Are you debating with yourself whether to get a real Christmas tree this year? The whole question of real trees vs. artificial trees can get very confusing very quickly. If you're getting a real tree, there's the inevitable fact of a living tree being chopped down just for your pleasure (yes, yes, we know they're grown specifically for Christmas, we still feel a bit sorry for them). Plus, if you don't have a tree recycling point near you, you'll end up contributing to the extra tonnes of waste we produce every year around Christmas. But then, artificial trees are made from petroleum by-products and also end up as waste. What's a reasonable person to do?
There is now a solution to this dilemma, and we want to shout about it from the rooftops. A trend is growing for renting Christmas trees that are then returned and replanted, and we're amazed this didn't catch on sooner.
You can enjoy the loveliness of a real tree – and then let it be replanted for next year. At many plant centres and farm shops, you can literally have the same tree year after year, by reserving it with a small deposit.
Speaking of costs, is it more expensive to rent a tree than to buy one? Not at all: renting a Christmas tree will cost you between £25 to £50, which is no different (and in some places, cheaper – thinking of you Londoners) than buying one.
So, what do you need to do to rent a Christmas tree? The easiest thing to do is to enquire at your local garden centre of farm shop. If you live in a city and don't have one nearby, you can book a tree online; after Christmas, it will be picked up by the same company.
It is worth noting that if you do decide to rent your tree, you'll need to be a bit more mindful of making sure it doesn't die while it's in your house. Remember to water it regularly (but not overwater), not to place it next to central heating, and ideally to let it acclimatise back to cold weather in a garage or unheated conservatory a couple of days before it's picked up to go back to the plant centre.
Not sure what tree you should get? Here's how to choose the best Christmas tree.