Add a Touch of Nostalgia with a Vintage Aluminum Christmas Tree

Shop some of the best aluminum Christmas trees on the market.

Lauren Thomann is a business owner, antique dealer, and freelance writer/editor with 16 years of experience and a B.A. in English and Linguistics. She specializes in antiques—mainly Victorian through Mid Century—antique jewelry, old house renovations, and lifestyle and home-related content. Click the link to learn more.
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Vintage aluminum Christmas tree with ornaments

Vintage aluminum Christmas trees are a charming addition to any holiday decor. These shiny, silver trees were popular in the 1950s and 1960s and have since become a collectible item for those looking to add a retro touch to their Christmas celebrations.

Unfortunately, these trees are also a fire hazard due to their conductive aluminum branches. This article provides historical information and tips on safely using an old aluminum Christmas tree today. We also share some options for sale to give you an idea about value.

History

In addition to their aesthetic appeal, vintage aluminum Christmas trees have a rich history. These trees were mass-produced in the mid-1950s by the Aluminum Specialty Company and Modern Coatings, Inc. They were marketed as a modern and convenient alternative to the traditional evergreen tree.

Marketing efforts took off, and the benefits of the tree seemed endless. The aluminum trees were easy to assemble and disassemble, and they were also hypoallergenic, making them a popular choice for people who were allergic to the pine needles of natural trees. The trees were also considered to be more environmentally friendly than natural trees, as they could be reused each year and did not need to be cut down.

The aluminum Christmas tree became popular in the 1960s but fell out of favor in the 1970s as people turned back to the more traditional evergreen trees. Today, these vintage Christmas trees are considered a symbol of mid-century Americana and have even been featured in museum exhibits.

Fire Hazard Warning

It didn’t take long for these trees to be known to be a fire hazard. The metallic branches of the trees were conductive, meaning that they could easily conduct electricity. If the tree was placed too close to a light source, such as a string of Christmas lights, it could potentially ignite and cause a fire.

Additionally, the aluminum branches were known to shed needles, which could also be a fire hazard if they accumulated on the floor near a heat source. As a result, many people stopped using aluminum Christmas trees and switched to safer options, such as artificial trees made of non-conductive materials.

Safety Tips

Aluminum Christmas trees are no longer as popular as they once were for the general population.However, if you still have one in your possession, it is important to use it safely. To avoid the risk of fire, make sure you:

  • Keep the tree at a safe distance from any heat sources, such as fireplaces, radiators, and heaters.
  • Use the tree’s metal stand to support it.
  • Avoid placing it on top of any flammable materials.
  • Use only lights that are specifically designed for use on Christmas trees.
  • Avoid overloading the branches with too many lights.
  • Unplug the tree when you are not at home or when you go to bed to avoid the risk of fire.

Our Top Picks for Sale

1
2 ft Aluminum Christmas Tree

$187, etsy.com

This tree is small enough to set on a table top or stool.

2
4 ft Aluminum Christmas Tree

$250, etsy.com

This tree makes a statement but isn’t so tall that it will crash into any ceilings.

3
6 ft Aluminum Christmas Tree

$364.15, etsy.com

Expect to spend several hundred dollars for a full-size Christmas tree.

Once you’ve found the perfect vintage aluminum Christmas tree, it’s time to start decorating. These trees look great with traditional silver or white ornaments and colorful lights. You can also add a retro touch by incorporating vintage ornaments and tinsel from the same era.

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