Best Artificial Christmas Tree

JeccaOctober 16, 2005

We're in the market for an artificial tree and I'm looking for some recommendations on which one to get. There are so many stores that sell them, and I don't want to spend a ton on an inferior tree.

Also, are the prelit ones good? I love how they look and their convenience, but I don't want to have to buy a new tree in a few years when the little bulbs start to burn out. Any experience with these?

I remember reading a few years ago that Kmart sold good trees. Is that still the case? Anyone with other recommendations?



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Don't know about pre-lit ones but QVC has some nice ones on today.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 9:54AM
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I have a prelit. If you do not follow the instructions when taking it down it could be tough to put up next year. And I have one area that the lites have gone out in. And the spinner only lasted 2 years. I have had it about 7 years. This year I am not putting it up. I am putting up a group of three smaller trees. But I got my prelit at Kmart for a decent price and it really is a nice tree.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 10:41PM
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I'm in the same dilemma after spending all of those years dragging the family out to the tree farm to cut down our own tree. I've been told that you want to look for ones that offer the largest number of tips and lights. I have seen one purchased from that was amazing - but it was over $600 and was 69" wide! This is prelit, which raises other questions as you and gordon point out. My DH says that they could be more of a PITA should one light burn out but the thing we dread the most in terms of Xmas decorating is putting up the lights. Gordon - did the fact that your tree was prelit have anything to do with how tough it was to put up the following year, or was that independent?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 3:02PM
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My mom got a prelit a few years ago. I put it up but I was not there when they took it down. They unplugged every plug. With a prelit tree you only have about 3 plugs to worry about. So the next year I had to figure out what went where. Now they let me put it up and take it down. The problem with the one section of lite on mine is that it is not "if one bulbs goes the rest stay lit" Those might be available now though. Yeah, putting up lites in my house is really funny. We usually end up fussing about it. That is why we got a prelit in the first place.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 4:31PM
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I worked in a Christmas store and learned how to lite trees like the pros do which was part of the job there.However after years of doing it and at home I decided this year we would get a prelit tree.
As already mentioned, the most important thing is the number of tips as that will be the fullness of your tree, of course you must fluff it up each year like any Ours comes in 3 sections and if 1 lite goes out the string stays on. Yes ours revolves, altho that is not why we bought it. It can be switched off to stand stationary which is fine with me.We will be putting it up next week-end, so we will see how pleased I will be with our purchase. Irene

    Bookmark   November 25, 2005 at 10:37AM
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My prelit works okay. Three lines plug together. It's in three sections. The only problem is that it is very heavy to lift when putting the 3 parts together. Definitely needs two people to set up. And the price was good - $79 purchased last December. I think it's seven feet or 7 and a half.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2005 at 2:48PM
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We purchased an artificial tree from Chrismas Depot about 4 years ago. They aren't cheap, but they are beautifully made, really sturdy (and a bit on the heavy side), and just beautiful to look at and decorate. They're also made in the USA, which is a nice added bonus. I've attached a link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Christmas Depot

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 2:48PM
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Hi all,

Just came across this forum while looking for some assemply instructions for our pre-lit artificial tree. We purchased it from Kmart about 3 years ago, but the instructions have disappeared. I tried putting it together last year and thought I had the lights plugged in together the right way, but for some reason couldn't figure out how to plug them in in the right order so that all the lights would light up at the same time (I checked each section individually and they lit). I noticed that Gordon, Jannie, and Craftymeca mentioned having these pre-lit trees and just wondered if anyone would be willing to either post or email me the light plugging instructions that they had with their trees (ours are labeled A, B, C, etc. but I'll try anything). I know what order the tree trunk and limbs need to be placed together; it's just the lighting that's causing the problem. I've searched the web to see if I could find any assembly instructions online but haven't found any mentioning the lighting order. If you want to email me rather than post the instructions, let me know and I'll post my email.

Thanks for any help you might be able to give.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 8:39AM
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HOORAY!!!!!!Well the tree is up and it all lit up. I covered my eyes as I was so worried that it would not work. It's been a crazy week dd had a baby boy on Monday 2 weeks before the due date and things are really topsy turvy.Anyway, I have to say while its is great not to have to string 900 lites fluffing those 1800 plus tips sure makes up for it. lolWe bought our tree at sears and Can dollars it was $250 but the Martha ones were over $500.

