Best Pencil Christmas Trees

Updated January 2022
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Buying guide for Best pencil Christmas trees

The right Christmas tree is the perfect centerpiece for your holiday décor. If you have a small home or want an additional tree for your foyer, you could have trouble finding one that fits your space. Fortunately, a pencil Christmas tree can dress up even the narrowest area with plenty of festive spirit.

As the name implies, pencil Christmas trees have an extremely slim shape. They’re available in various heights too. Thanks to their shape, the trees don’t take up much floor or table space, allowing you to decorate even the smallest living area. In fact, the narrow profile also makes this type of tree an ideal option for a second Christmas tree in an entryway. 

However, finding the best pencil Christmas tree can be tricky. It’s important to understand the difference between a slim regular tree and a pencil tree to decide which would be the better option for your home. Sizes, various materials, and styles of needles are also important considerations, and a good buying guide and trusted recommendations can help your decision.
 

I1 pencil trees
Because of its extremely sharp profile, a narrow pencil Christmas tree can make as bold a statement as your main tree. 

How to buy the best pencil Christmas tree

Slim Christmas trees vs. pencil Christmas trees 

A traditional Christmas tree can certainly make a bold statement in your home, but it can also take up a great deal of space. If you have a small house or a small room where you want to place a tree, a narrow Christmas tree is your best bet. You can choose from either slim regular or pencil Christmas trees.

Slim Christmas trees typically have a diameter (at the widest part) that is at least 3 inches smaller than a standard tree. A slim Christmas tree can certainly save you floor space if you have a smaller home,

Pencil trees have a diameter (at the widest part) that is less than half that of a full-size tree, giving them the narrowest profile of any Christmas tree, so pencil trees save the most space in your home. That’s why they work especially well as a second or third Christmas tree in areas like an entryway, foyer, or hallway. A pencil tree also works well as the main tree in smaller homes and apartments.

Dimensions

If you’re trying to decide whether a pencil Christmas tree is the right option for your home, it’s important to note the dimensions to make sure the tree you want is the right size. 

Like most Christmas trees, you can find pencil trees of various heights, typically ranging from 4 to 16 feet. The widest diameter of a pencil tree depends on its height, but most trees have a diameter of between 19 and 23 inches. Some taller trees have a diameter of up to 35 inches. 

Needles

Like other artificial Christmas trees, pencil trees generally have needles made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyethylene (PE). 

PVC: These needles are made of plastic that’s cut into thin strips that have fairly sharp edges. Pencil Christmas trees with PVC needles are more common, and often more affordable too because the manufacturing process isn’t as complicated as it is for PE needles.

PE: Pencil trees with PE needles typically look more realistic because the needles are made of injection-molded plastic and resemble real pine needles. Many trees with PE needles also have some PVC needles to give the tree a fuller look and minimize gaps. You’ll pay more for a pencil tree with PE needles, but some consumers feel the higher price tag is worth it for a more realistic-looking tree.

St1 tree skirt
Staff Tip
A tree skirt is essential with a pencil Christmas tree because the branches aren’t wide enough to hide the stand.
Staff
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Features to look for in a pencil Christmas tree

Colors

While many of these trees have the traditional look of a real evergreen tree, you can also find some that are more whimsical. These pencil trees are designed to stand out with colorful needles in red, silver, purple, blue, or white rather than the classic green. If you’re planning to put up a themed Christmas tree with ornaments and decorations in a specific color scheme, you might prefer a pencil tree with colored needles that match. 

Lights

Many pencil Christmas trees come already strung with lights, making it much easier to decorate because you don’t have to take the time to wrap strings of lights around it. 

The lights on these pencil trees are either incandescent or LED. Incandescent lights are the most common option and typically the most affordable, but they aren’t very durable or energy efficient. LED lights are generally brighter as well as extremely durable. They’re more expensive, but they are energy efficient and will last for years. 

The lights in pencil Christmas trees come in white, multicolor, and single color options like blue, red, or green. You can also switch between colors on some trees, so you can decorate your tree with white lights one day and multicolor lights the next. These trees usually give you the option to let the lights shine steadily or twinkle, depending on your mood. 

Frosting and flocking

Some pencil Christmas trees have decorations that make them look like they're dusted with snow. The needles are either lightly painted with white to give the branches a frosted look or flocked with fibers to appear blanketed in snow. 

