Is it better to store Christmas tree in bag or box?

When it comes time to put away your artificial Christmas tree for the year, you have two main storage options – a Christmas tree bag or a Christmas tree storage box. Both methods have their own pros and cons and suit different needs. Deciding whether a bag or box is better for storing your holiday tree often comes down to factors like space, convenience, protection, and cost. Looking at the key differences between tree bags and boxes can help make your decision easier.

Quick Overview: Bags vs Boxes for Christmas Tree Storage

Here’s a quick rundown of how storage bags and boxes compare for putting away your artificial Christmas tree:

Storage Bags

  • Compact storage
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Low cost
  • Less durable protection
  • Can tear or rip over time
  • Harder access to contents

Storage Boxes

  • Sturdy, durable protection
  • Easy access to tree and ornaments
  • Stackable storage solutions
  • Higher cost than bags
  • Take up more space
  • Heavier to carry

Space Savings

One of the biggest advantages of storing your Christmas tree in a bag is how compact it can be. Bags allow you to compress the tree down to a smaller size than is possible with a box. This saves a tremendous amount of space in your attic, basement, garage or wherever you keep your holiday decorations when not in use.

Most Christmas tree storage bags are made of durable plastic that easily zips closed and creates an airtight seal. Once you have disassembled your tree and placed it in the bag, you simply vacuum out the excess air using a vacuum storage system or compressor. This tightly shrinks the bag around the contents. A 7.5 ft tree in a box may take up 20 sq ft of floor space when packed away, while that same tree compressed in a bag may only take up 4 sq ft.

This space-saving perk makes bags ideal if you are limited on storage room. Attics and garages can quickly get crammed full of boxes, making bags a smart choice to conserve precious square footage. Even if you do have ample space, the compact storage size allows you to use your storage area more efficiently.

On the other hand, boxes by design do not condense like bags. The sturdy walls of the box means the tree is not compressed smaller. Even when disassembled, a tree in a box will still take up a decent amount of floor area. If your storage space is already tight, this may make boxes less ideal. However, the rigid structure of boxes makes them very stackable. So you can offset some of the larger footprint by stacking multiple boxes vertically. Overall though, bags use space much more efficiently.

Convenience and Portability

When it comes to lugging your packed up Christmas tree out of storage, bags tend to be much easier to transport and more portable. Even large trees can be vacuum compressed into a manageable sized bag. The compact shape and plastic construction makes bags lightweight and easy to maneuver. Most have handles, straps or wheels that allow you to move them from place to place with minimal effort.

In contrast, Christmas tree boxes are bulkier and heavier. Their rigid structure and the weight of the tree inside makes boxes less convenient to carry. While some boxes have handles cut into the sides, moving them tends to require more physical effort. Hauling multiple tree boxes out of the attic or down from shelves can quickly become tiring and cumbersome.

Bags are also often more flexible in storage options. You can stuff an empty bag into small nooks and crannies until the holidays roll around. And the compact shape when holding your tree makes sliding bags neatly under beds, onto closet shelves or behind furniture an easy possibility. With boxes, you may be restricted to space on the floor or on shelving units. So if portability is a concern, bags provide better convenience.


In terms of safeguarding and protecting your Christmas tree during storage, sturdy boxes have a clear advantage. The hard walls of tree boxes provide a durable, rigid enclosure that prevents damage from occurring. The strength of the box helps cushion impacts if it is dropped or hit. It also keeps the weight of other stacked containers or objects from crushing down on the tree.

Boxes designed specifically for artificial trees often have built in dividers or segmenting to separate and stabilize the branches. This prevents tangling and breakage while packed away. The solid box lid also provides security, unlike the zipper closure on bags which can accidentally open.

Protection with a tree storage bag is certainly adequate but not as foolproof. The soft plastic walls are vulnerable to ripping, especially if they catch on something sharp. A puncture or tear in the bag would leave the contents exposed until it is repaired or replaced. The compression of the storage bag also leaves less structural protection around delicate tree components.

For family heirloom trees or expensive high quality artificial trees that you want to keep pristine year after year, a sturdy box is the safer choice. However, for a typical department store tree that doesn’t need museum-level preservation, a bag provides sufficient protection at an affordable price.

