For a greener, more sustainable approach to Christmas this year consider buying a living Christmas tree. To clarify, this tree comes with roots and soil. Yes, its alive! It can also be planted in your landscape!
First, let’s review the choices for trees, which include the following 3 choices: artificial, cut and live. Holiday traditions are important to my family, so I anticipate that contemplating something new is quite a hurdle for most people, especially with all of the festivities and errands during this time of year. But during this peaceful pause, let’s look at some pros and cons and then consider ourselves more educated about this one holiday decision.
Live Christmas Tree Pros
- Plant it in your landscape to give you years of memories and add financial value to your home. Who doesn’t want this benefit?
- Keep it in the container for a few years and reuse it as a Christmas tree, thus decreasing the To Do list.
- It can be less expensive than a cut or artificial tree.
- It won’t sit in a landfill for a lifetime.
- It doesn’t shed needles as much as a cut tree.
- Benefits the environment for decades as a habitat for animals, produces oxygen and decreases ozone. Wow!
- Trees that are sited correctly can decrease summer cooling bills, stabilize hillsides, decrease erosion and winter wet areas, absorb sound and serve as a windbreak. Talk to your landscape designer (ahem) and ask her for a site recommendation.
- Donate it to a school, park, church or local organization to share with others, or plant the tree in memory of someone special. In fact, Gardens ALIVE Design has a special donation location with Oxbow Native Plant Nursery and you can donate your Douglas Fir for their restoration work.
Live Christmas Tree Cons
- It can only be inside for seven to ten days.
- It needs to be watered regularly. Ice cubes work well.
- Avoid placing it by a heating vent or fireplace.
- Needs to acclimate in your garage for three days before and after it is in your home, which will assist in its long term success.
- May harbor bugs, squirrels or black bears so be sure and shake it well.
- Its heavy and needs a drip tray.
- The container may need to be covered with a tree skirt.
- It changes traditions, which is a biggie for many people. Having the conversation about your choice to “go live” with your kids and friends might be a priceless memory.
A living Christmas tree is the gift of an experience that can keep giving long after the last ornament is tucked away. Consider this your chance to be übercool and at the forefront of a greener and wiser way to celebrate the holiday.
And lastly, here’s a classic memory about Charlie Brown’s unconventional decision: “Gee, do they still make wooden Christmas trees,” asked Linus? “This little green one here seems to need a home,” answered Charlie Brown.
Let this holiday season bring you monumental memories just like
Charlie Brown’s affection for his little tree.