Ladybard, perhaps if you know the manufacturer of your tree and if you have the box perhaps you might ask them or even go back to K Mart on the off chance they can help with the maker. There must be some info on your box.

Oh yes, this tree is about a foot taller than our old tree but much wider, hummmm not sure if I will have enough decorations even with the additional 18 balls I bought. Perhaps I might have to decorate only one side and not show off the rotating button.Irene

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 5:23PM
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Thanks, Craftymeca.

Unfortunately, the tree wouldn't fit back in the box after it was first up, so they bought one of the tree bags to store it in and got rid of the box. I know it was from the Martha Stewart brand at Kmart but other than that I have no information on the manufacturer (I've checked the tree itself). I have thought about pleading my case to the people at Kmart, hoping they'll let me peek at an instruction sheet.

Glad yours worked. And congrats on your new grandson!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 5:57AM
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Ladybard, I'm sorry you're having trouble with the lights on your pre-lit tree. I am sorry because I threw out the instructions when I put it up last year. It's in storage now and I haven't had time to get it out and set it up. I'll do so next weekend. Then if it's successfully connected and lights work, I will re-post more information.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 4:49PM
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We just bought a new artificial pre-lit tree a few weeks ago from Garden Ridge in St. Louis. Our first time for a pre-lit. It was $300. Easy to put up but the sections were heavy. I couldn't have done it alone. My dd helped me. Took a long time to spread out all the branches but the finished product is just beautiful. Lots and lots of lights. Only 2 problems for us. It's 7 1/2' just like all the other ones we've had in the past but the stand for this one is different and makes it stand taller and puts it closer to the ceiling. We have a beautiful Lenox Angel Tree Topper that we can no longer use because not enough room for her. Also we collect Hallmark Ornaments and have many that are electronic. When we tried to plug them into the light sockets we found out they are NOT compatible. So had to pack them all away. Bummed us out. The kids really like having those on the tree. Other than that it is beautiful!!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 6:01PM
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Ladybard, I finally got my pre-lit tree up and the lights working properly. There are UL tags all over it. Also several notes telling me "Do not piggy-back". I have a special extension cord that has four separate outlets built in, about 18 inches apart. The tree is in three sections. Each section plugs in separately to the extension cord, which also has an on-off switch. The main thing is do-not-plug-the-tree-lights-into-each-other. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 3:16PM
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Hi Ladybard.....Coincidently, I was in the same boat as you trying to get my pre-lit tree lights to work properly. It sounds as though I have the same tree you do. After some dedicated digging thru boxes & bags of Christmas decorations, I came across the instructions that came with the tree. Hallelujah! I would be happy to email you the instructions if you like. Merry Christmas! GrannieB

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 7:54PM
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We purchased a tree from Christmas Depot also. It is our first artificial. We've always gone to a tree farm and cut one down, but we found a new spot for the tree and it's too close to our bedroom. I sneezed the whole time the tree was up. I really like my was pricey, but made in USA and not pre-lit. Most friends I talked to have had no problems with pre-lit trees, but one friend whose lights went bad spent hours with wire clippers trying to get the lights off her tree. Besides, I love my lights, especially the bubble lights which remind me so much of my Aunt Martha. DH is in charge of lights and he said it was MUCH easier to string than on the real trees. I found that the ornaments go on and stay on better, and you can bend the tips to accommodate your ornaments. The only bad part is that I'm missing one branch, and CD has not responded to e-mails. I guess I'll call. The tree looks fine w/o it, but for the price, I want a complete tree.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2006 at 11:21AM
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I too have a Martha Stewart pre-lit christmas tree from K-mart, and I can't remember how to hook it up right so the rotating stand works. Can anyone help me out?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 4:57PM
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My 7ft artificial tree is over 20 years old and I still love it - it cost $35.00 back then. It comes in 2 sections and was not pre-lite. All I have to do is fluff it up - for years I left my own lights on the tree - the top part had its sets of lights and the bottom its set. I took them all off several years ago to refresh them all and just never bothered to do that again. I love the fact that you can bend the branches and have the ornaments all dangle. It is not a 'full' lush tree but that is OK too - I like the see through look - reminds me of trees of long ago. All in all the best $35 I spent - it has more than paid for itself.....