Cost Comparison

Christmas tree storage bags provide a very cost effective solution. High quality yet budget-friendly bags are widely available from retailers like Amazon and big box stores like Walmart and Target. Prices typically range from $5-$50 depending on size, features, and durability. Even very large bags meant for 10 ft+ trees can usually be purchased for under $30.

Boxes specifically designed for tree storage tend to cost more. While you can sometimes find basic cardboard box options for under $20, most sturdy, long lasting plastic Christmas tree boxes run $50-$100. Extra large boxes for big trees can run as high as $150. So on a pure cost basis, bags generally win out over boxes.

You can cut down on box costs by repurposing a plastic storage tote or large cardboard appliance box. However, these may lack features like dividers, lids and cutout handles. So while repurposed boxes are an affordable alternative, you sacrifice some convenience and protective benefits compared to a box made for Christmas trees.

Other Tree Storage Tips

To make storing your Christmas tree fast and easy each year, keep these additional tips in mind:

Disassemble Properly

Take the time to disassemble your tree correctly before packing it up. Start by removing all ornaments, garland and lights. Next, separate the tree top and work your way down each section by gently lifting branches and retracting pins. Finally, lay branches neatly in the storage container.

Cushion Branches

Cover branches with a tree bag or old sheet to prevent scraping. For box storage, line the bottom with cushioning like an old blanket or bubble wrap.

Label Sections

As you disassemble the tree, label each section with painter’s tape marked 1, 2, 3 etc. This makes reassembly faster by putting branches back in the correct order.

Store Lights Separately

Remove all lights and cords and pack them separately to prevent tangling. Zip ties, shoe boxes andlight storage bags help keep them neatly organized.

Rotate Tree

Alternate which side of the tree faces out each year you set it up. This helps preserve fullness by avoiding one side becoming crushed and flattened.

Use Mothballs or Sprays

Place mothballs or scented sprays like cedar in your tree storage box or bag. This deters any insects or pests from nesting in branches while packed away.

Hang Upright

Store the bag or box holding your tree vertically rather than laying flat. Hanging it prevents the tree’s weight from smashing branches on one side.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Christmas tree storage bag or box better?

Bags offer more space-efficient, compact storage while boxes provide thicker, more durable protection. Bags tend to be cheaper and easier to carry. The choice often depends on your specific needs and space constraints.

How long do Christmas tree storage bags last?

High quality Christmas tree bags can last 5 years or more if cared for properly. Avoid overstuffing, limit exposure to sharp objects, and store in a temperature controlled area. With proper use, most bags will last approximately 3-5 seasons.

Can you store a Christmas tree assembled in a bag?

No, you should always fully disassemble an artificial tree before placing it into a storage bag. Trying to force a whole assembled tree into a bag will likely tear the bag and damage the tree. Remove all pieces first and stack branches neatly.

What size Christmas tree storage bag do I need?

Check the dimensions of your disassembled tree and ornament box. Add a few inches to allow room for branches to settle. Popular bag sizes are 45” x 15” for slim trees up to 6 ft and 60” x 20” for full 7-9 ft trees.

Are clear Christmas tree storage bags better?

Clear bags allow you to easily see contents without opening. However, tinted or opaque bags prevent light damage to artificial trees. A matte finish reduces friction and tears during packing. Any quality bag material works fine for protecting your tree.

Can I store my tree in a plastic tote?

Yes, plastic storage totes or large plastic bins work well for Christmas tree storage. Look for ones large enough to hold full branches flat and rigid enough to support stacking weight.

How do you pack an artificial Christmas tree in a storage bag?

Fully disassemble the tree. Place bottom sections in bag first, then gently lay upper branches on top. Avoid excessive bending. Wrap trunk in blanket or bubble wrap and place vertically in bag. Vacuum out air and seal per bag directions. Store flat or hanging vertically.

How do you pack a pre-lit Christmas tree for storage?

Start by completely removing all lights from the tree branches and trunk. Wind up cords neatly and pack in a separate box. Disassemble tree pieces and place in storage container, cushioning branches to prevent damage. Pack topper separately and cover stand in a bag.


Christmas tree storage bags and boxes both have their advantages for protecting your holiday decor season after season. With some simple preparation, you can pack away your tree neatly after the holidays and pull it out again next year ready for decorating. Focus on space constraints, convenience needs, and your specific tree when choosing which storage method works best for your situation.

Leave a Comment