A frosted or flocked pencil tree is an ideal option if you prefer a more rustic or natural look for your Christmas décor. It usually doesn’t require as many ornaments and decorations because the faux snow gives the tree a more finished look. 

Flat-back trees

While regular pencil Christmas trees save space with their narrow design, some take up even less space than others. That’s because these trees have a flat back, so they can rest flush against the wall to limit the floor space they take up. A pencil tree with a flat back is an excellent option if you have an extremely small home or room. 

St2 pencil tree lights
Staff Tip 
If your pencil Christmas tree doesn’t come with lights, figure on adding 100 lights for every 1.5 feet of tree. You might want to increase or decrease the amount based on your preference.
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How do I accessorize a pencil Christmas tree?

Christmas lights

If you opt for an unlit pencil Christmas tree, you’ll want to purchase a set or two of Christmas lights to decorate the tree. White and multicolor lights are the most common options, but you can also find lights in single colors like red, green, or blue. 

Holiday ornaments

A pencil tree might not need as many decorations as a full-size Christmas tree, but you’ll still need plenty of holiday ornaments to dress it up. Some people prefer simple balls, but you can find many novelty ornaments in fun shapes and designs. 

How much do pencil Christmas trees cost?

Inexpensive

The most affordable pencil Christmas trees typically cost between $10 and $50. Most trees in this price range are 5 feet or shorter. They usually don’t have any lights or decorative elements like frosting or flocking. Most of these pencil trees have PVC needles, though some have needles made of tinsel.

Mid-range

These trees generally cost between $50 and $400. Most trees in this price range have PE needles or a combination of PE and PVC needles. Many also include lights, and some feature flocking or frosting. Prices vary based on the height. Trees between 9 and 16 feet tall usually cost more than $200. 

Expensive

The most expensive pencil Christmas trees cost between $400 and $1,000. Nearly all the trees in this price range include lights, and some also have frosting or flocking. In addition, most of these trees have high-quality realistic PE needles. These pencil trees are usually at least 7 feet tall and can be as tall as 16 feet. 

St3 pencil christmas tree festive
Staff Tip
If you like to keep things simple, a pencil Christmas tree can look festive and polished decorated with nothing but lights. 
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Tips

  • Choose a color pattern or theme for your tree. Because pencil trees are so narrow, they look best if you stick to a few colors or a single theme for ornaments and decorations. That keeps your tree from looking too busy.
  • Pay attention to ornament size. Large balls and oversize ornaments that look good on a traditional full-size Christmas tree can overwhelm a pencil tree. Your tree might look better with small or medium ornaments and just a few large decorations scattered through the branches.
  • Add some garlands or ribbons. Long, thin decorations help add definition to a pencil tree’s narrow shape and some bulk to the width of the silhouette. 
  • Choose a unique tree topper. The tree’s slim shape naturally draws the eye upward, so choose a decoration for the top that truly stands out. 
     
i2 ornaments
For the most balanced look, hang larger, heavier ornaments closest to the trunk and smaller ornaments on the outer branches of your tree. 

FAQ

Q. How many ornaments does a pencil Christmas tree require?

A. It depends on the height of the tree, the size of your ornaments, and how decorated you like your Christmas tree to look. As a general rule, it’s recommended that Christmas trees shorter than 9 feet have 10 to 15 midsize ornaments per foot. With a narrow pencil tree, you should probably stick closer to the lower number and adjust based on your personal preference. Don’t forget to leave room for other decorative elements like garlands and ribbons.

Q. How do I shape my pencil Christmas tree?

A. A pencil tree has a thin shape by design, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t look as full as possible. You’ll usually get the best results if you start shaping at the bottom and work your way up. First, fluff each branch, making sure to spread out its tips to help hide the center pole. Then step back every so often to see if any areas need more shaping or have noticeable gaps you need to fill to get the best look for your tree.

Q. Where does a pencil Christmas tree look best?

A. Thanks to the narrow shape, pencil trees work well in any small space. They work particularly well in corners, so you can place one in the corner of your living room if it’s your main tree. If you’re using it as a secondary tree, you can place it in your entryway or foyer or even add a couple of pencil trees to your dining room for even more holiday spirit. 
 

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