How to Choose an Outdoor Christmas Tree


Time to read 8 min

How to Choose an Outdoor Christmas Tree

Decorating your outdoor space with a Christmas Tree is one of the best end-of-year investments your business can make. An outdoor Christmas Tree makes a bold statement to your customers, elevates your business environment, and gets you more traffic.

That said, choosing the best one for you can be a bit complicated. Here’s what you should know.

  • An outdoor Christmas tree will help you attract more customers and improve their buying experience. 
  • Choose a tree based on its physical dimensions, style, and visual alignment with your brand.
  • Outdoor Christmas trees are built to last, but carrying out weekly inspections and maintenance helps them stay in good shape. 
  • You can decorate your tree with lights, ornaments, ribbons, toppers, and props for added visual appeal.

Outdoor Christmas Trees: Trendy or Tacky?

The difference between a tastefully decorated outdoor space and one that might look tacky or over the top largely depends on: execution. When choosing an outdoor Christmas tree, pay attention to the size and design of the tree, as well as how compatible it is with its surroundings.

While an outdoor environment gives you more room and flexibility to work with, you still need to consider the ideal dimensions for your space. A taller tree will help you attract more foot traffic but might look out of place in smaller spaces. 

Design and aesthetics are just as important as size. You want your Christmas tree to be well-decorated and its aesthetic elements to be harmonious with its surroundings. Lighting can be a powerful tool here.

By simply matching your tree’s lights to the color palette of your brand, you can create a more memorable customer experience. A study shows colors can help managers enhance the mood of their customers. So, experiment with the colors of your tree and background lights and create some interesting combinations which reflect your brand’s identity. 

Benefits of an Outdoor Christmas Tree

Outdoor Christmas trees are not all show! They help decorate your property, which can have real, significant benefits for businesses and can help you hit some of your sales targets. A captivating Christmas tree is an investment – one that will pay off for years to come.

Attracting Customers

Think of an outdoor Christmas tree as a customer magnet. Because it acts like one, especially when you decorate it well and place it strategically on your property to be visible from important sightlines and catch the eye of those passing by.

During the holiday season, people are in buying mode, and it’s much easier to sell them on your products and services. You’ll get more sales if you can draw in foot traffic closer to you, and a Christmas tree helps you reel people in from afar.

Improving Customer Experience

People want to create memories during the holidays. And if you want to leave a lasting impression on your customers, there’s nothing quite like a well-decorated outdoor seating space with a beautiful Christmas tree as its centerpiece.

But the benefits don’t extend solely to your customers. Remember that you’ll also boost the morale and productivity of your own employees for as long as the tree is around.

Getting Social Attention

The Christmas tree provides an attractive background for photos, selfies, and group images. You’ll know if your decorations are working well if customers gather around for a quick selfie or photo.

Here’s the thing: Photos are shared excessively on social media during the holidays. So, a well-fashioned Christmas tree can not only get you more customers in-person, but valuable social exposure online too.

Tips to Consider When Choosing an Outdoor Christmas Tree

Before anything else, make sure you’re purchasing your tree from a reputable supplier. Look for a solid warranty and after-purchase customer support.

To choose the perfect tree, focus on these three factors.

Choosing the Right Tree Shape

The shape of your Christmas tree influences its visual appeal and determines how well it fits into the available space. You should consider the layout and spatial dimensions of where you’ll place your tree to select the most suitable shape.

You have several options:

  • Traditional Full Trees: These trees offer the classic Christmas look. They’re simple yet versatile, which makes them a very popular choice among businesses looking to decorate their outdoors.

  • Slim Pencil Trees: If you’re working with limited outdoor space, slim pencil trees might be a more suitable choice. They take up less room while still adding height and festive charm. They also tend to be more affordable since they use less material.

  • Modern Shapes: If you want to stand out from the ordinary, modern designs and unique shapes are just what you’re looking for. Designs like spiral and  walk-through trees  help you put on a more avant-garde display. 

Choosing the Right Christmas Tree Size

The size of your tree needs to be proportional to the outdoor area to avoid overwhelming the space or appearing too small and insignificant.

Measure the height and width of the space where the tree will be placed. Ensure there's enough room not just for the tree but also for any additional decorations you might want to add later.

Leave a comfortable amount of space for viewers to appreciate the display. Especially so if you’re decorating an outdoor seating space. Your customers probably won’t appreciate the tree as much if it’s so close that it ends up being disruptive and distracting.

And most importantly, consider the sightlines to the tree from various approaches to the business. Focus on traffic-heavy points; entrances, exits, and walkways.

A larger tree may be necessary to draw traffic from a busy street, while a smaller tree can suffice in a more intimate or pedestrian-friendly setting.

Choose The Perfect Type for You

Choosing the perfect type starts with deciding whether you need a live or artificial tree.

