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5 Tree Shapes and How to Display Them

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Every family looks for that ideal holiday centerpiece to take home and decorate. Christmas trees come in many shapes and sizes, and there’s sure to be one that will match what you want.

Families look forward to decorating their Christmas trees (Photo courtesy of The Mama Notes)

Families look forward to decorating their Christmas trees | Photo courtesy of The Mama Notes

The right choice often begins with knowing the correct tree shape for your home. The tree’s shape, which also called its profile, is the triangular outline of the tree that tells how narrow or wide it is. This is important when you consider how a narrow hallway or small room can get crowded when a full-bodied tree is placed in it. To avoid these less-than-perfect décor choices, we’ve put together a helpful guide on the different artificial Christmas tree shapes and where it’s best to place them.

The Full-Shaped Tree

This is the most common profile, as it copies the shape of an actual tree as seen in nature: a triangular cone that’s wide at the base and tapered on top.

The BH Noble Fir is a classic among full-shaped trees

The BH Noble Fir is a classic among full-shaped trees

This classic tree shape is a good match for most homes and big families and would display well in a spacious area. Place a bright-colored tree skirt underneath to highlight its fullness and to bring out the rich color of the foliage.

The Narrow-Shaped Tree

Made more slender than full-shaped types, narrow-profile trees are ideal for smaller rooms and take less space.

The Vermont White Spruce Narrow is a space-saving option to a full-shaped tree (Photo courtesy of Decor Gold Designs)

The Vermont White Spruce Narrow is a space-saving option to a full-shaped tree (Photo courtesy of Decor Gold Designs)

Pictured above is the BH Vermont White Spruce Narrow, with a profile 7 inches narrower than its fuller counterpart. This tree is trimmed down for the needs of a young couple or for a small family in a cozy home.

The Slim-Shaped Tree

Also called the pencil-shaped tree, this profile is the best way to maximize space. Slim trees make hosting holiday parties much easier, as the freed-up floor space allows guests to move about and mingle—without them bumping into a Christmas tree.

The Sonoma Slim Pencil Tree displays well even without ornamentation (Photo courtesy of Citrine Living)

The Sonoma Slim Pencil Tree displays beautifully even in tight spaces (Photo courtesy of Citrine Living)

If you’re going for a minimalist theme, this centerpiece looks great embellished or undecorated. Give guests a wonderful forest feel as they enter your home by displaying a pair of slim trees on both sides of your doorway.

The Flatback Tree

This tree shape was designed to have a full-profile look while taking only half the space. It gives the illusion of a full profile, as its flat back is placed against the wall, while the lush, green side faces the room.

The Fifth Avenue Flatback Tree’s shape makes it ideal for apartment units and condominiums (The Yellow Cape Cod)

The Fifth Avenue Flatback Tree’s shape makes it ideal for apartment units and condominiums (Photo courtesy of The Yellow Cape Cod)

A great choice for narrow hallways and smaller rooms, the flatback is used on TV and movie sets because it appears just like a normal Christmas tree.

The Topiary or Potted Christmas Tree

Inspired by the fresh look of young saplings, these small Christmas trees or topiaries are set in ornamented pots.

Potted trees like the Potted Colorado Mountain Spruce display well in pairs (Photo courtesy of Randi Garrett Design)

Potted trees like the Potted Colorado Mountain Spruce display well in pairs (Photo courtesy of Randi Garrett Design)

Display them indoors or outdoors as accents for foyers and porches. Our pre-lit potted trees make wonderful displays when paired to flank doors or entryways.

We hope that this guide will help you pick the best tree shape suited for your home. Visit Balsam Hill’s visual guide to selecting tree profiles, and read up on shaping your tree the right way.

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On the Balsam Hill blog, we hope to provide our readers with inspirational decorating ideas the entire family will love. Beautifully appoint your home for every holiday with our decorating tips and tricks.

About the Author
On the Balsam Hill blog, we hope to provide our readers with inspirational decorating ideas the entire family will love. Beautifully appoint your home for every holiday with our decorating tips and tricks.