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.


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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  1. Rick S says

    This really brings back memories. My dad’s parents had an aluminum tree and color wheel. I remember them turning off the livingroom lights and us kids laying on the floor watching the room change colors. It did seem odd that they didn’t cut one of the pines on their farm like my other grandparents.
    I don’t know where the tree is now but my wife wishes she had it.

  2. says

    My parents did not like the aluminum trees and would not have one in the house, so I don’t have any emotional attachment to them. They certainly remind me of the era, however.

    I wonder if the metal recycling places might be a good place to look. My local recycler pulls brass statuary, candlesticks, vintage tools and pots and pans, old car bumpers, and anything else that might have more value than it’s melt value, out of the stream and re-sells it. They usually have a bunch of aluminum ladders, too.

    Another idea is to shop thrift stores in the off-season: ask them if they have one taking up too much room in storage–waiting for Christmas to come around.

  3. RetroCorning says

    My tree was a Xmas gift last year. My Mom knew we wanted one and found someone that has multiple trees and was willing to get rid of one. She thought she was buying a 4 ft tree but we ended up with an amazing 6-7′ tree.

    We’ve been looking for a good deal on a color wheel so that one from Vermont Country Store should work great!

  4. says

    I have two vintage aluminum trees with sleeves in boxes. One is 4 ft and the baby is 2 ft. I have color wheels for both. I got everything from eBay several years ago. We had one, of course, when I was growing up. I don’t know what happened to it over the years. But I am happy to have my two precious ones now! They will be going up soon along with my little collection of bottle brush trees!!! :)

  5. says

    My family has a STAINLESS STEEL Christmas tree that has been in the family since around 1956 or ’57 I think. My grandparents drove from their home in Hammond, IN up to Marshall Fields in Chicago specifically to buy this new Christmas wonder the first year it was available. They put it in their front window with 2 color wheels (which my grandpa hung from the ceiling and coordinated the timing so that they both changed color at the same) plus several spotlights. Apparently it was such a newfangled thing that every night that year cars were lined up around the block to drive past and view their display.

    I had the tree up in my house the first year I lived here, but it is pretty large and there was no room to walk with the color wheel and spotlights on the floor. I gave it back to my parents as they have a large living room where it can be displayed properly. We all love that tree and it will no doubt stay in the family to be enjoyed for years to come.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. : )

  13. 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.

  14. hannah says

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

    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.” :)

  15. 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!

  16. 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 :-)

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

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