If you’re like most people in America, you’re probably right now looking to find the perfect Christmas tree to adorn your living room. I know I would be if we weren’t on our way home to Denmark to spend holidays with family.

At Scandinavian Living, we are strong believers in potting our holiday tree and replanting it after use.

Last week, we talked about the upward trend of a no-live-tree policy implemented by many condo associations. The potted Christmas tree presents a sneaky loophole to residents who may otherwise be forced to forgo a real Christmas tree, as it qualifies as a plant. In other words, it can be watered and kept alive during the holiday season, and isn’t considered a fire risk.

There are other good reasons for choosing a potted tree this year – even if you don’t live in a condo that bans live cut christmas trees. First up, a potted Christmas tree has a sweet and clean look with a relaxed yet sophisticated attitude. Second, it allows for a return of the tree back to nature thereby restoring its carbon capturing abilities. Third, the chemicals used for fertilizing a real tree are less harmful than those used in the production process of an artificial tree, and finally artificial trees that end up in landfills carries a substantial economic and environmental cost, according to the Carbon Trust.

It is also worth noting that most Christmas tree fires are started by an electrical failure, in which case an artificial tree is likely to be more of a fire hazard than a real tree due to its sudden fire ignition and rapid escalation. This was the unfortunate case this past weekend where an artificial Christmas tree was the culprit that burned down the famous Annapolis Yacht Club in Maryland.

In short, there are convincing environmental arguments for going the extra mile to pot and replant your Christmas tree.

So, how do you get your tree in a pot? 

There are a couple of ways. You can chop down, or rather dig up, your own tree. Just remember to get it out of the ground with the roots to allow for replanting later. Digging up your own tree is a lot of fun and there are many farms around the country that will let you do that. Not to mention the family memories created by brazing the snowstorm, hauling the tree home on top of the car, and getting lost on the way – it’s worth it. If you have your eyes set on a smaller tree, you could probably dig it up with a good bit of elbow grease. However, if you dream about a big showstopper of a tree, you’ll want to take advantage of the service provided at most farms to dig up your chosen tree for a fee. No need to go all Clark Griswald, do-it-yourself.

The best way to locate a Christmas tree farm near you is to consult the Christmas Tree directory for locating vendors by state. You may also find farms who sell online. Remember to call in advance to make sure they offer the kind of tree and service you are looking for.

Once the tree is in house, you’ll need to find a suitable pot and a good amount of dirt. Ask your local nursery or flower store. They should be able to help you.

Here’s a good tip to remember: When you first bring the tree home, be sure to leave it outside for a day or so close to the house, like on a balcony or a terrace. If you have a non-heated garage this also works. Do the same when you take the tree out for planting. Slow introduction to environment change is important so as not to shock the tree. We know, it’s a tree, not a rescue dog, but we promise, these steps are known to allow for the most successful use of the tree.

Most importantly, have a plan for what to do with the tree after the holidays. Where will it be planted? How will you get it there? Who will plant the tree again? You don’t want to go through all that hoopla only to realize that you won’t be able to relocate the tree after all. So, make the calls before you get the tree. You may even have family that’s willing to plant the tree in their backyard.

Alternatively, depending on where you live, you might be able to find a Christmas tree rental service. Increasingly popular on the West coast, this convenient option lets you choose a tree on the farm or online, have it delivered to your door in a pot, and picked up again after the holiday to be replanted back at the farm, or donated somewhere else. Since the trees have been grown in their pot, you are allowed to keep it in your living room for up to 30 days, following instructions for proper care and watering. The cost typically ranges from $50 to $250 depending on the type and size of tree. That’s a little more expensive than pre-cut Christmas trees, but it also buys you peace of mind and a mess-free tree delivery and removal.

Final touch:

For styling and decorating your potted Christmas tree, check out our Scandinavian Living Pinterest board to find inspiration.

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