Earth-friendly Christmas trees

Buy a live tree and plant it after the holidays

For years, the Original Living Christmas Tree Co. has been delivering live trees to folks in the Portland, Ore., area during the holidays.

This novel earth-friendly business allows folks to celebrate the season in style without killing beautiful carbon-sequestering greenery. The company digs up a live tree, places it in a pot, and delivers it right to the customer’s doorstep. Sounds great, right? But it gets better. After New Year’s Day, the company picks up the tree and re-plants it, allowing it to grow old.

Butte County doesn’t have a similar business, but there’s no reason folks around these parts can’t head to their local nursery and pick up a live tree for the holidays. After the season ends, simply plant the tree or donate it to an organization that will.

Here are some tips on caring for living Christmas trees:

• Introduce the tree to the home over a few days. Move it to the garage (or porch) and then indoors. Reverse the process when removing the tree.

• Keep the tree in a cooler portion of the home, away from fireplaces and heating ducts.

• If decorating with lights, use the smallest variety with the least amount of heat output.

• Do not over water. Keep the tree’s roots damp, but not soaked.

• Keep the tree indoors for no more than 10 days. The fewer the better.