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.

*the search box above is an ebay affiliate link. Buy any item from ebay when you click through our links and we get a little spiff.

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.

No 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.

Readers — Do you have an aluminum Christmas tree?
Where did you find yours?

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Comments

  1. Julie says

    I bought our silver tree (I don’t think it’s true aluminum since it’s pre-lit), last year online at Kohl’s. They appear to still have quite a few, but they’ve gone up in price a lot. I only paid $125 for mine a year ago, but the cheapest one now appears to be nearly $200. Of course, this being Kohl’s, I’m sure I had a ton of coupons I used.
    Even if it’s not a true vintage aluminum tree, it totally fits in with our MCM decor and adds the perfect retro touch!

  2. Janice says

    I was one of those that paid a premium price, at Christmastime, on Ebay for my vintage aluminum tree. It was our first Christmas in our 1950’s house and I just had to have one. Luckily the tree came with its own stand and to my surprise, it was a rotating stand. I had never seen a stand like this and while it does require you to “nicely” decorate all sides of the tree since you SEE all sides of the tree, it has definitely been a conversation piece with our friends and family. I also found a vintage color wheel and I love that my grandkids think it’s the most beautiful tree they’ve ever seen, just like how I felt about my grandmother’s aluminum tree when I was a little girl. While my grandmother used all one color ornaments, I love the hunt for vintage ornaments and so long as they are glass and vintage, they make the cut.

  3. Kimberlee says

    I have a 6′ Pom Pom tree that I dearly love (got on eBay 3 or 4 years ago) that some of the branches are starting to unravel…any tips for the best way to repair?

  4. tammyCA says

    I remember a neighbor had an aluminum tree with the color wheel in their front picture window…I always thought it looked magical. But, we have always had real Christmas trees…love the pine scent.

  5. The Other Robin says

    I love the photo of the tree with the Christmas album covers on the wall. We totally had the Barbra Streisand album pictured. That really brought back memories to see it! Deciding on which Christmas record to play while we opened presents was a big part of Christmas morning for us. Did anyone else have the Goodyear “The Great Songs of Christmas” collection? My mom bought each new album as they came out.

    • Michael says

      We had the Firestone Collection on constant rotation. Last year I bought a vintage console hi-fi and one of the first albums I found is that very one!

    • CarolK says

      Yep, getting the Goodyear or Firestone album was a Christmas tradition in our family. When we kids were going through our parents’ things after our mom died, we did not find those IIRC. I did find a Reader’s Digest Christmas Collection on vinyl though. Unfortunately, it’s not the one I wanted most, but it’s OK.

      I did get my dad’s collection of candoliers he’d always put in the windows. I think I’ve got about enough for all my windows and that includes the Florida room. They may not get put out this year, but they will next year.

  6. Michelle says

    I have a teal aluminum Christmas tree that I bought for $20 after Christmas from Urban Outfitters about ten years ago in the clearance section of their website. You have to keep your eyes open all the time because you never know where you can find this stuff.

  7. says

    Oh, I love them sooooo much! I haven’t been able to put mine up in years due to kitties. They try to eat them. Let me note that if anyone has pets and they see their pets taking even a *tiny* interest in chewing on the tree, take that tree down or close it off in a room. I know a couple of people who’ve had to take their pets to the emergency vet for expensive surgeries because of them. You don’t want your pets ingesting bits of metal. Okay, I’m a total buzz-kill but it’s true. : )

  8. Amanda says

    I found my Aluminum Christmas tree on eBay a few years ago. It does look like the auction prices don’t go as high, on off holiday months. I also found my color wheel (a new reproduction) on eBay too. My tree isn’t in the best of shape nor as sparkly as I’d like, but I think I won the auction for $75, so I can’t complain too much.

    Craigslist is a good option too. I’ve seen some nice aluminum trees on the Atlanta craigslist awhile back.

  9. hannah says

    Go GREEN! Buy aluminum! GO GREEN! Buy ‘recycled’!!! Support the little man, and buy used! :D

    I feel lucky. I purchased a 5ft vintage aluminum tree from eBay about 5 years ago (after watching for many) for $50 from a seller in Canada. I can’t remember the name, but it has it’s original box, all branches, all branch sleeves. It was one of those times on eBay when ‘the wind is at your back’ and no one else is watching the item you’re watching. I was the only bidder.

    My Dad was the more modern thinker of the family. He chose the danish modern furniture, he chose the aluminum Christmas tree. It was about 1962-63 when we got the tree. As some other member notes, I remember my brother and myself laying on the floor under the tree looking up at all the colors from the wheel changing on the silver metallic branches. It WAS magical!

    Sadly, it only took about 3 years of that before we all started bellyaching for a real tree with the pine smell. I have no idea what happened to that aluminum tree. Trash or given away I suppose.

