Which small Christmas tree should I buy?
November 13, 2017 12:48 PM   Subscribe

We would like to have a Christmas tree, but our house is very small. We could potentially find room for an ultra-slim tree or a tabletop tree. What is the best solution, given the snowflakes behind the cut?

There is no area of floor space in our house that could contain even one of the smaller "regular" Christmas trees. There are only two spaces that could potentially host a tree: the top of our dining room table (IKEA Jokkmokk, 46 1/2 " long by 29 1/8 " wide by 29 1/8 " high) or a small corner with maybe about 2 square feet of floor space available.

Criteria: we have a cat, so it needs to be relatively stable and non-toxic if it gets chewed. I would like for it to be able to support the weight of standard Christmas tree ornaments, as we have a fair number of geeky ones that we'd like to be about to use. We don't usually eat at the table, so it would be okay for all or most of the table to be occupied while the tree is up. We prefer pre-lit. Easy setup and takedown are important. COMPACT storage is a must, as we don't have a garage, shed, or attic, so anything we buy has to be able to be shoved in a closet or onto the back porch for the rest of the year. Desired budget is under $100, maybe under $150 if it is really nice. Anything I can buy locally in Atlanta, GA or get online with free shipping would work.

I would be open to a live tree potentially, but I kill plants so I don't want a potted one I would need to keep alive over time. Do they sell 3-4 foot live trees? I don't think I've ever seen any. If this is your suggestion, do you have a suggested tree stand that is heavy enough to withstand the swatting of a 16 pound cat without spilling everywhere?

Apartment and townhouse dwellers of MeFi, can you help me find a tree?
posted by oblique red to Home & Garden (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
We buy 3-4 ft live trees every year! They're really cute. We don't have a cat, but we have a very curious dog and a small apartment.

We put our tree on top of an Ikea Kallax 4x2 (turned so it's 2 squares high) that we pull out a little further than usual from the wall. I really like the way it looks!
posted by radioamy at 12:52 PM on November 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

Have you considered going a bit arty? A search for 'two dimensional Christmas tree' gives some interesting ideas, not all of them 2 dimensional.
posted by biffa at 1:03 PM on November 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

If you have a Home Depot near you, they sell live trees that are 3-4' high. If I remember correctly, they are around $30 each, and they come planted inside a nice (heavy) pot.
posted by onecircleaday at 1:03 PM on November 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have an 10-year-old "slim" tree (~5 feet tall) from Target that we put on a Kallax behind the couch (it does stick off the edges). This Slim Alberta Spruce looks similar (but nicer) and it says it has a 21-inch diameter. The one I have packs down into an under-bed container with some other Xmas decorations (I could probably get down even it smaller but I don't feel the need).
posted by mskyle at 1:09 PM on November 13, 2017

Target is apparently selling half-trees this year. If you have wall space but not floor space, that might be a solution for you!

I have also purchased 3'-4' live trees at Whole Foods. They come in a stand which my cat was not able to budge, but my cat is not 16 lbs so I can make no promises.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 1:17 PM on November 13, 2017

Seconding an artificial slim tree - we saw them at Target last year and I am betting they are going to be everywhere this year. I think they will be just as stable as a standard one since the base is the same size. I would keep any fragile ornaments off the tree until it has been up for several days and your cat is either ignoring it or has tested it for stability and failed to topple it.
posted by soelo at 1:18 PM on November 13, 2017

I also came in to suggest doing a wall mounted tree, from garland. I think they're lovely.
posted by FirstMateKate at 1:20 PM on November 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

You might already know this, but don’t put tinsel anywhere on the tree that the cat can get to. They can eat it and it gets twisted up in their intestines.

I think any real tree could become a 3-4’ tall tree; just lop off however much tree you need and discard the rest!
posted by Weeping_angel at 1:22 PM on November 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have a small house and no room for a tree. I have woods behind me, so one year I cut a pine branch and wired it to the ceiling above the dining table. Battery operated lights.
posted by theora55 at 1:33 PM on November 13, 2017

For the last two years, I've gotten a 3'-4' live tree, and I so love it. My late cats never touched it, and didn't even try to play with the ornaments. They were not noted for their good behavior. If you get one of the especially prickly varieties like spruce, that would probably help keep Kitty away. It worked for my brother when his daughter was a toddler and he wanted to keep her from disturbing it.
posted by jgirl at 1:45 PM on November 13, 2017

Tree lots will cut the bottom off wherever you want them to, it shouldn't be a problem.

I used 4.5' fake trees for years, duct-taped to an old solid end-table, because I had pets who were far more likely to leave it alone if it was off the ground.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:46 PM on November 13, 2017

LL Bean sells both live tabletop trees and "arranged" trees (which are made of real branches put into a foam core...basically a wreath in tree shape). They look and smell good. The "arranged" ones, I find, can be a little hard to hang a lot of ornaments on due to the way they're put together. The live trees are live trees, so...not that problem.
posted by praemunire at 2:19 PM on November 13, 2017

(Some of their options are prelit.)
posted by praemunire at 2:20 PM on November 13, 2017

Real or artificial(!) Charlie Brown tree?
posted by gregoreo at 5:20 PM on November 13, 2017

Can you put an anchor and hook in the ceiling above the tree? A line of monofilament line from the hook to the top of the tree can prevent the whole shebang toppling over.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 7:03 PM on November 13, 2017

Thanks very much for the info! I think that due to the storage requirements we will look for a 3-4 foot live tree and put it on the table. We have both Home Depot and Whole Foods so hopefully in a few weeks we'll be able to find one. Probably I will put it up and leave it for a few days so the cat is bored with it before I get into decorations. :)

And hey, bonus: finally something to do with that smart plug I got for Christmas last year...
posted by oblique red at 8:08 AM on November 14, 2017

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