snowy artificial Christmas tree decorated with blue & copper baubles

How to decorate a flocked, frosted or snowy artificial Christmas tree

What could be more Christmassy than a dusting of snow on your artificial tree

When most people think about buying an artificial Christmas tree plain green immediately comes to mind, but what about trying something a little different and go for a flocked or frosted tree. I know they are not the easiest to decorate but when you get it right they look absolutely stunning. Another disadvantage is that the heavily flocked trees do shed their snow and when you are decorating them don’t wear anything knitted or made of jersey otherwise you’ll end up covered in the flock and it’s very time consuming trying to remove the stuff! The easiest way to remove it from your clothes is to wrap some broad sellotape around your hand with the sticky side out.

Buying a pre-lit tree is so much easier then struggling to light one yourself and getting covered in flock. Most are lit with either warm or cool white LED lights; but the Iceland Fir from The National Tree Company has the biggest array of lights; warm white, multi-coloured and pastel colours. They are also multi-function so you are not just confined to static lights, they will also flash, fade and gently twinkle. If you have a cool palette of decorations then go for the cool white lights and the warm white if using a more neutral natural colour scheme.

snowy Iceland Fir artificial Christmas tree at Hayes Garden World
Iceland Fir with LED lights on warm white setting

This wintery embellishment can vary from the lightest dusting of frost, such as the Liberty Pine, to the thickest flock as on the Iceland Fir. You can buy aerosol cans of frost or flock to adorn your own fresh or artificial trees and branches. If your old artificial tree looks a bit battered and a new one is just not in the budget then why not revitalise it with a flocking spray; you can cover up most of the worst bald bits. The imperfections that can’t be completely covered can be disguised with some large baubles, bows, floral stems or ornaments, such as an animal head stuffed into the tree.

Iceland Fir artificial Christmas tree at Hayes Garden World
Iceland Fir with the lights on the pastel setting

The trick to choosing colours for a flocked tree is not to go for a wide colour palette. One of these trees probably wouldn’t suit someone with an eclectic mix of decorations, such as the children’s hand-made ornaments and oddments collected over a number of years. Choose one main colour and either two secondaries or just one second colour but in different shades. A flocked tree is ideal for a contemporary minimalist colour palette, especially the more sparse realistic trees. This 10’ tree in the header image forms part of the window display in the 2018 Christmas show in store and the only decorations are shatterproof baubles, mainly in blue shades with just a pop of copper to add more interest. Try and avoid clear glass as it always seems to disappear into the tree; you can get away with good quality crystal as it tends to reflect the surrounding colours really well. If you’re going for a three colour palette buy half the decorations in your main colour and a quarter each of the two secondary colours.

snowy artificial Christmas tree decorated in purple, lilac & white
Snowy tree decorated in purple, lilac and white

A snowy tree particularly suits a natural or muted palette of colours but occasionally you can get away with a blast of ‘wow’ colours such as this deep purple and soft lilac decorated 10’ frosty tree on show on the shop floor in 2018. Pairing it with the white ties it to the trees’ frosting. The Iceland tree decorated in red, mint green and white works with the lights on a pastel setting. A natural Scandi inspired design is brought up to date with the use of the pale blue. Instead of a full flocked tree an ordinary green tree, in this case the Vienna Fir, was sprinkled with the iridescent snow in patches to enhance the wintery feel. If you are going to use this loose snow then stand the tree on an old sheet and disguise it with wrapped empty boxes otherwise it will make a horrible mess of the carpet, which will take you ages to clean up when you take down the tree.

Vienna Fir artificial Christmas tree dressed in white, pale blue & natural
Vienna Fir with snow sprinkled onto the branches

You can buy trees already dressed with natural elements such as cones and berries which means that you don’t have to do as much decorating so would be ideal if you are on a tight budget. This Snowy Dorchester Pine comes with the large cones so would suit decorating with natural wood, berries and leaves. You can also add a snowy element to a plain green tree by spraying fresh branches of foliage, berries, nuts and cones in snow rather than committing to spraying the whole tree. Watch the video on Youtube where Nik shows you how to make a simple star out of willow; she has made a large one to put onto the wall or a door and lighted it with battery operated warm white LEDs, but you could just as easily use the same technique to make small ones for the tree and spray them in snow.

Snowy Dorchester Pine artificial Christmas tree at Hayes Garden World
Snowy Dorchester Pine

If your home is decorated in a contemporary neutral palette then a snowy tree decorated in matching colours would provide a stunning focal point.

Angela Slater
Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas