9' BH Balsam Fir Artificial Christmas Tree - Unlit
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- Dimensions: 9 feet high & 66 inches wide
- 8,472 branch tips
- Crafted from flame-retardant and non-allergenic materials
- Includes foliage warranty
- Included in box: 1 storage bag, 1 pair of gloves
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Named "Best Overall" by "Good Housekeeping Magazine", our flagship Balsam FirÂ artificial Christmas tree is one of our most (if not the most) popular trees. The 9 foot version of this easy setup tree will be the centerpiece of your living room as dazzles guests with its lifelike realism. Also included with this tree is a scratch-proof tree stand, soft cotton gloves for shaping the tree, and off-season storage bags. As the best artificial Christmas tree manufacturer that is the #1 choice for set designers for TV shows such as "Ellen" and "The Today Show", in addition to being a recipient of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, our trees are backed by a 10-year foliage warranty and a 3-year light warranty. Free shipping when you buy today!
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Don't miss the "A word on complaints" section at the end of my review.
See the slideshow under "The assembly" below.
Go to a big box store and look at their trees. Choose the best, most realistic tree they offer. Got it? They are really sad compared to this tree. It's like they're trying to get away with as few branches as possible and still call it a tree. Are you *supposed* to see six inches of trunk and metal hinges at a time?! With this Balsam Hill tree you'd be hard pressed to even see the trunk up close.
Research other tree companies online. Learn the difference between today's realistic molded needles and your parents' bottle brush pvc trees. You know the kind; they look like cut paper needles. Many companies are still selling cheaper trees and cheaper is not what you want when investing in ten years-worth of artificial tree.
It's OK to have a mix of bottle brush and molded needles as the bottle brush branches are utilized near the trunk to do the filling in, while the molded branches are on display on the outside hiding the bottle brush branches. The bottle brush branches lower the price while being more efficient at filling in the tree since they're fluffier. If you're concerned like I was about seeing the cheap bottle brush branches, you don't. (and this is before decorating)
We also went to a year-round Christmas store with a full building dedicated to tree offerings. Only one out of 100 in the room came close to our expectations and we still liked the online options we couldn't even touch better.
One of the details we fretted about was the shape of the branches. I originally leaned towards a rounded look, but it came down to the overall look for us. With 8000 branch tips compared to 4000 tips on the other Balsam company tree (Virginia Spruce I think) it just seemed fuller and more natural to us.
We chose an unlit tree for a few reasons: COST! You are paying dearly for the labor to hide those wires! Also, most complaints about artificial trees stem from broken lights, and with these lights embedded in the tree professionally, manual light stringing allows me the freedom to change strings out. Finally, I wasn't stuck with one type of light if something better was invented next year.
This particular tree also had a relatively narrow base of 66" compared to others at 70"+ which squeezed just right into our spot. Interestingly the tree features a teardrop design, where the lowest section is actually narrower than the one above, so it will fit mounds of presents better and goes over our hearth perfectly.
Your mileage may vary, but we were surprised by the two day delivery. It was scheduled for about five. It came in two large boxes roughly 50"x19"x19" each. Grandma might want help moving them, but they're light enough for everyone else. Inside you'll find a pouch with two pairs of cloth gloves which are worth using. The needles aren't sharp as on real trees, but soft hands will appreciate the gloves.
This nine foot tree comes with two tree bags almost the size of the boxes they came in. You may think they are dusty, but that is from the manufacturing process.
Here is a slideshow of my setting up the tree, including temporary decoration with the packing ribbons, lol. It's October and the tree is going to the garage until Christmas: http://s633.photobucket.com/user/fogyreef/slideshow/Balsam%20Hill%20Tree
The nine foot tree comes in five sections. As you see in the slide show the tree comes compacted and needs shaping. You can't avoid this when buying artificial trees. Think of it as a learning experience for the kids, a fun family tradition as they get creative with designing their tree.
Tips on Shaping:
The inside bottle brush branches are for hiding the trunk and filling in holes. Bend them straight out in an alternating fan pattern, spreading them sideways as well as up. Trust me, you'll wonder if there are too many branches; the fill is quite complete.
The molded tips have a top and bottom. The top is the side you want to see with a brown highlight painted on the stem. The bottom is unpainted. The needles are slipped onto a wire core that allows you to rotate the branches all the way around, so you have full control of their orientation. Go wild. :P
There are so many branches that you'll want to use the included ribbons to hold up some branches as you fluff lower ones. Overall it took about two hours to do with a helper. 8000 tips! Next year it will be way less shaping.
If the style of tree fits you, the quality will completely satisfy you.
A word on complaints:
Some people don't understand manufacturing issues.
Complaints about how the tree smells; new materials often "off gas" immediately after manufacturing, including cookies and that new car smell. Some complain about this smell, we never noticed one. Either way, it's not a defect and it goes away.
Complaints about the shape right out of the box. You have to fluff, people. Some assembly/artistic sculpting required, unless you want to pay $500 for shipping a tree-sized box.
Complaints about the lights: Don't get pre-lit trees. You're asking for trouble and paying handsomely for it.
Bottom line, I love the tree, and I'm picky.