    Every time I decorate our aluminium tree now, I look up and say “This is for you, Dad.” :)

  10. Heidi says

    I got my first Aluminum Christmas tree at an antique mall for $30. I got another one at an estate sale for $18 and then combined the two. I absolutely love it and I have collected vintage ornaments, tree toppers and vintage villages etc.. for years. I have actually just pared down on some things but I keep collecting vintage cmas lights and ornaments because I like to make wreaths and Christmas pictures from them. We get a real tree each year for the kids and we all love to decorate that tree together but the aluminum tree is my special treat!

  11. Sherree says

    I purchased my 7 ft. aluminum tree on Ebay last spring (off season) for $120. That price included shipping. I think the trees over 6 feet are a little less common. Most I have seen are 4-6 feet.
    I purchased my color wheel for $1 at an estate sale being run by the grandson, He did not know what is was; I had to tell him.
    I also purchased a metal revolving musical tree stand at another estate sale for $5 and still works perfectly.
    I cannot wait to put it all up next week :-)

  12. Scott says

    Gasp. The link to the vintage ALCOA decorating guide on the Yuletide Expressions site is priceless. An all-silver tree with TWO dualing color wheels as shown on the bottom of page 3 really has me thinking silver tree!

    • Scott says

      Okay, I couldn’t stand it anymore and have a little 2 foot tree on the way! Can’t wait!

      Although I’m completely blown away by the vintage color wheels (between the numerous unique designs and fantastic boxes and names these could warrant collecting unto themselves) I thought one of these would probably overwhelm my little 2 footer. So what I’m going to try is one of the little 6″ Phillips Color Changing lights.

      The newer model number has a speed control on the color change selector so I’m thinking this might just work. The styling of these reminds me quite a bit of the small round “eyeball” lights that were an alternative to the color wheels back in the day too.

  13. Min says

    My mother has a color wheel that she’s used to light the front door ever since I was a kid. It still works fine, but the colored plastic sheets are getting pretty tattered. And ideas on replacing them? It’s the kind of wheel with an aluminum frame and then different colored pie pieces made of like a thick cellophane.

    • hannah says

      Min –

      If you search on eBay you can find sellers that have pieces of the color wheels up for auction or sale. You just have to ferret out which plastic inserts would actually fit your wheel.

      Good luck!

  14. Toni says

    How badly do you want one? I nearly fainted when I saw this craigslist add.
    I have a six foot Revlis stainless steel xmas tree in excelent condition in original box also in great condition. Comes with the working rotating swiss music box revolving stand in xmas green also in a great original box. Stand has plug ins for lights.asking 395.00 or best offer.Has glass tree topper in green also. cash only. you pickup.
    http://masoncity.craigslist.org/hsh/3386435231.html

  15. Dan says

    I’ve had aluminum trees for years now. They really can’t be beat for campy Christmas cheer.

    For a fun, Eco-friendly twist on the color wheel, get one (or two, or three!) of the new LED “party bulbs” that change color. They use much less energy, are much cooler to the touch, and fit nicely in those color wheels where the motor has burned out. Same retro look, much for dramatic effect.

    • John Taylor says

      Hey I have decided to go with the idea of changing the regular bulb out of the color wheel and replace it with an LED Party Bulb. They have them at Home Depot for 5.99 each. Looking forward to putting up my Two Aluminum Trees. I love these guys, they are so priceless it makes me feel like my Aunt Biddy and Granny Taylor are still amongst us. Funny how when I was a kid so many made fun of these trees, and now there is such a high demand for them.
      I actually thought about making my own. I suppose all you would need is a Clothes Closet Pole cut to the size of your Tree.Drill holes in the pole. I was thinking that you could purchase super thin metal rods to make the branches, I would say a good guess would be to make them about 2 foot long. I would then buy about 6 or 7 packages of the fluffy Silver Garland at Walmart thread it onto the metal rods. A can of Cheap Walmart Silver Spraypaint will make the rods and the middle pole silver.
      Here is something else creative if you wanted to go crazy, get an old box fan and lay it flat on the floor and paint it Christmas Green so you could get your Tree to Rotate. Of couse you would have to drill a decent size hole for the tree to interlock the two together. There you have your tree and stand.
      If you cannot find a Color Wheel, then you could make several of those yourself, as well. Get you three or four spot lights that set on the floor and put LED Party Color Bulbs in them and they will shine onto your tree.
      Mind you folks, this is probably a crazy idea, and I am not an Aluminum Christmas Tree Engineer, but it would get the point across that you meant business.
      Let me know if anyone decides to be creative, I figure the whole cost would be approximately 50.00 for the materials. John Taylor

      • pam kueber says

        ha! Kate and I were just talking about this — “Make your own aluminum Christmas tree” — this morning. On the box fan, though: Wouldn’t it spin wayyyyyyy too fast?

