Finding a Christmas tree for your home isn’t easy. After all, it’s the star of your holiday décor. There’s a lot to consider. Price point, color, lighting, and foliage, to name a few. In this post we’re letting you in on two of the most important factors: Christmas tree sizes and shapes.

There are three artificial Christmas tree shapes: full, slim, and pencil. And, each tree shape comes in a variety of different sizes. We break down all the things you need to know about size and shape in this convenient guide!

Christmas Tree Shapes and Profiles

The profile of a tree is the outline that you see when you’re standing in front of it. It’s the main difference between the three Christmas tree shapes.

Oh Christmas Tree traditional shape
The full and fine Oh Christmas Tree

A full or traditional Christmas tree is dense with a gradual slope. A 7-foot one would have a 50-inch diameter or more at its base.

An example of a slimline Christmas tree
The Slim Spruce Christmas Tree is a popular choice.

The profile of a slim artificial Christmas tree is narrower than a full one. Generally, one that measures 7 feet is less than 47 inches in diameter.

Mia Pencil Christmas Tree
The sharp-looking Mia Pencil Christmas tree

An artificial pencil Christmas tree has the sharpest profile among the three. Its diameter is up to 60% smaller, usually 19 to 23 inches for a 7-foot tree.

Sky’s the Limit

Measure from the bottom of the stand to the highest foliage tip to get a Christmas tree’s height. Most people choose the tallest sized tree that will fit in their living room.

traditional Christmas tree shape
Photo and full Christmas tree décor by Maggie Holmes Design

Full Christmas Tree: Everybody loves this tree shape. It’s available in heights of 4 to 10 feet and up. It doesn’t work in small spaces with low ceilings though. While you might be able to squeeze one in, it will most likely cramp your style.

Slimline Christmas tree flocked
Photo and slim flocked tree décor by Wendy of Bentley Blonde

Slim Christmas Tree: This is a good option if you want that traditional look but don’t have the space. It comes in a wide range of heights from the tabletop variety up to 12 feet.

an example of a pencil christmas tree
Photo and pencil Christmas tree décor by Sarah of All Things with Purpose

Pencil Christmas Tree: If you’re all about the height, a taller one won’t take too much floor space. Take note that this tree is for smaller spaces. It’s usually available in heights of up to 9 feet though Treetopia’s No. 2 Pencil Christmas Tree goes up to 12.

Make a mental note to leave enough space for a tree topper between the tree and the ceiling. That said, your tree topper shouldn’t graze the surface. You don’t want any scratches.

Christmas Tree Placement for Different Sizes and Shapes

Have an idea of where you want to put your tree before taking the plunge. Go ahead and take those measurements, or at the very least have an accurate estimate. In the meantime, here are some placement tips for each Christmas tree size and shape.

traditional christmas tree in living room
Photo and full Christmas tree décor by Ashley Glass

Full Christmas Tree: This looks best in living areas, halls, or dining rooms of larger homes. Place it outdoors in a covered space to hype up the holidays for everyone to enjoy.

Kind Seeds
white slim christmas treee
Photo and slim Christmas tree décor by Heather of WhipperBerry

Slim Christmas Tree: This stands out in the living room of small to medium-sized living spaces. Add one to the kitchen or hallway of a spacious home to add more oomph to the holiday décor.

different pencil Christmas trees
Photos and pencil Christmas tree decor by Jaderbomb and Lia Griffith

Pencil Christmas Tree: This takes up very little space. It’s ideal to use Pencil Christmas trees for small apartments because they’re easy to haul around and set up. Plus, it has fewer lights for easy maintenance. If you have a more spacious home, it would be perfect as a secondary tree. Or, use a pair to frame an entry or archway for more drama.

Outshine the Rest

lights on different Christmas tree shape
From left: Light density on a full, slim, and Pencil Christmas tree

Ever heard of the term light density? Well, it refers to the number of light bulbs per foot of the tree. You need about 100 incandescent bulbs to achieve the full effect. For pre-lit LED trees, fewer bulbs per foot will work.

Full Christmas Tree: A quality, pre-lit one has 100 incandescent bulbs per foot. It’s common to see 600 light bulbs on a 7-foot full tree.

Slim Christmas Tree: This may come as a surprise, but it will likely have the same number of lights per foot as a full tree.

Pencil Christmas Tree: This tree needs half the lights used by a full one, making it an energy-efficient choice. A light density of 300 is ideal for a 7-foot tree.

Believe us when we say that good lighting can take your Christmas tree to an entirely different level.

Dress it Up

Here comes the fun part. It’s time to decorate! Ornaments can make or break your tree décor so choose well. Don’t stop with the decorations. Why not choose a colorful Christmas tree? Treetopia has full, slim, and pencil Christmas trees in different hues.

Here are decorating tips for each tree shape to give you a head start.

traditional christmas tree decorated
Look at all the trimmings on this full Christmas tree.

Full Christmas Tree: You can go all out on decorating a tree in this shape without covering the foliage. There’s enough area to hang ornaments, picks, garlands, ribbons—the works!

white slim Christmas tree
Photo and slim tree décor by Reichel of Copy Cat Chic

Slim Christmas Tree: A balanced look is a must for this tree shape. Have fun decorating but leave enough space to let the foliage play its part. Experiment with different textures and shapes to make it appear fuller.

pink pencil christmas tree decor
Photo and pencil Christmas tree décor by Lizzy of The Connoisseur of Cute

Pencil Christmas Tree: There isn’t any one way to decorate this beauty. You can go for a minimalist look by leaving space between your decorations. Or, use large (not heavy) ornaments and textured decorations to make things even more exciting.

So, what’s it going to be: a full, slim, or pencil Christmas tree? If this post helps, share this with those who are hunting for a tree shaped to fit their home and decorating style.

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