit jaded.

Lesson learned, the following year I made sure to check that my new tree was not only waterproof but also could handle sunlight for long periods without fading. However, I was so distracted by checking those things, I neglected to take a proper look at the base of this tree.

If I had paid more attention, I would have realised pretty quickly that the base/stand was far too small for such a large tree, and it left it quite unstable, even after anchoring the base down. The tree managed to get through Christmas without falling or getting blown over, but I had sleepless nights over it.

The third year, I got it right. Not only was my tree fully weatherproof, it also came in its own pot, and was extremely stable. It was a decent size too, about 7 feet if I remember rightly, and had red lights built into the branches.

I bought some outdoor Christmas tree decorations to go on the tree and some extra lights, and it looked fantastic. Back then it wasn’t as easy to find tree decorations that are designed to last outdoors as it is today, but I used a bit of common sense, and only a couple of my choices fell apart before the season’s end. I claimed that as a victory.

These days things are thankfully simpler, and you can find outdoor Christmas lights, outdoor Christmas decorations, outdoor Christmas trees with lights, and everything else you could possibly need to make your garden look special. You can go with a large tree as a focus point, or maybe some snow effect, smaller trees, like the one below. It’s completely up to you.

Christmas Tree with Snow effect
Christmas Tree with Snow effect

Best artificial Christmas trees: without lights (reviewed)

It’s time now to see what we thought of some of the best-selling outdoor artificial Christmas trees, after spending a bit of time with them. Are they worth the money? Or should you look elsewhere? Let’s find out, shall we?

 

Available in three different sizes, and all available at competitive prices, these outdoor artificial Christmas trees from Himaly are some of the best that I’ve seen in their respective price ranges.

I personally spent some time with the largest version that measures 7ft, but there are 5ft and 6ft versions available too. The current asking price for the 7ft tree on Amazon is around 60 pounds, and I would say that makes this tree excellent value for money.

When the tree arrived, it was packed very tightly into a small box and I have to admit I was a little worried about how it would look when assembled. My worry was misplaced though, and after slotting the four parts together and using the thumb screws to tighten things up, I only had to spend an hour fluffing up and separating branches to make the tree look fantastic.

This tree has two different types of branches, some made of PVC, and others of PE. This combination gives the tree more depth and adds realism to the overall appearance. Both types of branch can be adjusted, and I would say that it is necessary to do so in order to create the best effect.

There is a noticeable gap between two of the upper sections, but you can cover this by angling and fluffing of the branches, and clever use of tinsel, lights, and decorations. With a bit of work no one will ever notice.

As well as the different branches there are pine cones scattered around, and these two have two different colours for extra texture. Then there are multiple bunches of red berries to top off the look. Combined, they really catch the eye, and it gives the impression that this tree costs more than its actual price.

With 767 PVC pieces and 133 polyethylene pieces, the tree appears very full when fluffed up the right way. However, due to the design and shorter lower branches, the bottom of the tree doesn’t flare out too much so it doesn’t take up too much space horizontally.

I liked that the four-footed, metal stand got larger with the larger trees. I know it should be common sense, but I’ve seen more than a few artificial Christmas trees that had stands too small for the tree. The 7ft tree stand measures 45cm, and it is definitely big enough to keep the tree stable.

So, if you’re willing to spend a bit of time adjusting things when you first set up the tree, I would definitely recommend this product. It’s such a cracking looking Christmas tree, and available at a really good price for the quality. Yes, there are cheaper artificial trees out there, but they don’t look this good.

Pros

  • Mix of PVC and PE branches adds realism
  • Artificial pine cones, berries, and different shades of green, create a fantastic looking tree
  • Good solid base to stand on
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • There is a gap between two of the sections, but this is easy enough to deal with. In fact, the following video is just one of many out there that show you how to do this-

Less than 24 quid for a towering, 7ft tall Christmas tree? Hard to believe, I know, but that’s what the Raxter company is offering us with this value product. For that low a price, you’re probably thinking there is some catch, but apart from one silly issue with the base, this is a great low-budget tree and a great alternative to the top pick

The issue I’m talking about is that there is a plastic cap on the part of the tree that is supposed to fit into the base. You have to remove the cap to assemble the tree, but this cap is pretty much impossible to remove unless you cut a chunk out of it, rendering it unsuitable for future use. Thankfully, this isn’t an important part and doesn’t really affect anything, but it is annoying.

Other than that, I found the Raxter outdoor artificial Christmas tree easy enough to set up. The different sections just slot together, and are then secured with thumb screws so you don’t need any tools.

You will have to spend a fair bit of time adjusting the branches to make the tree look decent and fairly full, but you soon get into a rhythm and the time passes by pretty quickly. Even after you’ve fluffed up all the branches, it doesn’t look as good as the Himaly tree, but as it costs a third of the price, you can’t complain too much.

