The designers at Gatehouse No. 1 are pros at making Christmas trees shine. One of their easiest and most effective tips is to add picks or sprays angling upward at the top of the tree. Adding more volume in this area creates an aesthetically pleasing shape as well as more depth and fullness. (Photo by Gatehouse No. 1)

Should you keep it real or faux fir all the way? We asked our readers to weigh in on fresh-cut pines vs. an everlasting artificial. Here’s what they had to say.

Efficient Evergreens

“I would love to have a real tree but they are so expensive that it makes more sense financially to use a fake tree that will last for years. Also, I love to put my tree up the day after Thanksgiving and a real tree wouldn’t last ‘til Christmas.” — Amber Demke Whiting, Lehi

“Artificial pre-lit! Easy, beautiful, no fire hazard and no pine needles to clean up! — Karin McLean, Lindon

“I do a fake tree because it’s so much easier. I just burn a candle to make my house smell like a real one . . . But I must say I love my memories from growing up going with the family to get a real tree and decorating it together!” — Dan and Stephanie Martin, Orem

Fresh is Best

“As long as I can remember, my family would take a trip up to the mountains and we would spend a good hour searching for the perfect tree. My parents have a very high ceiling and we would have to get at least a 22-foot tree. I’ve never known anything different. Fresh pine was our only option. Now I’m married and my husband’s family does the same thing. So we go Christmas tree hunting twice a year! We love the memories.” — Jerika Carter, Springville

“We have started a family tradition of going into the mountains to cut down our Christmas tree (legally and with tags, of course). It’s such a fun tradition for our little kids, and I love the personality that comes with having a natural Christmas tree!” — Melissa Allred, Orem

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