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Christmas Trees – Rent Now; Plant Later

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Rental Christmas trees are all the rage.

Why cut and buy when rental Christmas trees are an option? In fact, if you want to rent a tree for the holidays, you’re not alone. More eco-friendly folks are looking for holiday trees to plant later or recycle after the holidays. But, unfortunately, resources for these trees seems to come and go each year. So, we try to keep this list updated. Sustainable Christmas tree options are out there, and we’ve got a few linked resources to help your find your rental Christmas tree easily. Plus, we update this list every year to help you find the most current Christmas tree rental programs fast and easily!

living rental Christmas tree

Every year people seeking sustainable Christmas tree options reach out to us.

Moreover, eco-friendly shoppers are interested in programs that will recycle and/or replant Christmas trees in restoration programs after the holidays. So, I’ve compiled the following list to help you get started finding programs that help take your holiday greens from field to family to forest. This can be a fantastic option when you consider that traditional Christmas trees like Noble Firs and Douglas Firs mature much too large for smaller residential landscapes.

  • Some of these tree-cycling programs provide traditional Firs.
  • But others have more eclectic tree offerings based on native trees that are needed in local restoration projects.
  • And some of these programs encourage you to sponsor a memorial tree or bench or item instead of bringing a tree into your home.
  • That’s because these programs help families and friends create living memorial spaces.
  • Even NPR decided to cover how popular potted Christmas trees are right now.

Here’s a list of rental Christmas tree services:

  • Seattle, Washington: Local nursery, Swansons, has discontinued their program local Seattle parks to offer living tree rental programs. It’s really too bad they haven’t continued it because after the holidays, rental trees were planted in a salmon restoration area.
  • Portland & Eugene, Oregon: In these areas of  Oregon, potted rental holiday trees used to be available to rent via The Original Potted Christmas Tree Company. However, it appears that their website is no longer secured, so we can’t recommend them any longer. They used to select the kind of tree and size. And you would pay around $200 for a tree rental. After the year turns over, they would pick up the trees to plant them.
  • Bay Area, California: In 2021 we found a new program available from around Carmel, CA northward into the middle-south of the SF Bay Area. Rentxmastree.com supplies a few varieties of potted living trees starting at around $45 (for a pretty small tree), plus delivery fees. They’ll drop off the potted tree for you to enjoy for around 30 days. And afterwards they retrieve the tree. Then it is returned to their nursery to care for it. As well, they do sell living trees.
  • New York and Beyond: This program, Rent-A-Christmas, offers more than just Christmas tree rentals. They’ll rent you everything for Christmas. They offer indoor Christmas trees, outdoor holiday lights, wreaths, and almost anything you can think of to decorate for the Christmas season. Plus, they indicate they serve the entire United States (or at least 48 states).

Want to DIY your holiday decorations from your garden?

If you’d like to learn about growing trees for your garden, decor and more, check out our online gardening classes.  Here we teach lessons about growing trees. So this might help if you’d like to learn to grow an outdoor tree. Or you might find it helpful if you want to replant your living tree.

Plus we even offer a quick video lesson that will help you craft a holiday swag at home for free!  And you’ll even learn about how to id different kinds of conifers in this quick lesson.

Simple DIY ideas instead of rented, potted Christmas tree ideas.

  1. In years past I’ve settled for sheared rosemary shrubs for a living, potted Christmas tree. Bonus! I planted it into my small herb garden later.
  2. You could purchase a cut tree and mulch it into your garden after the holidays.
  3. Or, buy a big, live conifer to replant. I’ve done this. But if you do, be sure you have room for something enormous!
  4. Shop for a dwarf conifer to decorate and later plant into smaller spaces. Some, like Picea glauca ‘Nana’ naturally grows to look like a Christmas tree, so it might be a great choice.
  5. Maybe decorate houseplants with lights. Indoor potted citrus trees are great for this!
  6. Live on a large property? Dig up a volunteer tree that popped up in the “wrong” spot & enjoy it as your DIY Christmas tree. After the holidays, help it adjust to going back outdoors. Then plant it in a better spot!

Want to pick up a last minute living Christmas tree?

These days you can easily order your living Chrismas tree online. And the added bonus is you can also order a living holiday tree in a beautiful pot to have delivered as a gift! Local florists and nurseries may have options for you. However, this might be just the quick link you need:

(Qualifying purchases made through affiliate &/or sponsored links on this page and others on this site pay a small percentage to Garden Mentors.)

Are the holidays over & you don’t know what to do with your old tree?

Don’t just cram your tree into the trash bin. Instead, consider our top five ways to recycle your tree in environmentally friendly ways. In fact, these options are not only easy to do, but they’ll also help improve your garden too.

11 comments on “Christmas Trees – Rent Now; Plant Later

  1. Karen on

    Great idea! My family hasn’t had the best luck with living Xmas trees, and as you say you have to have the space for one to get pretty big if it survives. We didn’t do a tree at all until our kid was 3 and started asking why we didn’t have one. So, we caved and I feel guilty every year. I hope at least that putting it in the yard waste at the end of the month means that it gets chipped up and composted!

  2. Willi on

    I don’t know of a live tree rental in Seattle, but we often purchase our tree from the UW Forest Club. They cut the trees down from under powerlines (which would be cut down anyways) and the proceeds go to benefit the club. The sale happens the first weekend in December every year, so unfortunately it already took place this year. But it’s a good thing to keep in mind for next Christmas.

  3. Tree Rental on

    I think we may be the prior original live christmas tree rental service. We started “The Tree Concern” in 1990.
    You can see a tree we donated to the City of Thousand Oaks at our website http://plantman.com/rental.html. We plant our older trees or give them to the counties, clubs and residences to plant.

  4. Kathy Boullin on

    Great info! Let me add that Swanson’s Nursery has expanded their living Christmas Tree program this year and has smaller and therefore more affordable trees for sale. There are very small native firs, hemlocks and cedars, as well as medium sized sheared Douglas Firs that are affordable and easy to move into the house for a week before bringing them back out again. Of course, if you want a larger, more expensive living tree we have those too! Yes- I do work at Swanson’s and I may even be the person who sells you a live tree!

  5. rhaglund on

    Kathy thanks for the update. I’m glad to know Swanson’s has added some more affordable options. I know that’s been a deal breaker for some shoppers in the past. Have fun out there in the rain bundling up the trees. In today’s downpours, perhaps you’ll think back to our days slogging through the rain while studying plant ID for our CPH exam years ago? Ah, memories….

  6. Roberta Boedigheimer on

    Interested in a Christmas tree but I’d like to see them. Is that possible? I live in Eugene. Thank you

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