Balsam Hill Christmas tree quality

lombardguyDecember 4, 2009


I paid a fortune for my noble fir through Balsam hill. I have never really thought it was worth the price but it is a nice enough tree, so I thought ok it will last many many years.

Today two strings of the lights have gone out. This is only my second season, so there should be some type of warranty, whatever that means.

Called Balsam hill. Their first step is to have the customer replace the fuses and see if that works. They will not discuss next steps until this is completed. I understand, but I am so dissapointed in the quality, now I am disgusted when looking at the tree. I told the person on the phone that there is no way I can go digging for the plug to try to find it at this point... the tree has over 200 glass and crystal ornaments on it and I am not about to jiggle it and also not about to try to move it just to get to the back of the tree. I am basically stuck with this until I take it down for the season. If this was the day after Christmas I wouldnt feel so bad.

Terrible quality lights are used. I am stunned. I have never had lights fail on any previous prelit tree, and I only paid 100.00 for some of them.

Who knows what they will do if the fuses dont solve the problem. I cant have a tree that is only partially lit... I now realize the downfall of prelit trees ---they are great WHEN they work.. I may end up having to spend a huge amount of time removing the lights if a satifactory solution is not reached. I dont have faith that others wont fail. I cant pitch this tree after two seasons.

I guess I am just venting, as I dont think anyone can offer a solution. Has anyone encountered anything similar?

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I had a TERRIBLE experience with Balsalm, to the point that I PROMISED Balsalm that if anybody ever asked about them, I would let them know my disappointment. I wanted a shorter tree than the one I had from Walmart, but I wanted a fuller, more realistic tree, something that would make people ask "is that a real tree?" Of course, that's probably unrealistic, but after talking with them for quite some time, the sales person recommended the tree that would fit what I was looking for.

I waited until after Christmas to purchase it at a discount since I was investing so much into it. When it arrived I was SO EXCITED but when I opened it, I was so disappointed. It looked no better than my $l0.00 mark down tree from Walmart. They would not take the tree back because it was after the season. They said they would credit me what I paid for it toward a larger, fuller tree, but I declined. I insisted I wanted my money back. They said I could donate the tree to a charitable organization and they would pay me for it, but by this time it was March and I couldn't find an organization willing to take a tree at that time.

I approached them about donating the tree at the start of the following year's Christmas season and they said too bad, so sad, we offered it back in March and now the offer is off the table. They said, in fact, all offers were off the table, including the offer to get a credit toward a fuller, more excellent tree (the type of tree I thought I was reccommneded in the first place).

I ended up donating the tree to charity myself and taking the tax deduction for it. That same year I got a prelit from Target which I LOVE.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 10:31PM
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    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 3:29AM
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Boy, I usually try to research companies before purchasing... I blew it this time. I think I am going to end up paying for this mistake with a tree that will end up being tossed way before I ever thought it would...GRRRRRRR. I am thinking its time to go back to a real christmas tree!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 11:31AM
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Lombard, I truly feel your pain. Everytime I went in my storage closet and my eye caught that box, I would cringe. That's why I ended up just giving the thing to Goodwill. I could have probably used it in a bedroom but I didn't want to look at it. I've moved on now with my $99.00 (Black Friday 2006 purchase) from Target. I love the tree!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 7:21PM
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I agree with the customers above. Last Christmas (2010) would have been the third season for the Balsam Hill tree. When my husband put it up the lights would not work. I called to see if they would send out a replacement tree per warranty. No go, you have to call between February and August. I called today, August 3, 2011 and the manager was cynical saying "Boy you really played this to the wire, and we don't have your kind of tree, and so we can give you a credit towards a new tree after we deduct 10% for the years you have used it...
Shop locally so you can have your problems resolved when you need it.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 5:46PM
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I went with a non-local company called TreeTime our of IL as I'm in Arizona that came recommended by a family member and have been very pleased so far. They were very friendly people and the quality of my artificial Christmas tree is without a doubt the best I've owned.

Its very hard to find companies you can trust on the Internet but at least we have forums like this to protect consumers. My sis wasn't scammed by Balsam Hill but by Tree Classics who ironically is now owned by them. Snake oil is snake oil I suppose?

Go with Treetime, I was definitely not disappointed.

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

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 9:00PM
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I am the original poster and after agonizing over the decision I purchased a Frontgate Colorado Blue Spruce. I was afraid I was going to be deeply dissapointed, but I have it up and decorated and at this point I am extremely happy with it. It appears that the trunk of the tree is sturdier than Balsam hill, the stand is better and the one thing that really seems to distinguish the tree is the quality of the PE molded tips..they are much more realistic than the PE molded tips on the Balsam Hill tree.
Who knows how I will feel in a year or more, but for now I am a happy owner. All lights work perfectly and were easy to connect and the tree did not take forever to fluff the branches.

Wishing everyone a happy holiday season! Have a great Thanksgiving next week and a very merry Christmas!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 9:11PM
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Welcome, nice to hear you found a new tree your pleased with. We'd love to see pictures of your new tree when you have time. Happy Holidays to you and yours too.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 10:16PM
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Heya lombardguy, glad you found a tree you're happy with! Some of us have had some nightmare online companies we've had to suffer through until finally finding the right choice.

Although, I don't trust Frontgate because they don't specialize in trees. They simply buy them wholesale from Barcana and then sell it to you for a MUCH higher price. True story. You can look them up at I'll never buy a tree from a place that doesn't 100% specialize in Christmas and have a hand in the manufacturing process. Why bother otherwise, then I might as well just buy a costco pile of junk that lasts 1-2 seasons.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 7:58PM
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I'm glad I saw this post, as I'm looking to replace a very expensive tree I bought from Tree Classics two seasons ago. Well, the first season, the lights failed three times. They replaced one section under warranty and were supposed to replace the entire tree after the holiday season, but said they were out of stock and would send later. In September '12, I still hadn't received the replacement tree and started contacting Tree Classics again. Guess what?! They'd gone out of business (bankrupt) and sold their name. The new Tree Classics, marketing under the same name and selling the same items from the identical website still claiming to be in business for over 30 years, said they weren't responsible for "that other" Tree Classics, who sold "inferior" products to theirs. I paid almost $800 for a tree that didn't work for even a full year and had zero recourse. Run away!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 9:54AM
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I'm thinking to purchasae a new tree either this year or next. I think I will go through QVC. I know exchanging something as big as a tree is a hassle but QVC usually stand by their return/exchange policy. And they usually have a tree on easy pay during their monthly Christmas shows that start on July 25th (well, they've altered the dates to whatever's closer to the weekend).

One tree they are offering this year is from Bethelehem Lights. I have so many of their lighted decorations; I'm always pleased with them.

I can't believe I posted about my Target tree in this thread 4 years ago and now I"m in the market for a new tree. I actually think I have caused it to droop by adding too many ornaments every year!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 6:47PM
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Original poster again... hello to all as we begin to think about the upcoming Christmas season.

Going on third season with the frontgate tree... so far so good, as of last season not a single light burned out. Hoping for good news this year. I liked it enough to purchase a second tree from frontgate for a different room, its their fraser fir. Should be delivered any day now. I will post my thoughts when I put it up next month some time, although I am already anxious to see what it looks like. The Christmas bug is starting to bite already :)

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 8:53PM
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