Christmas (trees) for rent.
December 16, 2005 9:18 AM   Subscribe

Do you feel bad about cutting down a tree in the prime of its life just for Christmas? If you live in San Francisco or Portland, OR you can rent a tree instead.
posted by grapefruitmoon (15 comments total)
That's brilliant. Not sure sure about feeling bad, it just makes good sense, for a lot of reasons.
posted by stbalbach at 9:24 AM on December 16, 2005

Gosh, I never thought of that. They have their whole lives ahead of them and we cut them down right in their prime. But seriously -- that rental thing is a good idea. But I wonder how much damage is done to the tree by moving it around so much.
posted by Lockjaw at 9:27 AM on December 16, 2005

You could even put your tree in your park(ing) space?
posted by shoepal at 9:28 AM on December 16, 2005

Actually, that's what usually happens AFTER Christmas when everyone in San Francisco tosses their dried up trees out on the street whether it's trash day or not. It's lovely and always makes me feel a bit teary-eyed and sentimental for the season.
posted by Lockjaw at 9:49 AM on December 16, 2005

If only trees were a renewable resource, we wouldn't have to go to these lengths.
posted by jewzilla at 9:52 AM on December 16, 2005

I've never understood why people would feel bad about cutting down a Christmas tree. In high school I worked on a Christmas tree farm. These trees are crops -- they're grown for consumption. They're renewable, planted annually and replaced. Farms that grow Christmas trees protect local farm economies, help clean the air, and keep land green that might otherwise be developed. We might as well feel bad about eating corn on the cob, or wearing cotton. I mean, come on.
posted by Miko at 10:08 AM on December 16, 2005

Growing up one of the best things about Christmas was going tree hunting in the snow (hopefully). We'd go into our woods, find a tree we liked, cut it down and haul it back to the house and then play our Pan flutes while getting drunk on cheap wine laced with cinnamon sticks and some herbs that made me really hungry later.

I used to like Christmas and the getting of the tree was a big part of it.

But I'd rent one this year, if I could. Or, its also possible to a tree in a big pot and use it inside for the season and then put it back outside for the rest of the year.
posted by fenriq at 10:16 AM on December 16, 2005

If only trees were a renewable resource, we wouldn't have to go to these lengths.

Hyuck, hyuck...

My girlfriend's household paid $55.00 for a similarly sized cut tree in Portland and didn't get it delivered/picked up at their doorstep. Plus, I'd guess that a tree that doesn't dry up by New Year's is a significantly smaller fire risk, it looks better and you get the warm, fuzzy feeling that your rental offsets the cost of a planted tree for schools and parks. I'm sure if you asked nicely, you might even learn where your tree ended up, so you could visit it and have a living memorial to your year.

The economy gets the same boost in the arm, the same amount of land is used to harvest the trees, but you end up with a product with a load more economic utility than mulch. Seems like a model of capitalistic efficiency. Sounds like a win-win-win to me.
posted by Skwirl at 10:16 AM on December 16, 2005

You don't have to kill a Christmas tree by cutting it. As long as you leave three branches on the stump, the vast majority of trees will regrow quite quickly. They only die if you cut ALL the branches off.
posted by Malor at 10:26 AM on December 16, 2005

I have thought about this. Since trees are (apparently) not sentient, I don't feel an absolute proscription against cutting them down for a couple week's decoration, but it does seem somewhat disproportionate to do so every year.

So we have a fake tree four years out of five, and every fifth year is a very special occasion when we get a real tree.

I know this ain't for everybody, but that's how we do it.
posted by soyjoy at 10:40 AM on December 16, 2005

Soyjoy, if you have a yard, plant five pine trees. Stagger the planting, so that you put one (or more) in every year. (if you have the space, plant two each year... pines are pretty robust, but accidents happen.)

After five years, cut the largest tree. Leave at least three branches on the stump. Repeat this every year. The tree you cut will regenerate over a five year period, so if you get five good ones, you get a live Christmas tree every year, from the basic stock of 5. This costs almost nothing.

Another idea would be to buy a potted tree each year for five years, and then plant them after Christmas.... that would do the same thing, and you wouldn't have to wait 5 years for your first tree. :)
posted by Malor at 11:07 AM on December 16, 2005

Malor is absolutely correct, cutting down a xmas tree while leaving the last row of branches will allow that tree to grow back to it's glory in about 4 years. Or so said the nice xmas tree farm lady just before I chopped the bejezuz out of the tree that now adorns my family room. Yes I left the bottom row intact. If for no other reason than to have another go at that rat bastard in another 4 years YEEHAW!!!
posted by Zorro on Doughnuts at 11:23 AM on December 16, 2005

If you live in San Francisco or Portland, OR you can rent a tree instead.

Well, you could have. Can't no more.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:19 PM on December 16, 2005

Malor, thanks, that would probably work, but I'm afraid I don't have the room for it in my yard. Plus I'm so lazy I'm sure that with all that chopping and planting I'd abandon the project a few years in. But a clever solution, yes.
posted by soyjoy at 1:12 PM on December 16, 2005

Or you could just buy an artificial tree.

Blasphemy: the subtle art.
posted by deusdiabolus at 10:00 PM on December 16, 2005

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