Everything You Need To Know About Flocked Artificial Christmas Trees

happy kids in pajamas playing on the phone on the sofa during Christmas Holidays

Nothing makes me feel like I’m in a traditional winter wonderland more than a beautiful flocked tree.  You can buy almost any height and width of flocked tree or you can turn your current tree into a flocked masterpiece with a little DIY project.  The same is true for other holiday items including wreaths and garlands as well.  

Whichever way you go, store bought or DIY, be sure to consider the following.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What is flocking?

Flocking is essentially fake snow that can be applied to real or artificial trees.  It’s a substance added to holiday items to make them look like they are covered in snow.  Flocking is made in a lot of different ways from a lot of different products.  Some holiday items come pre-flocked and you can also DIY.  Most DIY flocking can be made at home or there are lots of brands that sell flocking that comes in a spray can.   

Are flocked trees dangerous for pets?

They can be according to PETMD. It can also depend on if the flocking is made from toxic or non-toxic ingredients and how much is ingested by the pet.  A little bit of either will likely not be life threatening.However, if you have curious pets who like to chew, a flocked tree may not be the best option.  

Are flocked trees dangerous for kids?

Display of multi-colored flocked Christmas trees for sale

A flocked tree should be relatively safe for kids, but it will depend on the type of flocking used. Everyone is comfortable with different risks and although relatively safe, there is a low level of risk here.  This is especially true if your child may be prone to putting their hands in their mouth or is in the toddler oral fixation stage (where they drool and constantly try and chew on everything).  

For a store bought flocked tree, see the manufacturer’s website for more information. 

If you plan to DIY there are lots of non-toxic options you can make at home. A quick Google search will help you narrow down which may work best for your family. 

Most pre-prepared ‘snow in spray can’ or powder options, available for purchase at your local home improvement or craft store, will likely have chemicals and solvents.  Any chemical brought into the home could be potentially harmful. 

Does flocking come in different colors or only white?

You can find, or make, flocking in a variety of colors.  However, the most popular color is still white.  

How do you clean a flocked tree?

While beautiful, flocked trees, garlands, and wreaths will attract dust and it will show more easily than other trees.  The material that makes up the flocking is not meant to be a flat surface.  It is mimicking the appearance of real snow piled on the branches. This non-flat surface is perfect for trapping and holding dust, grime, and glitter more than the flat needles on non-flocked trees. But never fear, cleaning these trees can be a cinch with a little time and patience

Dust Wipe Method

  • Use a dust wipe (something like Swiffer) that will trap and hold dust or dirt.  Gently wipe the tree branches only where needed.  Slow and steady wins this race. 
  • Do not wet the wipe as that can damage the flocking or cause it to come off the tree completely.  
  • Do not use any cleaners on a flocked tree.  Certain ingredients can discolor the flocking or cause it to detach from the branches. 
  • When in doubt see your manufacturer’s instructions.  

How long will a flocked tree last?

Flocked trees should have the same lifespan as other artificial trees. The main concern with flocked trees is they need to be stored properly.  See the next question.  If not stored properly (too hot or humid) the flocking can turn dingy or yellow.  

How do I store my flocked tree?

crate of ornaments in front of flocked tree

To keep your flocked tree in tip top shape, it should be stored with other holiday items in a cool and dry location.  Some things to keep in mind specific to flocked trees/items:

  • Make sure your storage items are close to the tree on display.  
  • Remove all ornaments and lights (except pre-lit). 
  • Gently remove each piece of the tree and fold the branches in to make the piece more compact.  Be careful not to bend the branches or flocking. 
  • Wrap the piece in a white cloth or plastic (I like Christmas Tree Disposal Bags or a large trash bag).
  • Place the tree in a storage bag or box that is tightly sealed.  These containers do not regulate temperature or humidity, but provide a nice layer of protection.  
  • Store the container in a cool and dry location. 
  • Make sure the location is not somewhere the container will be moved or disturbed during the off-season. Avoid locations where it could fall or get knocked over. This will prevent damage to the delicate flocking.  
  • For more details visit Everything You Need to Know About Artificial Christmas Tree Storage.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Beautiful one-of-a kind look with a snowy finish
  • The flocking makes a beautiful backdrop for all of your ornaments and decorations to ‘pop’
  • Flocked trees are beautiful and festive even without decor
  • If you DIY your flocking you can choose how much to apply so you get the exact look you are trying to achieve
  • Flocking can help to make your tree look more full 

Cons

  • The flocking will shed during assembly and storage each year causing a bit of extra clean-up. 
  • Flocking can get dingy and even turn yellow if kept in wet or humid conditions- extra care is needed for packing and storage
  • Certain types of flocking can be mildly toxic- see above for information on pets and children

History of flocked trees

People have been trying to bring the look of snow covered trees indoors since the 1800s.  However, modern tree flocking really took off in the late 1950s. The earliest DIY kit was sold by General Mills and was called ‘Sno-Flok.’  To apply the flocking you had to use a special attachment for a vacuum cleaner.  The attachment helped to spray the snow onto the tree.  

Enjoy the flocking friends! 

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