Why not rent a real Christ­mas tree this sea­son? Then hand it back...

Western Morning News (Saturday) - - Uk And World News -

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’

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