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SEASON OF ENCHANTMENT | EQUIPPED

But they all look so real!

December 07, 2006|Craig Nakano

ARTIFICIAL. Fake. Faux. Call them what you will, but synthetic Christmas trees are finally getting real -- or closer to it. For decades, most artificial trees were greened up with thin sheets of PVC, polyvinyl chloride cut into paper-like needles. These days, new faux-liage made of injection-molded polyethylene has been arriving in stores and catalogs, complete with natural-looking irregularities in shape and color. The True Noble Fir is winning converts at Stats, despite prices that are double the cost of some older models. "It has become our top seller," says Damon Stathatos, general manager of the holiday decor emporium in Pasadena. So look below: Can you spot the fakes?

Craig Nakano

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ANSWERS: The real trees are 2, 4, 5, 9 and 11, all from the selection of cut and live Christmas trees at Armstrong Garden Center in Glendale. Artificial trees: 1 (from Balsam Hill), 3 (the True Noble Fir from Stats), 6 (from Balsam Hill), 7 (from Target), 8 (from Frontgate) and 10 (from Stats).

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