  1. Live-cut or Artificial
    This one is an easy decision. For businesses looking to use the Christmas tree for commercial purposes, using an artificial tree is almost always the right call. That’s because they’re durable, require little maintenance, and can be used for years on end. Modern artificial trees can easily replicate the authenticity and charm of their live counterparts, so there’s little to no downside.

  2. Tower or Panel
    Tower and Panel trees both involve stacking steel rings for the main support structure. Towers have rings stacked in two-foot increments and use branches for foliage, giving a more realistic and natural look. Panel trees, on the other hand, use rings in four-foot increments and utilize large panels of foliage. This gives their foliage a very regular and uniform look.

    If budget isn’t a constraint, giant Christmas trees tend to be the preferred choice. They’re large, awe-inspiring, and have natural-looking foliage.

  3. PVC vs PE
    And finally, if you want to get down to the details, consider what material the tree uses for foliage. The two mainly used types are PVC and PE – short for Polyvinyl Chloride and Polyethylene.

    PVC is more affordable and durable, but PE looks more natural and realistic due to its being modeled after real branches. If you want the most authentic look possible, go with PE foliage.

Best Outdoor Artificial Christmas Trees

The best outdoor artificial Christmas tree for you depends on your goals, budget, and of course, your outdoor space. Let’s look at some common scenarios to see which type of outdoor Christmas tree would suit your needs best:

  • Your outdoor space dimensions
    If you’re restricted to a more compact space but still want some height, the best option for you is to go with a slimmer design. Consider a tree like the Monarch Tower, which is perfect for narrow walkways and entrances, or compact outdoor sittings.

  • Go for budget-friendly options
    Getting a high-quality Christmas tree doesn’t have to break the bank. You have access to plenty of high-quality options even if you’re working with a fixed budget.

    A smaller tree is perfectly fine – and can even be the optimal choice – if your primary goal is to improve your customer experience and get social shares.

    Paired with the right props and decor, a smaller tree can appear more inviting than the larger ones and make for a more interactive experience. Your customers will feel encouraged to walk up and snap a selfie. 

    Just adjust your budget and shift your emphasis to nailing the decor and creating a warm, lively ambiance.

    Use warm tones of light to set the mood, and make sure there’s enough space around your tree for customers to gather around and take a picture. 

  • Choose based on your needs and goals
    If your goal is to attract more customers and make more sales, go for a tree that’s tall and brightly lit so it can grab attention from a distance.

    Something like a tall  Sequoia Tree  as they are massive tower trees with sizes ranging from 14’ to 70’, making them perfect for commercial outdoor usage. They feature the very best in both aesthetics and technology.

    If you have custom decorations in mind, get a traditional tree to save on the extra lighting and decor costs.

    If you don’t have the time or resources to deal with after-purchase decoration, getting a pre-lit, or better yet, a pre-decorated tree can end up saving you money in the long run.

Caring for an Outdoor Christmas Tree

Outdoor Christmas trees like the ones we offer at Dekra Lite are extremely durable and built to last. But they do need some care and maintenance every now and then to stay in tip-top condition.

So, below is how you can care for your outdoor Christmas tree to make sure it lasts for a long time:

  • Avoid positioning your tree under direct sunlight if you’re located in a sunny region. Avoid placing it in close vicinity to heat sources as well. Look for Christmas trees that come with a UV-resistant coating to prevent sun damage.

  • Take care of dust build-up regularly. Clean your tree weekly or whenever there’s a noticeable build-up of dust on the foliage. Use a gentle brush or a dry microfiber cloth. You can use a spray bottle with water when more thorough cleaning is required but do not use chemicals or harsh cleaning liquids.

  • Clean gently. Avoid damaging any sensitive lights, ornaments, or decorations while cleaning.

  • Use commercial-grade LEDs. Christmas tree lighting can be quite energy intensive. Using quality lighting helps you save on power costs and protects your tree foliage from undesirable discoloration due to heat buildup. Go for power-efficient, low-heat decoration options.

  • Carry out regular check-ups to inspect for damage. Check the foliage and electrical harness, especially after extreme weather events. It’s better to spot and deal with problems proactively so your Christmas tree lasts you through the full holiday season.

How To Decorate an Outdoor Christmas Tree

Many Christmas trees come with lighting pre-installed for convenience, but you can take things a step further with:

  • Vibrant custom lighting
  • Shiny and reflective ornaments
  • Colorful ribbons
  • An eye-catching topper
  • And various props

But – before you go hunting for the perfect decor – remember that it’s best to keep things cohesive by deciding on a theme first.

A festive, snowy theme with red and white is always an option you can default to for the holidays. But you may want to consider using your brand’s color palette instead to help incorporate your brand into your decor.

Make sure to get ornaments and decorations that are UV-treated, weather-resistant, and suitable for outdoor use.

About the Author

Located in the heart of Orange County, California, Dekra-Lite, Inc. is a trusted leader in the commercial Christmas industry. We decorate hundreds of commercial properties, shopping centers, amusement parks, and cities each year, making holiday dreams come true all across the country.

We’d love to bring your extravagant vision to life!

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