Real or Synthetic Christmas tree: Which one to get and where

Christmas trees are in big demand as the festive holiday approaches. While a myriad of options for a decorative tree is available, here are some key considerations when picking one for the upcoming festive season.

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Which one is more sustainable?

Artificial or synthetic trees are often made of plastic, and scores promote them as friendly to the environment as they help real trees from being cut down. In reality, though, authentic fir trees grow on marginal land that offer insignificant agricultural value. It makes no difference to the crops and animals living nearby if they were to be chopped down, which makes real trees are more sustainable.

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Which one is more practical?

Buying a Christmas tree for home use often poses a storage issue, especially in small flats. Obviously, a real tree will be extremely difficult to store for the following year’s use, while plastic synthetic trees can be stored for months.  However, when synthetic trees wear down, break or need to be disposed, they are often dumped in landfills. On the other hand, real trees can be recycled, providing a more long-term solution for consumers and the ecosystem. sells festive trees as well as offers collection services to recycling your tree for HK$200.

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Which size to get: full-size, miniature or table top?

A full-size Christmas tree as high as nine feet provides a fantastic backdrop and decor for a truly festive ambience for those with ample space. However, most flats in the city don’t have the luxury of high ceilings to accommodate tall trees. Fortunately, miniature trees can be easily propped and adorned with dazzling ornaments. Table top-size ornamental trees are also great options for easy storage and a minimalistic style.

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Where to buy a Christmas tree?

There are several options when buying a Christmas tree, whether online or from a farm. Personally browsing for a tree or picking up one with the family is certainly a way to enjoy fond memories of Christmas. The flower market in Prince Edward offers every year a wide array of real and artificial Christmas trees to choose from. Alternatively, Chun Hung Garden offers a farm-wide selection of  top-tier authentic American Christmas trees. It actively participates in HKEPA’s Tree Conservation Scheme and it sends collected trees to the EcoPark for recycling after the Christmas season.

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If you prefer the convenience of picking one from a catalogue and having it delivered to your doorstep, an easier and time-saving option is to shop online. Sophie’s virtually offers authentic high-quality trees from the US, while Anglo Chinese florist stocks pretty much anything that you need, from miniature two-foot trees to full-sized, nine-foot trees. It also offers decorated table-top trees and bespoke flower arrangements for gifts, as well as a collection service to its customers.

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Japanese home décor company, FrancFranc, and Rosewood Shop, housed within the luxury hotel of the same name, are also well known for charming table-top Christmas trees and other festive floral decorations and gifts. 



Evergreen Feelings: this season’s best Christmas tree ornaments

According to psychologists, families who put up their Christmas decorations early are generally happier than their counterparts who hold off until the last minute, and here at Gafencu, we don’t need to be told to be jolly twice. With the festive season mere weeks away, we’re setting out to embrace the holiday spirit in full by sharing our recommendations for the season’s most darling Christmas tree ornaments, alongside a complimentary history lesson of the beloved holiday tradition. 

Most know that bringing home and decorating an Evergreen tree is a cherished holiday tradition, but where exactly did this long-held custom originate from? While the roots of today’s modern Christmas tree can be traced to Northern Europe thousands of years ago, the first documented use of such foliage for the festive season dates back to the 15th-16th century in Estonia and Latvia. A few decades later in medieval Livonia and early-Modern Germany, the custom of decorating trees in their homes was started by local Protestants. Fast forward to today, and families the world over have adopted the practice, including our very own Hong Kong.

In the 19th century, upper class families in the Western World began to partake in the tradition too, sprucing up their Christmas trees with ribbons, ornaments, tinsel, and sweets. In modern times, Christmas trees are a staple of many a household’s living room, decorated not only with heirloom ornaments from the past but with contemporary decor such as peppermint candy-canes and string lights.

With such a wide assortment of ornaments and decorations to choose from, we’ve put together our list of the prettiest items to hang from your Christmas tree.


Text: Bailey Atkinson