Behind the Design

An Interview with Balsam Hill Flip Tree Inventor Bruce Schooley

Founder Thomas Harman first started Balsam Hill with a goal to provide homeowners with premium quality artificial Christmas trees, unlike anything they had ever seen before. He wanted to create a collection of trees that capture the beauty and elegance of nature, without sacrificing the convenience of an easy-to-install design.

With modern innovations such as Balsam Hill’s signature True Needle™ foliage and Easy Plug™ technology, he has been able to do just that. And with the introduction of the Flip Tree™ technology, the company has taken the next step to make Balsam Hill Christmas trees the best in form and function.

in the video below, Thomas chats with Flip Tree™ inventor Bruce Schooley. Bruce has been a long-time innovator of artificial Christmas tree designs and brings his state-of-the-art creation to Balsam Hill’s premium evergreens.

Thomas Harman: Can you tell me what inspired the Flip Tree, how you got into Christmas and thinking about Christmas trees in the first place?

Bruce Schooley: My wife and I were married on Christmas. We absolutely love Christmas. We love all things Christmas. We have five, six, seven Christmas trees each year.

What’s happened with Christmas tree over the past few years is that they’ve become much heavier because of these lifelike tips. They make the trees breathtakingly beautiful, but they also make them heavy. I noticed year after year when we got different trees, they were becoming heavier and heavier. It provided the inspiration for having a unified tree design so that you wouldn’t have all these parts that you’d have to put together.

For the Flip concept, which carries the weight, it allows you to have two parts of the tree: the main part and the treetop. It’s a response to the evolution of Christmas trees. It has become such a wonderful product, but its size and weight needed a solution.

TH: As you were thinking about this new invention and starting to perfect it, how long did that take?

BS: After I got the initial concept for the tree, it took me hours to figure out how to actually make it work. Do I re-wire the tree so that when you flip it, you wouldn’t have wires crossed? You have to think of the tree as one unit. People look at it and they don’t quite understand how it’s possible for this thing to work. After a while, the light goes off and I say, yeah, I get it now. I see how it would work.

TH: We’re excited to have Balsam Hill be the new home of Flip Trees. Can you share the difference of the Balsam Hill Flip Tree from Flip Trees you’ve worked on in the past?

BS: In my opinion, the Balsam Hill Flip Tree is by far the best Flip Tree I’ve ever produced, not only with quality but with beauty, design, and attention to detail. I think almost any customer would instantly recognize that.

Another thing that’s tremendous about Flip Tree this year that we didn’t have in the past is the Easy Plug, which now allows a customer to set up the tree and put on the top without ever having to attach internal extension cords. This couldn’t be a simpler item to put up.

TH: Through the years of doing Flip Trees and interacting with customers, you’ve probably heard some fun stories. Do you have any interesting stories related to Flip Trees?

BS: The ones that we remember are the funny ones. A woman called up and said, “This is the first time we’ve ever put up a Christmas tree where we didn’t have to fight for two hours.”

Another woman called up after Christmas and said she loved the tree so much that she would leave it in their kitchen while they prepare for Christmas dinner. She would roll it into the dining room during Christmas dinner and then she would roll it into the family room while they open up the gifts. I love that.

TH: I’m excited to have Balsam Hill be the new home for Flip Trees. I know we have a lot of projects planned together in the coming years and I really look forward to this relationship. Thank you so much for coming in and sharing your stories. We really appreciate it.

BS: You’re welcome, Thomas. I couldn’t be more excited about working with Balsam Hill. What a wonderful company.

To see the Balsam Hill Flip Tree in action, check out our quick video tutorial below. Visit Balsam Hill for more easy set-up Christmas trees.


  1. This would be a better idea if the bag just rolled into the tree so spiders and others things could not go into tree. All you would have to do is make the bag a little longer and just roll the wheels on to the bag and then velcro it up. The reason I like zipper bags is I am sure no spiders are on the tree. Lots of people don’t want dust or spiders crawling into a tree and most store in basements or attic’s so I hope you find this review pleasing…..

    • Balsam Hill Reply

      Hello, Heidi! Thanks for reaching out to us. Here at Balsam Hill we value all our customer’s feedback. While we currently cannot confirm any developments on our storage bag, we shall take this into consideration. In the meantime, you may keep yourself updated on the latest products and offers by signing up for our newsletter here:

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