Real vs. artificial: On the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree

Posted at 5:21 AM, Dec 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-01 11:01:58-05

It’s Christmas season and that means it’s time to deck the halls — in Michigan that means tree farms are wheeling and dealing.

VOTE: Which type of tree do you prefer for the holidays?

In Macomb County, there’s one spot that’s become an annual trek for many: Blake’s Orchard. Known for their hard cider and fruit picking during the warmer months, in the winter Blake’s becomes a hot-spot for you-cut Christmas trees complete with free wagon rides to and from the Christmas tree field.

At Blake’s, you’ll find eight different types of Christmas trees — experts can walk you through the different pros/cons of each individual tree on site.

Of course, there is the never-ending debate: real tree versus artificial tree. The winner is obvious if you ask someone at Blake’s, but for those who are budgeting the debate is a worthwhile discussion.

The reality is you can find artificial trees for a variety of prices — but as a number of budget blogs will note: a good artificial tree with a  5-to-7 year lifespan is likely going to cost you $200. Similarly, a budget hawk can likely find a fresh-cut tree for $30-$40 each year.

When it comes to tree maintenance, real trees do require a little more work, but those in the “pro real tree” camp will tell you it’s worth it for the tradition, and the fresh pine scents that you’ll find in your home. It’s also worth nothing that a little watering will go a long way. On Blake’s website, it notes that only .1 percent of tree fires are caused by dried Christmas trees — that number comes from the National Fire Protection Association.

Regardless of what type of tree you use, safety experts will tell you the same thing: keep it away from heat sources, make sure all wires connected to electrified ornaments (lights, moving ornaments) are in proper working condition, and always unplug your tree when you go to sleep.

If you’re heading to Blake’s to find a tree this year, keep in mind they have Holiday hours. They’re open daily between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. this time of year. If you’re looking to cut down your own tree keep in mind that the last wagon ride departs at 5:00 p.m. You can stop by until December 23rd when they close up for Christmas.

At Blake’s, they’ll provide the saws to cut your trees down, free wagon rides, and they’ll clean and wrap the tree — you’ll need to plan on how to tie the tree to your vehicle, but twine is provided. The tasting room for Blake’s Hard Cider and Winery is open daily. For more details on Blake’s U Cut and pre-cut Christmas trees you can check out the website: