The holiday season is just around the corner! Early November is the perfect time to take your Christmas tree out of storage. So, put on some festive music and let Balsam Hill guide you on how to fluff a Christmas tree!

Balsam Hill’s Vermont White Spruce

One of the first things a homeowner should do is to give the Christmas tree a good old-fashioned fluff. Assembling a Christmas tree may be all about connecting the sections. But what truly brings your tree to life is the way you shape it!

Fluffing your tree is about stretching out the branches, giving the tree its gorgeous form, and making it look like it was just harvested from the lush mountainside. Here are five easy steps on how to fluff your Christmas tree.

Step 1:  Wear Your Gloves and Get Creative!

how to shape a christmas tree

Gloves allow your hands to glide smoothly over the branches. While you prepare for this manual task, look at a photo of a Christmas tree similar to the one you have to give an example of the fullness you desire. This will be a nifty guide throughout the procedure.

Step 2:  Assemble Your Tree

Make sure that all of the branches and tree sections are in the correct place. Also, check to see if your tree is stable. If you have purchased a prelit tree, turn on all the lights. The illumination provides you with a better visual as you’re fluffing the tree.

 Step 3:  Start at the Bottom of the Tree

Christmas tree fluffing guide

At the bottom, begin with the inner branches and work towards the outer branch tips. Make sure the offshoots are angled differently. Don’t be afraid to bend the branches downwards. (This downswept profile is seen in live trees.) Concentrate on each layer of the tree before moving upwards.

Step 4:  Separate Individual Tips

hand shaping a Christmas tree branch

The outer tips should fan out from the center of the tree. Do this carefully and slowly. There’s no need to rush. This may be time-consuming, so don’t hesitate to take a break when you’re halfway finished!

Step 5: Once You’ve Fluffed the Top, Take a Few Steps Back!

how to fluff a Christmas tree guide

Observe your tree for a few seconds. Scrutinize your tree from every possible angle. This will give you the opportunity to check if there are any gaps in the branches, or if all the lights are evenly spaced out. Make adjustments if necessary.


Add a festive ribbon to your tree not just as an embellishment but also as added support. Entwine the branches with the ribbon to fortify the tips before adding heavier ornaments.

Enjoy the lasting beauty of an artificial Christmas tree with a lush and lively profile by following this helpful guide on how to fluff a Christmas tree courtesy of the Balsam Hill blog.


  1. Simon's mom Reply

    I just purchased my first Balsam Hill tree — and am so frustrated! It looks horrible. I have been fluffing and shaping for 3 days and I can still see the center pole of the tree!! Huge disappointment. I am not sure if I even want to keep this — it looks like a bottle brush!!! Any suggestions?

    • DagmarObert Reply

      Hi Simon’s Mom,

      Thank you for reaching out! I’m sorry to hear about the experience you’ve had fluffing your tree. After reading your comment I would like to address what seems like two problems: one is shaping the branches, and the other is seeing the trunk and gaps, which I will address below. Remember that the gaps are not necessarily a bad thing in that I use those to hang some of my larger ornaments. Sometimes I even have to create a space for those, which I can only do with an artificial tree.

      Could you tell me which tree you ordered? I may be able to give more specific tips on shaping the branches if I know how the branches are structured, but here are some general notes:

      For trunk and gaps:

      1. Touch every single tip on the tree, starting from those nearest the trunk. These tips are generally not our True Needle tips, but our Classic PVC Needles, since that type of needle is more effective for covering the trunk and is excellent as filler. Turn those upward and stagger them so that one is never directly in front of another. Those are the ones that will camouflage the trunk the best.

      2. Each tree section has different branch layers. Make sure the branches are all sitting in the correct layer – sometimes a branch in an upper layer can get caught under a lower one, causing a gap.

      3. Consider turning the tree section so that one branch layer is never sitting directly on top of another. These trees are designed so that each branch layer is staggered. If your tree is pre-lit, make sure the light strings aren’t connected when you do this so the wires don’t get stretched.

      For shaping the branches:

      1. If you look at the 30 second point in this video,, you’ll see that some of our trees have branches with a main stem and two side stems. When you’re fluffing, separate those two side stems from the main stem, since that will also help you create a full look for your tree.

      Once again, let me know which exact tree you ordered so I can see if I can provide more tips. We do also have a tree with a realistic faux trunk, the Alpine Estate Fir, if you’re still not happy with the trunk of your tree.


  2. Pingback: How To Easily Assemble Your Balsam Hill Flip Tree

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