BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper Home

Best pencil Christmas tree

What is the best pencil Christmas tree?

Millions of people purchase artificial Christmas trees every year. They are easy to assemble, are fire-resistant, don’t require watering and retain their color from season to season. Some artificial Christmas trees come pre-lit to make decorating faster and easier.

Pencil Christmas trees are narrower than traditional Christmas trees. They are ideal for apartments or rooms with tight spaces. They not only take up minimal space, but they also are easy to take down and store for the next Christmas season. For its lifelike look and easy assembly, the best pencil Christmas tree is the National Tree Company Artificial Christmas Tree.

What to know before you buy a pencil Christmas tree

How high is your ceiling?

Pencil Christmas trees come in a variety of sizes. If your tree will be close to the ceiling, make sure you have a minimum of 6 inches between the tree top and the ceiling.

  • Trees that measure 3 to 4 feet tall are ideal for placing on tables or desks.
  • Trees that measure 5 to 7 feet tall are the most popular size and fit any room.
  • Trees that measure 8 to 14 feet tall are designed for vaulted ceilings and require trustworthy bases to ensure the tree remains upright.

Which needle type is best?

There are two primary types of needles with pencil Christmas trees.

  • Polyvinyl chloride needles are thin plastic strips with slightly sharp edges. Trees with PVC needles are less expensive and the least realistic looking.
  • Polyethylene needles are injected-molded plastic that look like real pine tree needles. Trees with PE needles are more expensive, but they look like real trees.

Some pencil Christmas trees combine PVC and PE needles to fill in gaps and give the tree a fuller, more realistic appearance.

How much space do you have available?

Pencil Christmas trees come in a variety of widths that are typically associated with the tree’s height. The most common diameters are 19 to 23 inches, but they can exceed 30 inches. Some trees are designed with a flat back to fit flush against a wall if you have an extra tight location.

What to look for in a pencil Christmas tree


Many pencil Christmas trees come pre-lit with lights already in place. The light bulbs are either LED or incandescent. LED bulbs are more expensive but last longer and save energy. Incandescent bulbs are not as durable and will need to be replaced more often.

Lights come in a wide variety of colors with white, red and green being the most popular. Some lights also allow for patterns of blinking in addition to a steady glow.


While green is the most common color of pencil tree, there are other colors available. White, red, blue, silver and purple are also available for some trees. This array can add festive color to any party or home, and some people use them for other holidays and special events later in the year.

Frosted or flocked

Some pencil Christmas trees look like they have a dusting of snow. A frosted tree is lightly painted with snow that covers the branches. A frocked tree has a heavier coating with significant snowfall blanketing the tree. This decorative touch requires less ornaments, garland and tinsel since the fake snow fills in many of the gaps.

How much you can expect to spend on a pencil Christmas tree

  • Inexpensive trees cost between $10-$50. They are 5 feet or shorter, have PVC needles and typically do not have other decorative features.
  • Medium-priced trees cost between $50-$400. These trees have PE needles, lights and frosting or flocking. Prices mostly rely on the tree’s height.
  • Expensive trees cost between $400-$1,000. The trees in this range are the tallest— usually 7 to 14 feet. They are pre-lit and have the most realistic looking needles and snow.

Pencil Christmas tree FAQ

How do I make my pencil Christmas tree look fuller?

A. Start from the bottom and work your way up the tree, fluffing each branch. Add ornaments and other decorations. Look for gaps and fill each one with more branches or decorations.

Is a slim tree the same as a pencil tree?

A. A slim tree is roughly 3 inches smaller in diameter than a standard tree. Slim trees can save a lot of room, but pencil trees are more than half the diameter of a standard tree and save the most space.

What is the best pencil Christmas tree to buy?

Top pencil Christmas tree

National Tree Company Artificial Christmas Tree

What you need to know: Made in the United States, this Christmas tree looks lifelike and is easy to erect.

What you’ll love: This 5-foot Christmas tree has a 24-inch base. It has over 370 individually crafted branches with fire-resistant needles. The wrapped branches make for easy set-up and take-down.

What you should consider: It takes considerable time to fluff the branches and make the tree look fuller.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top pencil Christmas tree for the money

Hohotime Christmas Tinsel Tree

What you need to know: This affordable pencil Christmas tree comes in traditional green as well as blue and black for special occasions other than Christmas.

What you’ll love: The four steel pipes and four polypropylene stands detach and fold up for easy storage. 

What you should consider: Some consumers felt the tinsel wore out quickly.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Paleo International 6.5-Foot Pre-Lit Artificial Christmas Tree

What you need to know: This beautiful pencil Christmas tree resembles a Portland pine and stands over 6-feet tall.

What you’ll love: The tree has 410 branch tips and 300 attached lights, and it includes a metal stand. It comes pre-assembled and only needs quick branch adjusting out of the box. There is a five-year warranty on the tree and a three-year warranty for the lights.

What you should consider: Some consumers noted that the lights were not evenly distributed around the tree.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Share this post: