Pines and Needles co-founder Sam Lyle reveals the latest Christmas tree trends

By Tempus | 10 Dec 2019 | Culture

From a contemporary Christmas to traditional Noel, these are the styles to watch out for this season

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* Pines and Needles has won famous fans include Prince Harry and Meghan

When it comes to the perfect Christmas tree, there's plenty to consider. Shape and size depends on taste and space, while the annual debate between traditional versus modern decoration rages on. One thing is for certain, according to premium Christmas tree brand Pines and Needles: artificial trees are out. 

"We have been wanting to ban fake trees for a couple of years now, but we needed to increase the volume of our home-grown real trees first," says Sam Lyle, co-founder of Pines and Needles. "If you think that a 6ft tree needs nine years in the ground before it's ready, we can't just click our fingers and change. But this year we reached the tipping point in terms of numbers with an additional supply chain and we were able to cut plastic trees from our offering completely."

Lyle founded Pines and Needles with his brother, Josh, at their family home in Scotland when the pair were just teenagers, and now the company – which offers delivery and decoration services as well as collection from pop ups around the UK – counts famous fans including the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.  "Dad had given us a patch of land to 'do something with' so my brother Josh and I decided it would be ideal to grow Christmas trees," he said. "We started selling them outside our older brother’s launderette in Maida Vale, London and over time we have expanded to more than 20 seasonal pop-up and are one of the biggest Christmas tree companies in Britain. Not bad at all. We now sell 60,000 trees and year, and although we do get called to liven up the office, we’ve found that family really is at the centre of our business. We love seeing our seasonal London stores filled with kids and their parents as they act out the age-old tradition of choosing and collecting the Christmas tree."

The trees themselves range in size to suit family homes and corporate offices, and the decoration service provides the latest in stylish Christmas décor. 

"Our decoration service is all about ensuring the magic of Christmas still shines through. Customers can choose their favourite colours from our website and our decoration team will do the rest," he said. "Our team of kilt-wearing ‘elves’ are sure to interact with families to keep them involved, including leaving room for a few of the family’s own decorations that children can add. Our teams has also been known to leave the tree topper so families can finish off the decoration process" >>

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* Sam (right) and Josh Lyle co-founded Pines and Needles when they were teenagers

Lyle advised that, in terms of Christmas fashions, ribbon has replaced the traditional tinsel – it should be placed horizontally rather than diagonally for greater impact. For 2019, Lyle has seen a return to classic colour palettes of deep red velvets and gold glass for "a pang of nostalgia" – while those wishing to opt for a more modern look might find millennial pink is a trendy alternative.

"Lights go on first and it's great if one person can feed them to the other as they wind it round and round, starting at the bottom. Embed the lights in the lush greenery and then move out as you go up, ensuring an even spread. Then when decorating your tree, it is all about textures and layering no matter which theme you choose," he said. "Decide on which of your decorations you would like to be featured most prominently and place those first (those tend to be the largest or most detailed) and then use those as a basis to dress your tree, using your most small simple decks as ‘fillers’. 

"Last but not least is the tree topper – whether that’s a beautifully ornate star or a cherished angel made by a child, ceremonially placing it atop the tree is one of the most satisfying ways to signal the official start of the festive period."

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