All About Aluminum Christmas Trees

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The History of the Aluminum Christmas Tree

The history of the aluminum Christmas tree is quite fascinating. These trees were initially produced in the early 1960s, and they quickly gained popularity, becoming a design trend of that era. Available in colors like silver, green, yellow, and pink, these trees were often paired with color wheels that illuminated them with rotating colored lights. People loved them because they had a unique atomic, Space Age aesthetic and were easy to take care of.

However, the popularity of aluminum trees started to decline, and it was the 1965 A Charlie Brown Christmas that played a significant role in their downfall. In the show, despite being instructed otherwise, Charlie Brown chooses a sad, real tree over the shiny aluminum one, which contributes to the decline in their popularity.

By 1969, the production of aluminum trees had ceased, leading to their near extinction on the market by the early 1970s. Unfortunately, all company records, including the story of how these futuristic trees skyrocketed into popularity, were lost during that time.

However, in recent years, aluminum trees have made a comeback. They are now cherished by vintage collectors, enthusiasts of Mid-Century Modern design, and those who appreciate their durability and low maintenance. It’s interesting to see how these unique trees have managed to find their place again in our lives.


Type of Aluminum Tree

Basic Aluminum Tree

The basic aluminum Christmas tree has a simple design. It is an artificial tree made entirely of aluminum, featuring branches with foil needles. I can personally attest to the fact that you can find several basic aluminum trees that are indeed made of aluminum.

All About Aluminum Christmas Trees


Northlight Vintage Tree

The Northlight Vintage Tree available on Amazon is a 5′ metallic tinsel Christmas tree with a 36″ base diameter. It comes with a footed stand and has thin branches, making it suitable for those with limited space or a preference for less dense trees.

All About Aluminum Christmas Trees


Retro Aluminum Christmas Trees

When shopping for retro aluminum Christmas trees, it’s important to carefully read the description to determine whether it’s genuinely made of metal aluminum or if it’s a PVC or Mylar tinsel tree.



Jabetc offers a 7′ reproduction of a 1950s aluminum Christmas tree with aluminum pompoms on the branch ends. The branches are made of metal aluminum and the tree pole is wooden with a matching silver finish.

All About Aluminum Christmas Trees



Hayneedle offers a 4′ H x 24W” pre-unlit silver tinsel artificial tree by National Tree Company. This tree is quite full with 110 silver tinsel tips, and it is made of aluminum tinsel and PVC. It also includes a plastic stand finished in silver-gray.

Silver Tinsel Tree With Color Wheel

If you’re considering a modern tinsel Christmas tree, it’s likely to be made from mylar or PVC film with a metallic coating. This is a far cry from the original aluminum trees of yesteryears, which were lit up using a color wheel instead of electric lights. The reason for this was simple: electric lights could short circuit if they came into contact with the metal tree. The color wheel, placed on the floor, would rotate and cast different colors upwards, creating a mesmerizing light show on the silver tinsel.

If you’re aiming for that vintage look with a silver tinsel tree and a color wheel, remember that you’ll have to buy the color wheel separately. And while we’re on the topic of Christmas trees, don’t forget to check out Black Friday Christmas tree sales. It’s a great time to find some fantastic deals on both traditional and unconventional trees.

All About Aluminum Christmas Trees


The Vermont Country Store

You can find a range of silver tinsel Christmas trees in different sizes: 2 feet, 4 feet, and 6 feet. These trees have plastic needles with a shiny silver finish, creating an authentic look.

Vintage Tinsel Christmas Trees

Vintage tinsel Christmas trees can be found for resale, with options including straight branches or pompoms on the tips. Some well-known vintage companies in this niche are Aluminum Specialty Co, Evergleam, Peco, Taper Tree, and The Continental Pom Pom.

What to Expect

Most sellers will provide original boxes and tubes for individual branches, but be aware that the number of branches will depend on the tree’s height. Due to age, many vintage tinsel Christmas trees may have bent or missing aluminum needles, so it’s unlikely you’ll find a perfect one. To make an informed decision, be sure to request plenty of photos when buying online. As for pricing, it can vary greatly depending on factors such as the tree’s size, condition, and manufacturer, with prices ranging from $25 to $800 or more.

Colored Aluminum Christmas Trees

Colored aluminum Christmas trees are a fun and unique alternative to the traditional silver trees. You can find them in various colors, making them a delightful addition to your holiday decor. These trees allow for a playful change and bring a touch of excitement to your Christmas celebrations.

