Renting a Real Christmas Trees is a Growing Trend

"It always feels really bad throwing the tree away at the end of the Christmas season."

December 09, 2018 - 10:37 am

SAN JOSE — When it comes to Christmas trees, there are more options these days than just choosing between real and artificial. Now, businesses are offering living trees grown locally for rent. 

Our City Forest Nursery here in San Jose is once again offering holiday rent-a-trees. Rather than classic species, like a Noble fir, their potted specimens are still alive and most are native to California. 

"I am a really sentimental person and it always feels really bad throwing the tree away at the end of the Christmas season," said customer Casey Jane Satterlumb. "But at the same time I really enjoy the tradition of going out and picking a tree as opposed to bringing it up from storage."

She and her husband Kyle were loading a flaxleaf paperbark into their car. It's the fourth year in a row that they've rented from the nursery.

Coffeeberry, cypress and podocarpus are some of the other types that are ready to be decorated with lights and ornaments. 

Artificial trees are environmentally harmful because they are made from non-recyclable plastic and often manufactured and shipped from China, according to Jill Wilson,, who works at Our City Forest. 

For $75, shoppers can go home with a tree in a 15-gallon container or, if space is more limited, spend $40 to walk out with a 5-gallon tree. 

More information is available at