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This Year Colored Christmas Trees Could Make Your Home Extra Bright
When selecting a fresh Christmas tree for your home, you might be accustomed to pondering a few questions: How tall? Fraser fir or Norway spruce? But this holiday season, you can tack one more question onto your list: What color?
The latest trend in tannenbaums is custom tinting. Several farms around the country are now offering Christmas trees sprayed-painted from tip to trunk in vibrant shades of magenta, purple, powder blue … pretty much any color you desire. Fancy a tree in your team’s colors? They can do that. How about an ombre pattern? No problem at all.
At first glance, we weren’t sure how to feel about a nongreen evergreen. Yes, it’s eye-catching. Yes, it will be in your home only temporarily. But honestly, do you want your living room looking like a Dr. Seuss book?
The concept of tree coloring originated from farmers’ need to cosmetically enhance browning trees that were on their way to being unsellable. So Christmas product wholesaler Kirk Co. of Wautoma, WI, manufactured a fireproof, latex-based green spray paint to cover brown patches. That worked so well, the company’s head honchos got to thinking: Why stick to green? They began experimenting with paint in a variety of hues, which quickly garnered popularity throughout Wisconsin. This year, Kirk offered a rainbow of color options to a wider network of farmers.
“You’ve got some staunch traditionalists who say a tree’s got to be green,” T. Jay Roland, the regional product manager for Kirk, told the New York Times. “But times are changing, and there’s a new generation of tree growers out there.”
Kirk isn’t the only company to sell artificial colorants. Jack Keilman Trees in Ebensburg, PA, gets its tree dye from a supplier in Colorado. Sensing that colorful trees would be all the rage this year, owner Jack Keilman sprayed rows of evergreen trees on his farm, he told The Tribune-Democrat. He sells his regular evergreen trees for $45 and his painted trees for $65, a small markup for someone seeking to step away from tradition.
Some interior designers are charmed by the trend.
“I am unusually drawn to them,” said Tina Ramchandani, a New York City–based interior designer. “While I typically like the traditional green tree, these are so rich in color that I keep eyeing them.”
For others, the coloring trend is stirring up visions of Christmases past.
“They’re reminiscent of the fake white trees popular in the 1980s. Their impact on the room is dramatic,” said interior designer Janene Ferrara, who is based near New York City. Dramatic, indeed.
The downsides of colored trees
But these trees do come with some caveats. For one, they’re messy. Several reports have mentioned the paint will help preserve the needles, but the needles are still going to fall on the floor, and vacuuming up something covered in paint could cause problems. Get those pine needles too close to the fire or the heater, and the paint could melt, leaving you with a blemish on your carpet or hardwood floor.
Then there’s the smell. Although the paint is nontoxic, it can be stinky (did we mention one farmer donned a gas mask when spraying his trees?). And one of the best reasons to buy a fresh tree is the woodsy smell that fills your home. So why on the good green Earth would you want to mask it with the synthetic stench of paint?
Decorators also point out that there’s a right and very, very wrong way to deck these trees. After all, like a magenta sofa or a bright green accent wall, a Technicolor Christmas tree will dominate any room it’s in. As such, the selection of ornaments is critical; the line between tasteful and tacky, very thin.
For starters, don’t even think about putting a hodgepodge of ornaments on a brightly colored tree.
“If you have an assortment of keepsake ornaments in different sizes, shapes, colors, and materials, I’d advise steering clear of a colorful tree,” Ferrara says. They’ll just be overpowered by a mountain of turquoise or hot pink.
Just keep it simple. Designer Danielle DeBoe Harper recommends a red tree with plaid bows, or a midnight blue tree with metallic ornamentation.
Whatever the case, if you hop on this trend, your tree is sure to get plenty of attention—both good and bad—through the holiday season.
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