We always got real trees growing up, but I have been using a 9' artificial tree for years. This year we decided to get a real tree again, and I remembered why we stopped. They are a pain! I wanted the type of stand with a spike in the bottom of the basin to which the tree mounts via a hole in the trunk, but they did not offer it at the tree lot. In fact, they had no stands, so I had to go to Wally World and get one.
They had a stand that lets you attach a bucket to the trunk, then that goes into a base that lets you straighten the tree and then lock it in place. That sounded great, so I bought one even though it cost 3 times as much as the other stands. However, it had 2 design flaws:
1) The teeth that engaged the retaining ring in the base once you got the tree strightenend were plastic, so they sheared off under the weight of the tree.
2) The eye bolts that hold the tree in place where allowed to wiggle left and right, so they were unable to secure the tree.
So basically it took a trip to the tree lot, then the store, then wrestle with the first stand, back to the store including a wait at the return desk, then wrestle the tree again, and finally vacuum up pine needles in both the car and the great room. Ugh.
Of course, I have to admit, it smells great and it is more like Christmas with a real tree in the house. Here is the pic; I obviously did not have time to decorate it. It is a Douglass Fir: