Living Christmas tree rental replaces cut evergreen in Calgary homes

A Calgary landscaper can’t keep up with demand for his potted Christmas trees which he rents for the holidays and replants in the spring.

Potted plant returned after holidays to be replanted in spring

Landon Kennedy stands beside one of his living Christmas trees in Calgary. (FromTheGround Organic Gardens)

It's only the beginning of December and all Landon Kennedy has left in his garage are two white spruce trees.

And by the time you read this, they'll probably be gone.

"I've had such an overwhelming response in the past couple days that I've been frantically calling around to all the nurseries I can," said the owner of FromTheGround Organic Gardens.

Instead of chopping down a Christmas tree that will end up in a wood chipper, Kennedy will rent you a living one.

For $120 to $180, he'll deliver a potted evergreen to your living room and set it up on a tray to protect your floor from getting any moisture or dirt on it.

After December 25, he picks up the tree and replants it in the spring.

"They live a long happy life after we're done with them," he said.

The pots they come in are about 20 to 30 litres — about the size of a water jug you would take camping. This year, his trees ranged from about 1.5 to two metres tall.

"At this time of year it's just really difficult to find some appealing stock."

Trees can survive inside for a while

Kennedy puts all of his living trees through a "transition period" to ensure they don't perish in his client's toasty-warm living rooms.

"I bring it from the frozen state outside into my semi-heated garage where it warms up for a few weeks and then transition them into the living room," said the Calgary entrepreneur, who reverses the same process before returning them to their natural winter environment.

Although your living tree won't survive inside longer than one month, you can rent-to-own.

"There's just a little extra cost to purchase the tree and I'll come out in spring and put it in the ground for you."

He doesn't think he'll be able to get anymore trees before Christmas, but says he will be well stocked next season.


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