Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

The Difference between PVC and PE Christmas Trees

While artificial Christmas trees may seem similar from afar, a closer look will show substantial difference in terms of material, fabrication, and durability. There are two types of artificial Christmas trees: the standard PVC and the ultra-realistic PE.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

When artificial Christmas trees were first introduced, needles were made of PVC. This material is hard-pressed into thin pieces, then cut into fine, rectangular needle-like strips. The strands are then twisted between two strings of wire to outline the tree branches.

PVC needles are often flat and look unrealistic but because they are inexpensive, they became a popular alternative to natural Christmas trees.

Polyethylene (PE)

PE was introduced several years later and is now considered to be the only material that can replicate the look of real trees.  Using actual tree branches from a variety of conifers, elaborate patterns are molded and infused with PE, which results to a realistic-looking tree.

Unlike PVC Christmas trees, the molded polymer needles of PE trees have the thickness and mass of a true tree branch. Moreover, the needles are three-dimensional rather than flat. Some artificial Christmas trees, however, have a combination of PE and PVC to make them look thicker and fuller.

Artificial Christmas trees are investments meant to last for years and so it is important to purchase one with excellent quality. That way, you are sure to enjoy a cost-effective and worthwhile product that looks superb throughout the years. Happy decorating!

About the Author
Inspired by my passion for the visual arts and my years of experience in the field of design, I enjoy a life of style and artistry. I am a devoted follower of minimalism and I believe in the marriage of form and function. I try to live by these principles, from my subtle but classic fashion sense when it comes to clothes and jewelry, to the various projects I manage and work on in my professional career Influenced by the refined grace of Coco Chanel, the timeless beauty of my favorite city, Stockholm, and the new ideas and trends I read from design books, I try to infuse my life with elegance and sophistication. Join me on Balsam Hill’s blog to get my tips and advice on home design and personal style.