9 places to find aluminum Christmas trees — vintage and reproduction

retro Aluminum-Christmas TreeWith the holiday season fast approaching, it won’t be long before it is time to put up the decorations. Other than a live Christmas tree, a retro aluminum tree — like reader BusyBhive’s tree, above, from our uploader Tinselmania: 73 vintage aluminum Christmas trees — is one of the most authentically vintage ways to decorate for the holidays. Golly, do we love our aluminum Christmas trees! Unless you are lucky enough to have one that’s been in the family for years, you’ll have to do a little searching to locate one of these tinsel beauties. I’ve scoured the internet and racked my brain to bring you this list of 9 places to find vintage and reproduction aluminum Christmas trees to add a little — no, a lotta! — sparkle to your holiday decor.

Please note, my list only includes real aluminum trees – not tinsel ones or ones made from plastic with some sort of tinsel coating.

1960s-pom-pom-treeAbove: Reader MrsErinD’s retro 60’s aluminum tree.

Where to find new reproduction aluminum Christmas trees

Yuletide-Expressions-Aluminum Christmas trees1. Yuletide Expressions — drats, now out of business:

This seems to be the best place online to find new reproduction aluminum Christmas trees. But you better act quickly. I emailed the company asking for more information and the sad story is — they have stopped production of these fantastic reproduction aluminum trees at their plant in Cooperstown, North Dakota. They will be selling off their remaining stock and once it is gone — it’s gone forever.

There are two styles — the classic aluminum Christmas trees and slimline aluminum Christmas trees — which are each available in several sizes from four- to nine-feet tall. Yuletide Expressions also offers replacement parts for their trees and color wheels to help you achieve the complete retro holiday experience. Another fun treat –they seem to have found a vintage Alcoa guide to decorating your aluminum Christmas tree <– and they have made it available as a handy downloadable guide.

Yuletide Expressions trees are also available through their resellers — Oak Tree Vintage and Elements Gifts and Decor — two more places to look for the remaining stock of these aluminum trees.

Amazon-Aluminum-Christmas-Tree

2. Amazon

On Amazon, I could find just one Genuine Aluminum Christmas tree available (shown above). It is less expensive than any offered by Yuletide Expressions, but note, the reviews are mixed about the quality of this tree. I also can’t find anything in the description or reviews about where this tree is made.

Where to find authentic vintage aluminum Christmas trees

Alexander-Girard-ornaments3. Ebay

There are — of course — a wealth of vintage aluminum Christmas trees to be had on Ebay. Many different styles, heights, colors and branch types — For example: Vintage Pom Poms, like reader Drew’s above, are hot hotter hottest. While there are still some bargains to be had on Ebay, be prepared to shell out some of the green stuff — some vintage trees can fetch several hundred dollars at auction.

aluminum-tree vintage

4. Etsy

A variety of vintage aluminum trees can also be found on etsy.com, and you bypass the frustrations of an auction. Once again, sizes, colors, styles and price points vary widely.Above: Reader modshawn found his gorgeous vintage hunka metal on etsy.

 

aluminum christmas-tree

The hunt: Estate sales, yard sales, vintage shops, Craigslist & “Mom’s attic”

I can’t say for sure, but I’m guessing blogger Uncle Atom probably got his aluminum Christmas tree (above) from one of these sources. There are some real deals to be had on vintage aluminum Christmas trees — most likely you will find the best deals available when you are on the prowl at estate sales, yard sales, vintage shops, craigslist and everybody’s favorite — family attics and basements. The best time to do your aluminum tree hunting in the off season — when prices aren’t driven up by holiday demand and folks are doing their annual house purges.

Pam adds that, while she generally does not go to estate sales early (because she has way more than “enough” stuff already, if you are on the hunt specifically for vintage Christmas, this might be a reason to get up early, grab a cuppa and get in line. Conversely, though, in the dead of summer, when folks just aren’t in the holiday mood, she often sees vintage Christmas decorations still available in the final hours of the sale at half-price, or better. Throw everything in a big box and ask very very nicely, “How much?” and you might be surprised by the price you are quoted to take the stuff off the estate sale organizer’s hands.

be safeNo matter where you find your vintage (or new) aluminum Christmas tree — REMEMBER — these types of trees were not made for electric lights. Remember: NOELNO Electric Lights on aluminum Christmas trees ….  AND: Be aware that FLOCKING and fake snow on old artificial trees and wreaths may contain vintage nastiness such as asbestos, etc. When dealing with old materials, get with a properly licensed professional to know what you are working with. Read more – Be Safe / Renovate Safe.

Readers — Do you have an aluminum Christmas tree?

Where did you find yours?

Be-Safe-graphic2.3

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Comments

  1. Nancy says

    A friend found mine at a rummage sale for a dollar. Also found the rotating light wheel a couple years later. I puy mine up every year. Love it.

  2. says

    Bought my tree in 1964 when I was stationed in Alex, La. After 23 years in the Air Force, I still have it! (learned about NO LIGHTS the hard way!(Always read the instructions!) Put up 1/2 of the tree against the wall of our entrance way. Turned out pretty neat !!

