Why not rent a real Christmas tree this season? Then hand it back...
A Christmas tree is not just for Yuletide…
That is the motto of a new Westcountry business which has come up with the brilliant idea of renting out pot-grown trees to householders in a bid to reduce the pile of six million UK Christmas trees which are destroyed after the festivities each year.
Called Christmas Trees for Life, it’s the brainchild of Lucy McCance, from Rewe near Exeter – who did so well over her first Yuletide last year, she has now expanded the business to include outlets in Lyme Regis and Plympton.
“We always had a
real Christmas tree and it always made me feel really sad to burn or compost it when the festivities were over,” Lucy told the Western Morning News. “And it really does make you feel sad after the tree has given the family so much pleasure. So that’s why I came up with the idea of renting real living Christmas trees out each year. The customers have them for Christmas, then I take them back and look after them until next year comes round.
“The idea suddenly came to me about five weeks before last Christmas,” she went on. “I wrote a business plan, put it on Facebook, then I bought 75 trees and rented out 65 of them. Now it’s caught on so well I’ve opened two new centres.”
There will be Christmas tree fans who might suspect the concept, having bought potted trees which have then turned yellow and died by the following spring. But Lucy explained that only trees that have spent their entire lives in pots are likely to survive.
“I only buy trees that are pot-grown – a lot of the ones for sale are potted, rather than pot-grown – which means they’ve been dug up and had their roots cut to fit into a pot. Really, that’s a tree which is just dying more slowly. If they’re pot-grown they are slower-growing and have all their roots developing nicely. Yes, some of our trees will die – that’s just how it is – but most survive. We pot-on the ones that are growing too big, and I’ve got a mini woodland on the outskirts of Exeter.
“We give all out customers unique guarantee – if their tree gets too big, it’s never destroyed – just replanted. People who book the same tree year after year can move on to another one if their old tree gets too big.”
Find out more by visiting Lucy’s Facebook page – Christmas Trees For Life.
‘People have them for Xmas, then I take them back and look after them’