        • John Taylor says

          Thanks, I had set down and thought this out a few years back, now you made me think of the other thing that I needed to add to the FAN. You would have to take the Control Switch off of the Fan and replace it with a Dimmer Light Switch, that way you could easily control the speed. Thanks for jarring my brain. It does work occasionally. John

    • says

      You do NOT want to put any kind of dimmer on a motor! Fire alert!

      Besides, you don’t need to – rotating Christmas Tree bases are readily available. The rest of the tree idea sounds great.

  16. says

    I love these aluminum trees but don’t (yet) own one. Here’s another source:

    Saturday I went down to Littleton south of Denver to my favorite Christmas phantasmagoria store, St. Nick’s. It’s over the top! Two stories of room after room packed — I mean PACKED –with wreaths, trees, garlands, ornaments, ribbons, stockings, candles, lights, and any kind of Christmas decoration you could imagine, and yes, they have artificial trees of every size and texture which includes aluminum trees – in 7′ and 5′ sizes. The owners have their own vintage pom-pom stunner decorated and on display over the stairwell — but it’s not for sale of course. The new ones don’t measure up, IMHO — but they are available from St. Nicks for anyone looking for a source. Expensive, however. Hope my link works!

    • pam kueber says

      What is happening when you try to post, Diane?? I’d love to know — we moved servers last week and you are finding any issues, it helps to know….

      • Diane in CO says

        Well, for starters, you don’t see my comment posted here about where you can buy Aluminum Trees in Denver at St. Nick’s with the link to their website, do you? And I tried twice yesterday.

        Last night I “posted” it I thought. But, when I checked it didn’t show up. Refreshed. Still didn’t see it — and my link oddly still showed in the “website” bar along with my name and email address.

        Soooo, tried again (re-pasted my long-winded story) :-) Hit “Submit Comment.” Whoa! Got a big error message “this is a duplicate post! Certainly you don’t mean to post it again? You will be shot on the spot.” (just kidding with that last part)

        Waited until today. Logged on. My comment about the tree source still didn’t show up. The link still appeared in the website “bar” and I had to erase it to post my “test comment” above, which initially told me “your comment is being monitored.”

        Am I on probation?????

  17. says

    Pam, I have been meaning to make sure you knew about Yuletide Expressions since I bought my DREAM tree two years ago. (I had a lot on my plate and never did.) It’s FABULOUS. I love it so much. I am saddened to read they stopped making them. Mine is very good quality.

    • Susie says

      Hi Rebecca, I’ve been eyeballing the Yuletide Expressions trees and maybe the pictures on their website aren’t doing them justice, but they don’t seem to be as *shiny* as vintage trees. This might be a dumb question but is yours really shiny? What size and model did you get (classic or slim)? Thanks!

      • says

        No, not dumb, they are expensive for something that cannot be rationalized as a “need.” Plus, I LOVE talking about my tree. I think it’s shiny and gorgeous. I feel like a child when I think about it. I would love to send you photos. Should I email you? Or facebook?

        I bought the 5 ft classic. I love it, and I love that’s it made in the USA. After reading about the old ones and how some of them were made vs. how these are made it was a no-brainer. Plus, as good as any old one could be, it’s still like 50 years old. Unless, you find it at a garage sale for cheap, it simply can’t be in great condition.

  18. Lindel Salow says

    Hey Pam,
    Awesome reading here about the aluminum trees. We have a vintage 6 foot GOLD aluminum tree that is set up every year…the neighbors always ask when it’s going up! We ended up using 2 color wheels and last year added a vintage rotating tree stand to the mix. Oh what fun it is!

  19. Lauren says

    I have one 4 foot tinsel tree that I get out every few years that serves up a good vintage feel.. But a couple of years ago I was thrilled to purchase a *vintage aluminum tree in it’s original box.. Only problem- It has no pole or stand for the branches to go in. So the branches, in their sleeves, just sit there year after year until someday I sell them or get crafty and *make* a pole.. lol
    ..One day I will get the whole sh’bang!!! :)

    • Rick S says

      Lauren,
      It may not take much to make your own or you may count up the branches you have and look for a old ,nobody wants it, cheap green tree and use the pole after repainting. The story behind your tree, Priceless.
      rick

  20. says

    I bought a 4′ vintage aluminum tree with a color wheel this past August. I found it on Etsy and it was a great deal (probably because no one else was feelin’ the holiday spirit in the middle of summer!). I’ve never been so excited to decorate for Christmas! I have a big living room window in my apartment that faces the residential street and I’m really going to do it up.

    Does anyone have any information on what kind of bulb to put in the color wheel? It arrived to me with large flood, but I’m not sure if that’s appropriate. I’ll probably switch it out with something with less wattage.

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