Speaking of the Himaly product, the stand on this 7ft tree is practically identical and has the same support bars under the four feet to provide extra support. The result is the same too; you get a very stable base for your outdoor tree.

There are no pine cones, berries, or different shaded branches with this tree, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t attractive. The shape and texture of the branches have been designed well, and with some decorations and lights on there, it looks wonderful.

When a product is priced as low as this, you do have to expect some flaws and quality issues, but I’m happy to say that other than the ridiculous cap on the bottom section, and the fact that some of the branches didn’t feel as well attached as others, there wasn’t much to dislike.

Pros

  • Tall Christmas tree for a low price
  • Well designed, and offers good value for money
  • Parts slip easily into each other and are fixed by thumbscrews
  • Has good stability, even when outside

Cons

  • Plastic cap on the bottom of the tree was hard to remove

Despite the Abaseen company seemingly wanting to discourage potential customers with their confusing, and often contradictory, information in their product descriptions on various sites, they are still selling well. So, we got out hands on one, and here’s what we thought.

First of all, this is not a pre-lit tree like it is sometimes advertised, nor does it have snow-flocked colouring. I was going to pass on trying this particular tree due to confusion, but I saw the photos from happy customers and realised that there have been some mistakes with the amazon page, and decided to give it a go.

I’m glad that I did. The packaging the tree arrived in was well thought out and there wasn’t any sign of damage, which was a good start. Out of the box, the sections seemed a little flat, but this isn’t my first rodeo, so to speak, and I know you can’t tell how it will look until the tree is assembled and you’ve adjusted all the branches.

Assembly was really straight forward and just needed me to connect the section together, bend down the branches and do the usual adjustments to get the look I was after. This did take longer than I expected as the branches weren’t hinged like some outdoor artificial Christmas trees, but it wasn’t especially difficult to do.

Once completed, I have to say I was very happy with the result. There weren’t any large gaps between sections, or even between branches, and the tree had a nice, chunky, look to it. There was also a realistic appearance to the branches, especially from the other side of the room, even if there isn’t any difference in colours or shades.

This 7ft tree is quite wide at the bottom, I would guess around 3ft in diameter, so it will take up a bit of space. The base is a decent size too, but this is a good thing as it keeps the tree standing like it should.

The only bad thing I can say about the Abaseen tree is that the metal rods used for the sections aren’t as thick and strong as I would have liked for the price you pay. I personally didn’t have any problems with it, but it makes me wonder if these rods will bend in strong winds. Other than that, this is a good product.

Pros

  • Nice, chunky, appearance once branches are fluffed out
  • Large tree with a wide bottom section, and would look good in a garden
  • No noticeable gaps between the sections and branches
  • Tree looks quite realistic from a short distance

Cons

  • Metal rods for main sections could be made from thicker material

The Twiddlers 4ft artificial Christmas tree is a good low-budget option for people looking for something a bit more understated than the 7ft products we’ve reviewed so far.

The tree has a good deal of tips and can give a bushy look if you arrange them properly. However, the majority of the plastic foliage is towards the other part of the tree, and so, although the tree appears very full from a few feet away, if you get up close, you can see the inner part is quite empty.

Of course, this doesn’t present a problem if you’re using the tree as a garden decoration, as people won’t be jumping over your fence or hedge to stick their head through the branches, will they?

This is a largely PVC construction and is hardy and durable enough to handle the outdoors, the metal stand has been powder coated well, from what I saw, and you shouldn’t get problems with rust any time soon.

The stability of the tree in the base isn’t as good as some of the other trees we tried out, despite looking identical, so be prepared to make a modification or two to really get the stability up to the level where it can handle stronger winds. This can be as simple as using a cane or something as support, and perhaps it was just the item we got our hands on, but I thought I’d mention it.

I guess if I was to sum up this Artificial Christmas tree, I’d say it’s a bit hit and miss. On the surface, and from a distance it looks great, but closer inspection shows that it is a budget product.

This is seen in other areas too. For example, the parts of the tree connected together easily, but there was a bit too much play and needed to be supported more to be used outside. The branches themselves weren’t that strong and I think you’d be limited to decorations that aren’t too heavy.

I guess these things are to be expected from a low cost, smaller tree, and none of the flaws are anything that can’t be easily overcome with a drop of common sense, so I suppose I see why plenty of people seem happy with it.

Pros

  • Compact size makes it good for porches
  • Durable PVC construction makes it good for outdoor use
  • Low cost outdoor Christmas tree
  • Looks very full from a short distance away

Cons

  • The low cost nature of the tree can be seen if you get up close to it

If you decide to go for a smaller tree, and would like some ideas on how decorate it, spend four minutes or so watching the following clip-

If you want to make a statement with your garden Christmas scene this year, and that statement is ‘look at me’, what better way to do that than with an 8ft tall, bright white, Christmas tree?

