realistic artificial Christmas tree with clear LED lights

At Balsam Hill™, we design artificial Christmas trees that cater to your needs and preferences. Whether it’s a realistic Christmas tree that resembles your favorite evergreen or a traditional one that combines quality and budget, we have you covered. Find what style is best for you in this guide to foliage types and realism.

Needle Type

The first artificial Christmas trees featured papery polyvinyl chloride (PVC) needles. After some time, polyethylene (PE) trees gained popularity as a more lifelike alternative. Learn more about the two types below.

close-up shot of PVC needles

Classic Needles

Classic needles are made from flat PVC strips cut to resemble tree foliage.

Pros:

  • Soft, flexible tips with a traditional artificial Christmas tree look
  • More affordable
Cons:
  • Flat and papery texture

True Needle foliage of Balsam Hill BH Balsam Fir

True Needle™

Created by Balsam Hill, these injection-molded PE needles mimic the structure, texture, and color variations of natural evergreens.

Pros:

  • Recreates the dimension and detail of real tree branches
  • More durable and long-lasting than PVC
Cons:
  • Costs more than PVC Christmas trees

Levels of Realism

Most artificial trees feature a combination of PVC and PE needles—the more lifelike the tree, the higher the PE count. Balsam Hill Christmas trees are categorized into three levels of realism:

close-up shot of Balsam Hill Blue Spruce branches

Traditional

Our most cost-effective trees feature 100% Classic Needle (PVC) foliage.

SHOP TRADITIONAL TREES »
realistic foliage with PE and PVC needles

Realistic

With up to 65% True Needle (PE) foliage mixed with Classic Needle (PVC), these trees strike the right balance between realism and budget.

SHOP REALISTIC TREES »
close-up of the Balsam Hill BH Balsam Fir foliage

Most Realistic

These have more than 65% True Needle (PE) foliage for outstanding realism, with Classic Needles (PVC) near the trunk for added fullness.

SHOP MOST REALISTIC TREES »

Tree Species

We use real branch clippings as our guide in crafting highly realistic Christmas trees that remind you of your favorite tree species.

Fir

close-up and wide shots of BH Balsam Fir Christmas tree

FEATURED: BH BALSAM FIR

Fir tree branches grow densely, concealing its trunk. Flat, flexible needles sprout singly from the stem and feature blunt ends. They grow in a spiral pattern up to the tip of each branch, giving fir trees a lush appearance.

Ideal for: Those who prefer fewer ornaments on their tree

Spruce

close-up and wide shots of Balsam Hill Woodland Spruce Christmas tree

FEATURED: WOODLAND SPRUCE

A spruce tree has rough branches and needles that sprout individually from the stems. Unlike firs, spruce needles have pointed tips and four sides, which make them easy to roll between your fingers.

Ideal for: Those who like the classic full tree shape and have heavier ornaments

Pine

close-up and wide shots of Balsam Hill Scotch Pine artificial Christmas tree

FEATURED: SCOTCH PINE

Pine trees have sparser branches around the trunk. Soft, long needles are attached to the stem in clusters of two, three, or five.

Ideal for: Those who want to showcase more Christmas tree decorations

Color

Christmas tree with red and white Nordic ornaments and frosted Christmas tree with frosted winter ornaments and gifts

FEATURED: CALIFORNIA BABY REDWOOD TREE & BH FROSTED FRASER FIR

Like real trees, Balsam Hill trees come in different shades of green depending on the tree species. We also offer flocked and white trees to suit special Christmas decorating themes.

Green

close-up and wide shots of Balsam Hill Silverado Slim Christmas tree

FEATURED: SILVERADO SLIM

Our best-selling green Christmas trees take after the varied hues of favorite evergreens. For instance, the Silverado Slim has medium green tips, while the Scotch Pine has a combination of dark and light green foliage. Some trees are multi-toned, like the Fraser Fir with dark green tips and silver undersides and the Blue Spruce with blue green and silvery needles.

DECORATING TIP

Explore Christmas decorating themes such as traditional red, green, and gold, modern Scandinavian, and rustic farmhouse with classic green trees as your canvas.

Frosted

close-up and wide shots of Balsam Hill Frosted Alpine Balsam Fir realistic Christmas tree

FEATURED: FROSTED ALPINE BALSAM FIR

Inspired by the wintry outdoors, our frosted Christmas trees are flocked with light layers of faux snow. They feature the same Classic Needle and True Needle foliage as the rest of our trees.

DECORATING TIP

Create a cozy wintry scene or an elegant French country display with snow-covered branches.

White

close-up and wide shots of Balsam Hill Denali White Christmas tree

FEATURED: DENALI WHITE CHRISTMAS TREE

An alternative to traditional green trees, white foliage is a versatile backdrop for unique ornaments and playful themes. Decorate for year-round occasions such as Easter, birthday parties, sporting events, and more.

DECORATING TIP

Showcase your winter whites, glittering metallics, and special decorating themes on a pristine white canvas.

We hope this helps you find the Balsam Hill Christmas tree that’s right for you. For any questions or concerns, please contact us here.

SHOP TREES BY REALISM

Want to see and feel the branches for yourself? Purchase our Branch Sample Kit to compare actual branch clippings in the comfort of your home. Learn more here.

FURTHER READING

Here are other resources to help you find your perfect Christmas tree:

CHOOSING AN ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE

CHRISTMAS TREE SIZES: HOW TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT HEIGHT & SHAPE FOR YOUR HOME

CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTS: THE BALSAM HILL GUIDE