    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 6:00PM
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Miss rebecca, don't have a MS tree but I have a revolving stand and all I do is plug the lights into the stand, then the stand plug into your outlet. I have a remote and it is good to go. Mine has a button for lights, tree and music.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 10:44PM
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I'm glad dd50 was able to offer you some advice Rebecca.

Lynne, you have certainly gotten your money's worth out of that tree! Have you seen what they cost now? I was pretty amazed. Finally gave in and bought one because I was tired of worrying about the tree drying out so fast.


    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 11:48PM
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Ladybird, did you get your tree going? I put mine up last night, also a Martha Stewart from K-Mart, and was hoping I still had the instructions. No luck. I basically do what Jannie described, connect the various plugs into each other or into one of those multi-outlet extension cords. I had most of it working at one point except one section, and went crazy until I found the plug for that--they do hide. This morning when I plugged it in it didn't work and I groaned, until I realized the extension cord has an on-off switch and the cat must have sat on it and changed it.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 7:12PM
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GrannieB or Ladybard just wondering if you could email those instructions - I have lost mine too and my granddaughter loves the tree!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 12:31AM
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My wife and I just got a fantastic deal on a Sylvania Stay-Lit Tree from Lowes

It's a 7.5" Bayfield Pine.

It has 800 lights and 1672 tips.

The tips are multi color, you have dark green on the inside and then the outer tips are a "fuzzy" goldish green.

The lights have a random twinkle feature that's really neat, not only do the lights twinkle in a completely random pattern but the duration of the twinkle isn't consistent, some have a fast cycle and some are real slow.

It's not our first artificial tree but it is our first pre-lit.

A lot of people seem to forget that you can add more lights to these.

You just have to do it the old fashioned way, run a second extension cord to the center and branch out from that with your specialty light sets, etc.

You can even run a "stay-lit" string for your Hallmark ornaments, just remove all of the lights and only use it as power source for the ornaments.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 9:41PM
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Two years ago we purchased a pre lit GE tree right after christmas. Plugged it in to test it and everything was fine.

The next year one string of lights went out or never went on. Ordered a warranty replacement and by the time that string arrived another string was out.

Turns out the GE name is just on the box they dont support it, its some fly by night company (name I cant remember).

it was an expensive tree and after replacing the light strings, It would have been easier to string lights the old fashon way every year. I suggest you think twice about the prelit trees. I dont know why a cheap $5 lite set would last years and an expensive prelit tree would be such a dog.

Well we gave the tree away when we moved this year and now I am looking at trees again. Thinking twice about a prelit tree.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 2:56PM
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Whats up,
I am also thinking of a pre-lit tree. I've seen some pre-lit trees advertised that have LED lights. I'm going to look into those, as I have not yet had a string of LEDs go out on me, even when I've stepped on them. I don't want to buy unless I see it in person, as I want to see how bright it is. Need to do some window shopping first.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 7:28PM
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Bought my pre-lit '06. Had problems with it one day after putting it up. 1/2 of one strand went out and stayed out. This tree has the clear mini lights, but I also had a problem this year with one of my battery operated LED string lights for Halloween. Both problems were with the cheap wiring, not the lamps (light bulbs).

When you're tree shopping, be sure to look closely at the following:

1. Wire gauge (i.e. thickness). The strands on my tree were a bit thinner than what I was used to. Manufacturers can get away with this since the tree is rated for indoor use. Over the years, all the light strands I've used (C9, C7, mini or LED) have been rated for indoor/outdoor use - the wire on such strands is more robust and I've found out the hard way that really makes a difference.

2. How the wire is attached to the branches. My tree was literally wound so tight with the light strands that it was a bit of a problem getting the branches to fall properly. That much stress on a thin gauge wire is asking for trouble.

3. What kind of clips are used to hold the wires/lights in place. These usually look like little plastic horseshoes. Not only was there a wee bit of overkill in the clip department on my tree, there were several places where I felt the clips would have contributed to additional strand failure in fairly short order.