Although also available in a smaller 6ft size, we decided to go with the big boy as we saw it has 1138 tips, and thought that it would look fantastic as a centrepiece. I mean, if you’re going for a white tree, you might as well go all out, right?

When the tree arrived, and I popped open the box, I was a bit taken back and I’ll admit that I thought I’d made a mistake. The tree looked very bare, and even though I have experience with this kind of item, and I know that it takes a while to manoeuvre the branches into the place and shape, I still had my doubts.

Again though, I assumed wrong and after slipping the parts together, which was a doddle, and then spending what seemed like a very long time pulling all the branches and tips apart, I finally saw that the tree did in fact look good.

I say good, and not amazing or some other stronger word, as there were still noticeable gaps in between the branches, and it didn’t look as full as the advertising photos. However, these gaps were easily covered with tinsel, lights, and other decorations, and then I started to feel like it would impress, especially at a distance.

My main annoyance with the tree was the stand. It is undersized for such a big tree, and I’m only glad it’s made from iron otherwise I think it wouldn’t handle the weight. We were testing the tree outside, so we just anchored the base down and it wasn’t a big problem, but a slightly bigger one surely wouldn’t cost that much more to make and would make the tree so much better.

I liked that the branches were strong enough to hang some decent sized decorations on them. After all, a tree this size wouldn’t quite look right with tiny little baubles and ultra-thin tinsel on it, would it? No, we went to town with the decorations, and the tree did just fine at holding its structure.

At the time of writing, the 8ft version of this tree is actually cheaper than the 6ft one on amazon (another reason why we went for it), and I suppose when you’re paying under 50 quid for an 8ft white tree, you can’t grumble too much at a few small flaws. You want a perfectly made tree? You’d better be prepared to pay a bit more for it.

Pros

  • Available in a variety of sizes
  • Extra large 8ft tree has 1138 tips, making it look very bushy
  • Strong branches will allow you to hang larger decorations
  • The 8ft version is well priced

As I was just saying- if you want a top-quality tree, you have to be prepared to pay more for it, and the Grandis artificial tree from Kaemingk Everlands is just such a product.

Made in Europe, and available in 5ft, 6ft, and 7ft sizes, the Grandis tree offers a touch of realism that is hard to beat. A big part of its authentic look is down to the combination of PVC and PE needles, that not only look different, but also feel different too.

We, of course, chose to play with the largest version and were impressed with the density of the tree. Well, after we had fluffed up the 2326 branch tips anyway, and that was certainly not a one-man job.

It wasn’t that there weren’t gaps between the branches, because there were, it’s that the gaps didn’t go all the way to the centre of the tree, and instead of taking away from the attractiveness of the tree, they only seem to add to the overall effect. It’s a really nice layered look that can be adjusted to look incredibly realistic at a short distance.

The main branches of the tree are the fold down type that are connected to the trunk by hinges and so can’t be adjusted. But this is a good thing, as it gives them a lot of strength and stability which allows you to go to town with the decorations and lights. There’s plenty of flexibility with the smaller branches though, and it’s not hard to get them to look as you want.

There are some nice little touches with the Grandis that make quite a difference, even if you only realise it subconsciously at first. I’m talking about the branch stems being coloured dark brown to make them look more realistic, the needles of different shades, and even the trunk of the tree. Altogether, they give off a sense of quality and this was remarked upon by a few passers by over the week we had this tree in the garden.

Now, I have to say that as good as this tree looks, it is not identical to a real tree. It is as close as I’ve seen for the price range, but right up close you’ll see that it is an artificial Christmas tree. Personally, that doesn’t bother me at all, but I know there are ‘purists’ out there that will expect the tree to look 100% genuine.

For everyone else, I can see them being more than happy with the Garland if they don’t mind spending the money. I would definitely say you’ll get a few years’ worth of use out of it, and it comes in a sturdy little storage box too.

Pros

  • Available in 5ft, 6ft, and 7ft sizes
  • Looks incredibly realistic for an artificial tree
  • Lots of small details that add to the overall effect, such as realistically coloured branches and different shades of green.
  • PVC and PE needles for a lifelike appearance

Cons

  • You will have to pay more for this kind of quality, but I think it’s worth it. Just take a look at this video that shows how to set it up, and you can see what I’m talking about…

Well, it’s time for me to make like a tree and leave (sorry, I just can’t help myself when it comes to puns). If you’d prefer to have a pre-lit tree for your garden, please check out our article on that very topic, and we have similar pages on outdoor Christmas lights and decorations too, complete with product reviews of the latest and greatest.


About Terry Smith

I’m Terry Smith from gardentoolbox.co.uk, a professional landscape designer, hobbyist gardener, and barbecue fanatic with 20 years experience building and restoring. So as you go through my site you'll watch me document some of the professional garden installs I make as well as the major projects I take on at home. While sharing those experiences and guiding you, I'll be recommending some great tools I use to enable this along the way so you can really buy in confidence.

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