Aluminum Trees. You either love them or hate them, but there is no denying their popularity among those who want the retro look. Although tinsel trees are widely available today, it's those vintage trees that collectors want.
Looking for a vintage aluminum tree? Prices are not for the faint of heart, as they can easily sell for many hundreds of dollars, Looking for a colored aluminum tree? Double your price estimate!
One year I decided to try a new way of decorating our aluminum tree.The trees branches do not hold any weight easily and will slip out of the "trunk" with the slightest amount of pressure, I was always sticking the branches back in and re-adjusting the tree. So something that would not cause problems was my quest.
Aluminum Tree Patent
Wonder when aluminum trees came out? A patent date will usually help pinpoint a time period. This tree patent can only be for one thing -- an aluminum tree.
Buying a New Aluminum Tree
Authentic aluminum trees can sell for fairly high prices at flea markets and at online auctions. You can get a similar look with a new version from Hammacher Schlemmer,
although the price can be as costly as a vintage version.
Aluminum Tree Store
This is a great web site that sells authentic (read old) aluminum trees. There is a wide variety to choose from, as well as authentic color wheels to use with the trees.
Almost every store I've been into this season has one or two of these trees in various colors and they look much better in person than photographs. I've been particularly drawn to the silver trees, they have a very retro look, but I've actually bought a small antique gold tree that looks almost brown for my twisted toad and chameleon ornaments. These may not be your "main" tree, but would be a great sparkle whereever you place it.
Vintage color wheels are harder to find than the actual trees and the condition of many of them leaves a lot to be desired -- especially when I have to plug it into an outlet.
Several stores sell lights for the tinsel and aluminum trees. Vermont Country Store is one place that usually has fun and vintage looking stuff available, including the color wheels. Check out their website during the holiday season for their great retro stuff, new color wheels and tinsel trees.