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Video: Try an upside-down Christmas tree!

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TODAY
updated 12/8/2008 1:55:14 PM ET 2008-12-08T18:55:14

What's Christmas without a tree? Each holiday season, shoppers find themselves confronted with a choice: Celebrate with a fresh, natural tree, or an artificial tree made of plastic or aluminum? Landscape designer Ahmed Hassan, host of DIY's “Yard Crashers,” offers a rundown of natural, artificial and even funky tree options.

Natural trees
One benefit to choosing a natural tree, of course, is authenticity, right down to the pine-y aromas. Plus the use of real trees is more earth-friendly, as they are 100 percent biodegradable. Here are some options:

Fraser fir tree

You can use an evergreen watering system with this tree. This one from Evergreen Seasons comes in a variety of styles. It looks like a present but contains water in a 3.5 gallon reservoir for your tree.

To protect your tree from fires, try No-Burn's nontoxic Christmas Tree Fire Gard spray ($19.95; www.noburn.com). Spray your real Christmas tree 24 hours before decorating.

Live Ball and Burlap Norway Spruce trees 

Artificial trees
One of the benefits of an artificial tree is that it is less work — 80 percent of artificial trees sold today come with lights, in fact. You'll always get a perfect shape, there's no watering involved, plus they are made with fire-retardant foliage. Finally, they are an investment, and may even save you money over time. Here are some artificial tree options:

Balsam fir

More info at www.balsamhill.com

Instant evergreen

More info at www.balsamhill.com

Funky artificial trees

Image: Stephen J. Colbert National Treasure Tree 
treetopia.com
Stephen J. Colbert National Treasure Tree 

Stephen J. Colbert National Treasure Tree 

More info here at www.treetopia.com

Bottom's-upside-down Christmas tree

  • Light color: clear, light count 500 
  • Price: $229
  • This artificial tree is upside-down; the star is in the tree stand

More info atwww.treetopia.com

Flatback artificial tree 

More info at www.balsamhill.com

The Fraser fir and Burlap Norway Spruce appeared on TODAY courtesy of Simonson Farms.

© 2013 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

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