  3. D. Cobb says

    As a married couple in 1976, and a first time mother soon after, my 5 month old daughter loved swinging in her baby swing watching the colors change on the silver pom pom tree. It was such a magical Christmas to remember. First year of marriage, first born, first Christmas, our first tree. We never got to see the tree again though. Life decided to throw a curve ball, and my daughter and I moved across the country, leaving all of our precious memories behind. Every year I would show her pictures of the silver tree, and her smiling face as she swung in front of the beautiful silver tree. As she grew older, she grew tired of the pictures, but I didn’t. I still yearn for those memories. I am still searching for my Pom Pom Tree. I don’t know if I will ever find one. But I won’t quit searching. If anyone knows of one for sale please send me an email. I would appreciate it. 6-7 ft Pom Pom

  4. Rickie says

    Thank you for the warning about electric lights on these trees. There were always warnings about putting lights on these trees on the boxes they came in and the instructions, but some people don’t know about that. I’ve seen these trees decorated with lights on Pinterest and other websites and I worry someone will get electrocuted.

    • Cysco says

      Electrocution is a concern. The bigger issue with many of these trees is/was that the “needles” were not 100% aluminum, but rather a foil coating over paper. These types of branches are extremely flammable.

      When looking for a vintage tree, it’s worth spending the extra money on one that has 100% aluminum branches. The higher-end trees were 100% aluminum and usually advertised that fact on their box. Some brands would even tout “Made with Reynolds Aluminum” on their packaging. [Pam edited out specific brands Cysco “thinks” might be okay — readers DO YOUR OWN research on this topic.}

      The cheaper vintage trees can be real fire hazards. Keep them away from fires and outlets and never put lights on them. Buy a vintage color wheel for the tree anyway, MUCH cooler than stringing lights.

      (I did WAY too much research on these things a few years back) 🙂

      • pam kueber says

        PEOPLE: When it comes to safety issues, PLEASE get with your own properly licensed experts. I discourage readers giving specific safety advice — I will leave up Cysco’s comment as a generic warning BUT I took out the brands identified BECAUSE YOU NEED TO GET WITH YOUR OWN EXPERTS ON THIS ISSUE.

  5. Christy says

    I have a vintage silver, aluminum tree but the tripod stand that came with it won’t hold it up any longer. I’ve tried tightening the screws, etc. but the tree falls over. I don’t use a lot of decorations either so it’s not that I’m using anything heavy on the tree. I think I need a sturdier stand so though about buying a base stand instead of a tripod. Does anyone have a site or can direct me where I may purchase a good one? And, is it generally a “one size fits all or do I need actual brand name info? My tree is in between the 5′ to 7′ size. Thanks!

      • Carol says

        If I understand your problem correctly, then a short piece of PVC plumbing pipe might work. Measure the diameter of the trunk and have a hardware store cut a piece to surround the trunk. Slip it on then tighten the screws. Since it is a tripod, this may not work. The tripod may be wonky. Usually at Home Depot, the hardware people are generally really helpful. If not, the employees know each other and their skill levels. Ask if they know an employee that can help. Take the tripod with you, and know the diameter of the trunk. Good employees LOVE to help people like you solve a problem like this. Just don’t go when they are super busy. Don’t overlook the electrical dept. There are all kinds of brackets there. Just because a “do-dad” was made for another purpose doesn’t mean it won’t work perfectly.

  6. Tanya says

    If anyone wants to sell theirs for $50 I would love to buy it. I grew up with this type of tree and I would love to have another one. This is the tree that is very sentimental to me, because it is what I used to put up for my mom every Christmas before some mice got a hold of it. Although she is no longer with us, I would love for my family to share the same beautiful experience.

  7. Sonja Albright says

    My husband and I bought one 15 years ago to go with our Palm Springs mid century modern home. We are now living in Fort Worth, Texas in another mid century modern home and still displaying it! We love it!

  8. G S says

    Would love one of these, but would be worried about tinsel and pets. At least the one from the Vermont Country Store is plastic.

    • pam kueber says

      Note, I don’t think this is aluminum — aluminum trees should not have lights on them.

      But yes, there are a number of plastic trees with some sort of metallic-looking coating on them being marketed as tinsel or whatever…

  9. Amy says

    I inherited my tree from my great aunt who passed away last year. Zia Nina was meticulous about everything, so of course this was packed away in the original box with each branch in the original sleeve. I was never into the silver trees before, but now I’m so excited to have it and looking forward to getting ornaments and one of those base lights for it!

    For the person asking about a stand I will say I noticed mine appears to not use the original stand. Instead it is one that was in a brown paper bag that looks like it cane from the hardware store decades ago. The bag says “ARTIFICIAL XMAS TREE HOLDER” “MANUFACTURED by HANDY THINGS MFG., CO.” You might try searching for that company, it looks like they were big in the replacement stand market.

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