Long story short, I wound up doing exactly what GB did - removing all the original strands and rewiring with better quality (indoor/outdoor) lights. A miserable job since getting the original strands off was a time consuming pain in the you-know-where.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 8:44PM
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I purchased a cheap 6 1/2 ft from Walmart two years ago and so far so good. You have to remember which plugs to unplug and which not to touch. I learned that the second year. I did purchase another one from Walmart and part of one strand wouldn't light so back it went.

This year after Christmas I purchased a GE for $40 after 90% off so I figured if it only lasts a few years I will be OK.

I did have a beautiful tree that I had to put lights on and in a way I wish that I would have stayed with that because I never had much problem putting lights on and these are so heavy because of all the metal. After 10 years I got tired of it and everyone was saying how good the prelit were.

My neighbor has a prelit that she bought 8 years ago that she wasn't had any problems with. It was inexpensive also.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 9:08PM
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I just received a surprise check and would love to use it to buy a nice artificial tree. Last year, I had a very negative experience with ChristmasDepot, so I won't do business with that company again. Unfortunately, when I try doing web searches for trees that are not made in China, that company (and its various aliases) keeps popping up. Does anyone know where I could purchase a tree that's not made in China? So far I have struck out with at least half a dozen stores. Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 12:53PM
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Are Ladybard or GrannieB still out there??? It's been several years since they posted, but I'm having the same dilemma with my Martha Stewart pre-lit tree from K-Mart. My kids helped take down the tree and unplugged I can't get the lights to work. Of course, I can't locate my instruction booklet. Are the instructions still available? It would make this holiday season so much easier!!! Thank you to anyone who can help!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 3:54PM
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I have a Martha Stewart tree from K-Mart. I looked for my instructions last year when the same question came up, but I apparently lost them. I haven't had problems getting it to light, though it does take some trial and error. One thing I did which may help is to buy one of those extension cords meant for Christmas trees. They have female outlets every 18" or so, and are meant to extend down the length of the tree. I found that the cords that came with the tree are a bit short to connect one section to another, and it was easier to plug lights into a separate extension cord, which I also use for the supplemental lights I add. The separate extension cord also avoids the problem of plugging one pre-light cord into itself, an easy mistake to make--ask me how I know! That may be the reason fourkids is having trouble getting it to light.

My Martha Stewart tree fit the bill because it's slim and 7' instead of the usual 7.5'. It fits nicely in the corner of my low-ceiling dining room, which is a good central spot to be seen from my kitchen and living room too. It's got "silk" needles of a couple of different varieties, which I find a little weird--it's nothing you'd find in nature. But like most trees, once it's lit and decorated it looks just fine! The newer artificial trees with plastic needles instead of silk are *very* realistic looking, and I may spring for one of them in some future year.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 1:34PM
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I chose NOT to purchase a pre-lit tree, since i've been using pink lights for the last umpteen years, approximately 35+ years. I do have a couple of pre-lit smaller ones, but inexpensive as they're used in other rooms, and not *quite* as important as my pink tree.

Pre-lit vs no lights is somethings to think about. Not from the standpoint of the strings of lights burning out, but wanting to use a different color. Guess you could always cut them off. ;o)

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 2:06PM
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PC, it is hard to find a nice tree that doesn't have lights. I looked last year and only found a few small ones. I wanted a big fat tree.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 12:31AM
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Are ladybard or GrannieB still out there?? I've tried all the suggestions made to get my Martha Stewart prelit tree to work. I just really need original instructions regarding A,B,C,cords and what to plug in where

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 5:00AM
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* Posted by
( on
Sun, Nov 30, 08 at 5:00

Are ladybard or GrannieB still out there?? I've tried all the suggestions made to get my Martha Stewart prelit tree to work. I just really need original instructions regarding A,B,C,cords and what to plug in where

I think you just have to keep trying different combos. The plugs should be almost in the same spot. Have you checked the fuse. That may have blown. I had a hard time doing my tree one year (not MS) but I got the plugs in the right place and wrote on them with a permanent marker. Most of the plugs will close when not in use so you may not have seen it. I know I had that problem.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 12:08PM
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dd50 - I don't know if this will help since I'm in the same boat as you. I did find a toll free number on my box 800-813-0206 the hours are Mon-Fri 8 am-9 pm I plan on calling Monday. Also they have a web page where I was able to send a message to customer support at . I'll let you know what happens. I'm sure I will continue to fiddle with it all weekend and I of course hope to get it lit prior to Monday.

