Yes, Halloween Trees Are Officially a Thing, and We Don’t Hate It

published Oct 3, 2020
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Halloween is quickly creeping up, which means tricks, treats, and a whole lot of spooky decor. In addition to your typical cobwebs, cauldrons, and larger-than-life-sized skeleton fare, there’s a new design trend taking hold this year: the Halloween tree. “After a tough year, Americans are eagerly anticipating holiday cheer,” says Tami Kelly, who works with artificial tree retailer Treetopia. “The #halloweentree trend that has generated tens of thousands of posts on Pinterest and Instagram is likely to gain steam, alongside the popularity of black Christmas trees.”

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Why a sudden surge in tree activity now for Halloween, some 85 days before Christmas? The reason may be twofold. First, to Kelly’s point, seasonal decorating brings people joy, so why not get a tree up early and theme it out for Halloween and Thanksgiving before the holiday season proper even starts? You’ll get more decorative mileage—and potentially happiness—out of your investment that way.

Second, 2020 has been full of social distancing, and traditional trick-or-treating has been deemed a high-risk activity by the CDC. Maybe this strange year is all the impetus some people need to go all out with decor. Setting up an enchanted Halloween forest in your front yard will definitely give your neighbors something new and upbeat to talk about. 

Credit: Zolli Candy

If done safely, a porch tree decked out with candy that’s safely spaced is potentially a touchless alternative to the communal trick-or-treating candy bowl. At least, that’s what 15-year-old Zolli Candy company founder Alina Morse and her family are hoping for with this punchy orange candy tree they put together, seen above. In addition to iridescent ball ornaments, tiny hanging skeletons, and cobwebs used like tinsel, Morse decorated with bundled lollipops to create additional trim for the tree, which trick-or-treaters can safely and easily take as they walk up to her door. For a finishing touch, she topped the tree with a larger skeleton—it’s the spooky version of an angel, after all.

If you aren’t looking for a tree that screams “Halloween” like an orange one does, you can go the fancy route with a black tree and add spooky touches with garlands and ornaments instead. You can even use pumpkins to decorate your tree, depending on the size of it (and the pumpkins). The benefit to a black tree is its versatility: All you’d have to do is swap these Halloween trimmings out for fake snow and gold, and you’re good to go for an ultra classy, modern Christmas look.

Want to use your traditional faux Christmas tree? No problem. That’s exactly what blogger Taylor of Heritage Hill Homestead did, and you can barely tell it’s an evergreen color, thanks to a combination of cobwebs galore, white twinkle lights, and silver and black ball ornaments. A witch’s hat makes for the easiest-ever Halloween tree topper, while pumpkins stand in for presents. The best part? Once you strip away the cobwebs, you’re ready to decorate for the next holiday.

If you don’t want to go ALL out with a tree before November or December—or if you live in a small space—you can still get in on the Halloween tree trend. Simply try a spooky tabletop tree. Decorate it with skulls and other ghoulish accents, and it’ll spread some eerie cheer. You can probably also use a lot of what you already have on hand for Halloween to spice things up. This Austin homeowner cleverly repurposed a plastic jack-o-lantern as a tree collar, and it’s such a festive way to deal with the base of the tree. You can also see creepy faux fingers being used as though they were sprays of berries or decorative Christmas picks.