Renting a Living Christmas Tree for a Guilt-Free Holiday

Updated June 21, 2021
Hands water a potted Christmas tree

Dreaming of a green Christmas? While more people are recycling their Christmas tree, the vast majority still drag their dead tree to the curb for trash collection after the holiday season. The most eco-friendly option is to rent a living Christmas tree. Once you're finished with a rented tree, it gets replanted to continue its life. Here's how you can make sure you don't have to say farewell to your fir forever this holiday season.

The Benefits of Renting a Living Christmas Tree

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, a whopping 30 million Christmas trees are sold in the United States each year. Imagine the positive impact on the environment if all of those trees were replanted. It can take up to fifteen years for a tree to grow 6-7 feet tall. Why cut it off at the trunk and end its life after all that time? When you rent a Christmas tree, it is potted and its roots are intact. This living tree becomes part of your home decor for a brief time before resuming its life in the great outdoors. Allowing a tree to be replanted in the wild will enable it to grow and mature while continuing to produce vital oxygen that all life on earth needs to survive.

Why You Should Rent vs. Buy a Christmas Tree

Aside from it being the most eco-conscious choice, renting a potted living tree that can be replanted vs. buying a Christmas tree (real or artificial) will teach kids about sustainable living and how to be responsible consumers. Forgo making a short-lived Christmas tree purchase and then quickly discarding it in about a month. Instead, renting and caring for a living tree makes your family stewards of nature and protectors of mother earth. You're borrowing and caring for this beauty for a time, and then showing your appreciation by returning it to its roots.

Two young women pull a Christmas tree with pot.

Pros & Cons of Living Christmas Trees

The pros of renting a living Christmas tree are:

  • It's convenient and hassle-free. Most living Christmas tree rental services deliver the tree to your home and pick it up once you're finished enjoying it. No more heading to a tree lot or tree farm, lugging the tree home and dragging it inside. You simply choose the tree you want from the company's website, it's delivered to your home, and then taken away to be replanted after the holiday.
  • You're helping to protect the environment by replanting a tree.
  • Renting a living Christmas tree teaches future generations a very tangible way to live sustainably from a young age.
  • When you start a family tradition of renting a living Christmas tree, kids are more likely to grow up and adopt this practice with their own family, carrying on the custom to save even more trees.
  • The Rent a Living Christmas Tree company says their trees "return to their natural habitat in our forest nursery, where they continue to produce oxygen and serve as an ecosystem for the wildlife habitat."
  • Living trees look healthier and more vibrant, they smell great, and they lose fewer needles.

The cons of renting a living Christmas tree are:

  • You cannot decorate a living Christmas tree with tinsel. (Which may be seen as a pro by some.)
  • You can't flock a living Christmas tree.
  • Renting a living Christmas tree generally costs more than buying a Christmas tree. It's an investment you're making to preserve the planet.
  • Caring for a living Christmas tree requires a little more time and attention. It's not difficult, but you must make sure your tree is properly watered and remains in good health.

Where to Rent a Living Christmas Tree in America

Here are some locations throughout the country that offer living Christmas tree rentals:

Rent A Christmas Tree: This company based in central California has been family-owned and operated since 2009. They offer a flexible tree delivery and pick-up for the 30 day timeframe you get to keep the tree. Costs range from $45-$225 per tree, plus a delivery fee, depending on the size and type of tree you select. Their renting program "focuses on zero waste and employs a minimal footprint operation through efficiency and conservation." Rent A Christmas Tree delivers to: San Francisco South Bay, Santa Cruz, Monterey Peninsula and Salinas.

Social Greenery: A family started Social Greenery to teach their foster children about nurturing and sustainability. Look up Social Greenery to rent a tree in the following areas of Oklahoma: Oklahoma City metro area, including OKC, Edmond, Deer Creek, Piedmont, Yukon, Mustang, Moore, Norman and Midwest City, Choctaw and Arcadi. Their delivery fee is included in the $160 cost of their trees. You can also opt to pay $210 for a pre-lit tree. Length of tree rental varies based on when you schedule your delivery and pick-up, but is generally about a month.

The Living Christmas Company: This company serves southern California, delivering living trees from north Los Angeles to Orange County. They offer multiple tree varieties you can rent for the duration of the holidays, and prices will be available at the start of the holiday season. Their clients rave about their service and love inviting their fresh-smelling, lush trees into their homes for Christmas. Company owner Scott Martin is even known as "Scotty Claus" for spreading so much good cheer.

The Original Potted Christmas Tree Company: Serving Portland and Eugene, Oregon, this company currently charges $150 per tree rental for the holiday season and they seek to turn Christmas into a "tree planting holiday." They offer advice at the following link: how to have a living tree this Christmas so that "anyone, anywhere can do a potted tree."

Living Christmas Company

International Living Christmas Tree Rentals

These noteworthy companies abroad also rent out living Christmas trees.

London Christmas Tree Rental: This company gives its trees fun names like Mr. Kensington and Miss Fulham. They range in price from £38.95-£68.95 for a 3-4 week rental. Founded by Jonathan Mearns and Catherine Loveless in 2018, London Christmas Tree rental proclaims, "With 7 million trees going into landfills each year for the sake of 3 weeks of pleasure, there must be a better way to do Christmas trees." They've even partnered with Holly Berry Trees which sends kids their very own potted mini Christmas tree to care for.

Rental Claus: Rental Claus believes a "tree is for life, not just for Christmas." They let you name your tree and rent the same tree each year, or choose a new one. Rental length is 3-4 weeks and prices range from £14.99- £74.99 depending on the height of the Nordman Fir tree you select. You get the fun experience of going to Primrose Vale Farm in Gloucestershire, England to pick up your tree.

Evergrow Christmas Trees: Rent a locally-grown, live, potted tree from Evergrow based in Vancouver, Canada. Simply order the tree you love the best online and it is selected from a local farm, delivered to your home and picked up after the holidays. Prices range from $205-$255.

Have an Evergreen Christmas

Grant Mother Nature the ultimate gift this holiday season by renting a living Christmas tree instead of buying an artificial tree or cutting down a tree that gets sent to the landfill. Your precious pine will go on to be evergreen, which is sure to make spirits bright.

Renting a Living Christmas Tree for a Guilt-Free Holiday