If you have found any answers yet - please let me know!!


    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 5:35PM
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I too chose NOT to buy a pre-lit. I was in Target the other day and stopped to look at the Trees when I heard a lady and her daughter (grown) talking about the trees. I said something to her and she responded with "I have a pre-lit tree now, but has white lights and I decided I wanted colored lights this year" (expensive decision). I told her I had an un-lit tree and that it gave me the option each year of white lights or colored lights...

Something to think about.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 5:47PM
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pmueller, is your tree plugged in and not working or you can't find the correct connection.

I have heard the lightkeeper pro is good for finding the bulbs that are making the lights not work.

Do you get any lights to light?

I have two different trees and the instructions only say to plug in at the joints. There are different plugs that I unplugged the first year but found which was which and then marker with a marker the ones that need to be messed with.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 8:28PM
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DD50, I bought a prelit last year with the white lights. We have a little GD who loves colors, so I just add multi colored lights to my tree. So now I can have all white, all multicolor,--or the two combined which is actually very bright and pretty. Luvs

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 8:34PM
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Hello all,

I have just set my pre-lit up. Bought 2 years ago at Lowes, 7 feet (I think), beautiful fluffy tips, they really have a nice selection there. Not cheap, but mine was the last one of that kind and they gave me 50% off. PLUS the added advantage of not having to set it up that first time.

So now my problem... the tree comes in 3 parts -> all the power sources (extension plugs) are on the middle part. The top part had one male plug dangling, so that was easily plugged in, and it's working. But the bottom part has 3 plugs. 2 are the male/female connect-thru plugs, the kind to piggy-back. I plugged them in and those 2 strands work. But the one remaining plug is a female end-plug. Where am I supposed to plug that to? Makes me wonder if there is a male plug out there somewhere with power on it, which is impossible. I must be missing something, but can't figure out what.

Suggestions, anyone? I'm baffled.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 11:38PM
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* Posted by lynnencfan (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 1, 07 at 18:00

My 7ft artificial tree is over 20 years old and I still love it ...I love the fact that you can bend the branches and have the ornaments all dangle. It is not a 'full' lush tree but that is OK too - I like the see through look - reminds me of trees of long ago. Lynne

I want to buy that kind of tree... where do I find one? I've been googling for days with no luck... can't even find a picture of the kind I want... open, airy, can see all ornaments front, back, and sides hanging from individual branches.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 2:36PM
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I did see trees like that last year in KMart but didn't check this year. You may also want to check Sears.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 10:08PM
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I have an old artificial tree from K-Mart...3 sections...plugs galore....this is the first year I cannot find the instructions...and we can't get the lights to work...HELP!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 1:08PM
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My Martha Stewart tree has red dot stickers on the three plugs that plug into the same extension cord with a red dot that you are supposed to run up the middle. The end of this extension cord is toward the bottom and plugs into the base or lower area. Hope this helps anyone with the lighting delema.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 1:42PM
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I think it's funny that this thread dates back to 2005! Ewms5, look for my post about 2/3 of the way down from the beginning of this thread where I talk about using a multi-outlet tree extension cord, this may help you with your dilemma. I see that I wrote back in 2008 that I might look for a new tree--so far I haven't done so, the old one still fits the bill.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 2:42PM
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Its pretty amazing how far they have come in regards to ease of use and convenience. I remember using a king mtn. tree in the 70's that was pre-lit and it lasted for literally 20 years without much of a hitch. I had to replace lights but beyond that it was really made well. Flip it around to today and you find a lot of these artificial Christmas trees made in China. I did have luck with one company though that is listed in my link below. They we the ones I picked to replace my tree and I've been happy with it quite a bit. The ones I'm seeing in local stores however aren't really turning my head much. The martha brand trees are just cheap trees that have her named on it, that's all.

Here is a link that might be useful: Best Artificial Christmas Trees

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 11:07AM
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