Light It Up

Aluminum Christmas trees are designed to reflect light with each needle acting like a mirror. These trees weren’t designed for strings of lights. In fact, the way to light up the tree is with a color wheel.

Add a Color Wheel

To illuminate an aluminum Christmas tree, many people used a color wheel. This special spotlight displayed a variety of colors like red, blue, green, and yellow (amber). It was a popular choice for adding a vibrant touch to the tree during the holiday season.

Rotating Tree Stands

Rotating tree stands were another sought-after accessory, adding a touch of magic to the Christmas tree. With their mesmerizing movement, they complemented the color wheel spotlight, creating a captivating display in our homes.

All About Aluminum Christmas Trees


Tips for Buying Aluminum Christmas Trees

1. Look for trees with protective paper sleeves to keep the branches safe during storage.

2. Vintage aluminum trees can vary in price, with silver being the most affordable and pink being the most expensive. In fact, rare pink trees have sold for over $3,000.

3. There are also lower-cost options available. Many quality reproductions of aluminum Christmas trees are available on the market. However, if you desire an authentic vintage tree, consider opting for a smaller size. Trees under 3′ can be displayed on tabletops or mounted on walls as nostalgic holiday art.

4. Don’t forget to consider purchasing a color wheel. Although new color wheels can be found for as low as $35, authentic vintage ones can cost around $200. Look for color wheels that come with their original box, as they’re usually better preserved by their owners who kept the boxes.


How to Care for an Aluminum Tree to Preserve It

1. Cleaning: Aluminum trees should be cleaned regularly to maintain their shiny look. Use a soft cloth or a feather duster to wipe the branches gently. Avoid using harsh cleaners or scrubbing the tree as this can damage the surface.

2. Storage: Proper storage of an aluminum tree is essential to preserve it. Store your tree in its original packaging or a sturdy storage box designed for Christmas trees. Avoid storing it in damp or humid locations as this can cause rust or mold to form.

3. Fluffing: To restore the shape of your aluminum tree, start by fluffing the branches. Gently bend the branches in an outward direction to give the tree a fuller appearance. Take great care when doing so as the branches can be fragile, and too much pressure can cause them to snap.

4. Repairs: If you notice any loose or broken branches, repair them immediately. Use clear tape to reattach any dislodged branches. If you notice any rust spots, gently clean them

5. Lighting: Before decorating your aluminum tree, check the condition of the light wheel. If it is in good working order, you can use it. However, if it is damaged, replace the light wheel before using the tree.

6. Storage temperature: Store your aluminum tree in a moderate temperature. Extreme hot or cold temperatures can cause the metal to expand or contract, leading to warping or other kinds of damage.


How to Decorate an Aluminum Christmas Tree

When decorating an aluminum Christmas tree, there are a few tips to keep in mind.

First and foremost, cover a standard tree stand with aluminum foil.

Opt for glass or aluminum ornaments to maximize light reflection.

Stick to one color scheme for the ornaments, like blue, silver, aqua, or red. It’s fine to have ornaments that are alike or different as long as they are of the same color.

Use plain ornaments for a sleek look.

Employ wide hooks to hang the ornaments, avoiding any disruption to the natural appearance of the foil needles. Avoid tying ornaments directly to the tree as this will interfere with the foil’s look.

Refrain from adding tinsel, garlands, or streamers, as these can detract from the tree’s natural reflective beauty.

If making homemade ornaments, ensure they are reflective by using materials like aluminum sheeting, kitchen foil, or wrapping papers.

All About Aluminum Christmas Trees


Benefits of Using an Aluminum Tree Over Regular Trees

Aluminum trees are much more eco-friendly. They do not require any water, sunlight, or fertilizer to grow This means that aluminum trees do not contribute to deforestation and help in preventing soil erosion.

Additionally, aluminum trees are long-lasting and can be used for several years, while regular trees can only be used once for Christmas celebrations and then discarded.

Another benefit of using aluminum trees is their beauty. They come in various colors, sizes, and styles and provide a modern and elegant look to any home.

Moreover, aluminum trees require minimal assembly, making them easy to set up and dismantle. Overall, the use of aluminum trees over regular trees is a wise and responsible choice that provides numerous advantages, making them a popular alternative during the holiday season.

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