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Buy a Living Christmas Tree in Seattle for Salmon

December 06, 2008

Yesterday, I visited Swanson’s Nursery with my husband. We had dropped by the Christmas tree lot where we have bought trees in the past, but we held off on making a purchase. This lot offers trees at $5/a foot less before 1pm than later in the day; I had thought it was before 4pm. Given we’re looking at a 7+’ tree, that’s a pretty significant costs difference, especially in light of the current economic downturn that is blamed for my husband’s layoff earlier this week. Sigh…that’s a different story altogether.

Anyway…back to the point…

Since we could get our tree for much less by waiting a day, we decided to visit nearby Swanson’s Nursery for a little holiday cheer. They bring in Reindeer, decorate beautifully and it’s just a beautiful location to visit during the holidays whether you’re buying or not. While we were there, we decided to price their Christmas trees. Honestly, they’re more expensive than our discount lot, but the trees are spectacular.

As well, they have a beautiful selection of living trees, and they’ve partnered with nearby Carkeek park in a Trees for Salmon program. If you purchase one of their select living trees, it will be donated to Carkeek park after the holidays. You can return the tree to Swanson’s after the holidays, and they will arrange for it to be planted at Carkeek where salmon run through the park seasonally and native plantings thrive.

Unfortunately, I can’t afford the steep price for one of these this year, but maybe you can. Sure, I know, look at the longterm environmental cost and realize $125+ isn’t terribly steep, right? Well, this week taught me how quickly my pricing perspective can change. Deciding whether any tree is possible is the new question that we needed to answer first. Heck, I just now decided to buy an even smaller tree to place on a small table. That’ll save us another 2′ of tree cost!

One part of the Swansons-Carkeek program that I can afford is the purchase of a $5.00 “Sammy” medallion. This $5.00 purchase becomes the donation of a native plant to the Salmon stream restoration at Carkeek. Plus, the little medallion can be a holiday gift or a tree decoration. It’s not a fantastically beautiful ornament, but the plant that restores the stream that rebuilds the environment sure will be lovely!

For more information on Living Christmas trees and the Sammy Medallions:

And, if you’re outside Seattle looking for a Living Tree program:


  1. […] Contact | Store | Garden Mentors Seattle Tree Ordinances Up For Review by City Council Buy a Living Christmas Tree in Seattle for Salmon […]

  2. This is a great program, and a wonderful way to give to public parks this holiday.

    Seattle Parks Foundation also runs a program where people can support the planting of a tree in a public park in Seattle that will also support the maintenance of the plant for three years to ensure it survives. There are a variety of ways to participate in our Tree Program.

    You can learn about the Parks Foundation’s Tree Program at http://www.seattleparksfoundation.org.

  3. rhaglund says:

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. […] living tree rental programs. After the holidays, your tree is planted in a Salmon restoration area. More on their program here. Shoreline nursery, Sky, claims to be offering living trees as well as cut options; details […]

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