Oh Christmas Tree, Oh …

The debate has been raging for decades of Decembers:

Real or artificial?

I’m talking trees, of course.

In one camp, you have the hearty, saw-slinging lumberjacks (and Jills) that relish the opportunity to strike out into the snowy woods …

(or tree farm)

to cut down a live fir for the holiday festivities …

On the other end of the spectrum, there are the urban-oriented pragmatists who figure that the one-time purchase of a lushly-limbed artificial tree will not only save them a trip to the cold and prickly wilds,

it assures them that they will be punctually prepared for years to come,

leaving more time for shopping, shindigs, and sundry stresses that seem requisite to the modern holiday season.

One less item on the list.

Christmas tree?


But, wait …

What if I told you that, this year, there is another candidate?

Yes, unlike the recent presidential election, there is a viable third option when it comes to our iconic Christmas centerpiece.

Let’s say you’re appalled by the thought of PVC pine,

and yet you feel a twinge of guilt about taking the life of a tree for such trivialities as tinsel and toys.

Well, this may just be the idea you’ve been waiting for:


No, you don’t have to plant a seedling and wait years for it to grow (your grandkids would likely be off to college first).

I’m talking about a full-sized potted tree that is delivered to your door and …

get this:

picked up after Christmas.

All you have to do is decorate it!

This new concept is something like a twist on party supply rental companies. It’s simple: rent a living tree, and celebrate the fact that it is destined for planting after Christmas has passed.

How green is that?

It may take some digging to find a living tree supplier in your area, but the idea will no doubt begin branching out across the country in years to come. In the meantime, here are a few companies on the west coast that are blazing the trail:

  • Rent a Living Christmas Tree, located in California, will deliver a live, potted Christmas tree to your door in the San Francisco, South Bay, Santa Cruz, Monterey Peninsula, and Salinas areas for about the price of a cut tree.
  • Also in California, The Living Christmas Company’s “elves” will deliver potted Christmas trees to homes in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange County. After the holidays, trees will return to the “North Pole,” where they can continue to grow for future generations. You can even watch your tree grow as your family grows by adopting it.
  • The Original Living Christmas Tree Company will deliver full-size (up to 20 feet tall) potted Christmas trees to residents of Portland, Oregon, and then pick them up after New Year’s Day and plant them in local parks and watersheds (their website also offers information about how to rent or buy a living tree if you don’t live in Portland).
  • The Adopt a Stream Foundation in Everett, Washington, is renting more than 200 small trees this year for $35 each. After the season is over, the trees will all be planted along a local salmon stream to provide shade and prevent erosion.

FYI, the pic of the tree above was featured on the front cover of my magazine two years ago and to this day is growing in one of my fields.

  1. Elizabeth says:

    What a wonderful idea! Growing-up we always had a live (plantable) Christmas tree with the trunk wrapped in a ball of dirt & burlap. After Christmas we would plant the Christmas tree in our yard & enjoyed watching them grow bigger & bigger, year after year.

    Would love to follow our family tradition & plant out Christmas trees once again but my present home has very little yard space. Although we did try moving the Christmas tree out onto the patio a few years ago but it quickly out grew its container & had no place to grow. And for the first few years living here, we would buy a plantable Christmas tree & then give the tree to relatives with lots of land after Christmas & hoped that they would plant them…?

    I am so glad you shared the above information with us MaryJane.I absolutely love trees & if I could squeeze one more in my yard, I would…one day I’ll have more land but until then, I thank you for sharing this good news:-)

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    This is a wonderful option and idea. I have never heard about any such service here in the Deep South. Since traditional evergreens used at Christmas do not grow here, many people do use potted local species and plant in the yard after the holidays. But for colder climates, this seems like the perfect solution to apartment and condo living in big cities.

  3. Terry Steinmetz says:

    How wonderful! Living on 40 acres we have plenty of trees, but our allergies got the better of us & we succumbed to an artificial. (We were so sick from the time the tree went up until about 2 months after–sinuses, coughs, sneezing.) We plant seedlings every year in our yard in the spring & watch them grow. I love that companies are doing this as well. How great that would be if we lived in a city.

  4. Diana Ketron says:

    Thats the best idea I have ever heard. well have to check this out in my area for next year.Love it. Love it!! Thanks

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *