How to rent a Christmas tree: where to hire them and why it’s good for the planet

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  • A greener Christmas is guaranteed when you rent a Christmas tree in December – the eco-friendly trend that’s becoming ever more popular each festive season.

    Every year we buy a staggering 7 million real Christmas trees, most of which are dumped into landfill just a few weeks later. Not only is this a tremendous waste of resources, but it also has a substantial impact on the environment too. Think pollution and harmful greenhouse gases – and that’s on top of the damage done from cutting down and transporting new trees every year.

    Thankfully several clever Christmas tree farms are offering a new service where you can rent a Fir for the festivities. Meaning you don’t have to say goodbye to the Christmas tree tradition for the sake of the planet. We’ve explained the whole hire process and shared where you can rent your tree across the country. Because as the new mantra goes ‘A tree is not just for Christmas’…

    How to rent a Christmas tree:

    It’s a lot easier than you think and we’ve explained the process in 5 simple steps:

    1. Find a local supplier that is offering the service. Check out our list of where to rent a Christmas tree below.
    2. Pay for your tree (price varies by size) plus the additional deposit for the tree. This will be refunded when the tree is returned (so long as its healthy and has been well looked after).
    3. Collect your tree in person at the farm or have it delivered. Delivery is likely to incur a small extra fee for the trouble.
    4. Decorate your tree with some Christmas baubles and enjoy it during the festive period – taking care to water and look after it throughout.
    5. Return the tree or organise for its collection and receive the deposit back if all goes well.
    6. The company will then re-plant the tree and leave it to grow until the next Christmas when it will be available to rent again.

    Most suppliers will often allow you to re-rent the same tree. And these ‘trees for life’ are often given a name by the families that rent them. The idea is that not only is this method greener, but that the tree will also grow with the family each year. Cute right?

    family around the Christmas tree under new Christmas lockdown rules

    Credit: Getty

    How much does it cost to rent a Christmas tree?

    Prices start from around £30 when renting a 3ft Christmas tree. Though you must be aware that this often does not include the refundable deposit and charge to deliver and collect the tree.

    Prices vary between suppliers and taller trees will also cost more to rent. So if you’re wanting to hire a 6ft tree or taller this could set you back between £80-120.

    If you’re keen to save a few pennies it’s good to know that you can save yourself the delivery fee if you pick your Christmas tree rental up in person.

    What are the environmental benefits of renting a Christmas tree?

    Renting a Christmas tree is the latest sustainability trend that promises a wealth of benefits to the environment:

    • Recycling: you are essentially re-using the same tree each year, which is much greener than purchasing and disposing of a new one each December.
    • No waste: As you’re recycling the tree they’ll be no tree waste to dispose of. And this is a huge plus as it costs an estimated £14 million to send faded firs and sad spruces to landfill.
    • Less pollution: Trees travel back and forth between the farm only. This means much less travel pollution compared regular Christmas trees that are often shipped from great distances.
    • Better carbon footprint: According to the Carbon Trust, a 2m-tall cut Christmas tree that ends up in landfill has a 16kg carbon footprint – that’s around the same as taking three return flights from London to Australia.
    • Less greenhouse gases: Discarded Christmas trees release harmful greenhouse gases into the environment when they are left to rot.
    • Less Carbon Dioxide: When the tree is replanted it will help to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
    • Supports eco-systems: The tree will also provide a home for various wildlife between Christmases.
    • Supports local businesses: Christmas tree rentals are often organised by small farms and businesses that are passionate about promoting a greener Christmas for the planet.
    • Less hassle: Suppliers will deliver and collect your tree, meaning you don’t have to go out of your way to get your hands on a real Christmas tree.

    Where to rent a Christmas tree:

    1. Love a Christmas tree, Leicester

    Companies like Leicester-based Love a Christmas Tree are renting out Nordmann firs this December. Prices start at £55 (including delivery) for a 3ft and go up to a 5ft for £85. Orders will be delivered within the first few days of December, unless requested later. And they plan on picking your tree back up again via their collection service between 7-10 January 2022

    Find out more about Love a Christmas Tree and rent your tree for 2021 here.

    2. Ali & Joe’s, Bath and Bristol

    Ali and Joe’s are offering up rental trees on the first two weekends of December. If you’re lucky to live in Bristol – visit Victoria Park or the Tobacco Factory to get yours. Whilst Bath residents should pop down to the Beechen Cliff Methodist Church, Bear Flat on Sat 4th Dec (9am-1pm) to find theirs. You’ll find potted Norwegian firs for £60 to rent – both at the venues or via their online shop. And delivery is free for the following postcodes: Bristol: BS1-BS16, BS34, BS41 , Nailsea and Backwell BS48, Bath: BA1_1 – BA1_6 & BA2_1 – BA2_6.

    Find out more about Ali and Joe’s and rent your tree for 2021 here.

    3. Christmas on the Hill, North London

    Christmas on the Hill is returning for 2021. And customers can either chose home delivery or select their own tree at London’s Alexandra Palace where they’re situated this year (until 22 December). You can pick up a 3ft for £35. And sizes and prices go all the way up to a huge 12ft tree for £180. A deposit of £30 will be added on top of your order, which will be refunded upon the safe return of the tree. Plus a home delivery and collection charge is an additional £10 each way. (Though you can pick it up for free). Christmas on the Hill have earnt extra eco-friendly points too for their bio-degradable netting which can be disposed of in your food compost bin once you’ve released your tree. Win Win.

    Find out more about Christmas on the Hill and rent your tree for 2021 here.

    4. London Christmas tree rental, London

    London Christmas Trees offers Norway spruce, specially suited to being pot grown, and with a proper Christmassy pine smell. The rental service is collection only for new customers, but will deliver returning customers trees. And asks for a £30 deposit which you get back when the tree is returned in good condition. Choose from a 3ft Mr Kensington (yes, the trees have names), a 4ft Miss Fulham, a 5ft Mr Westminster or 6ft Mr Islington. Pop-up stores are located in West Norwood, SE27, Barnes, SW13, Kilburn, NW6, Wimbledon, SW19 and Honor Oak, SE23.

    Find out more about London Christmas Trees and rent your tree for 2021 here.

    5. Cotswold Fir, Gloucester

    If you’re in the south-west, check out Cotswold Fir in Gloucester. Its ‘Rental Claus’ service delivers or lets you pick up your tree anytime after 7 December, as the trees (Norway spruces) need to stay outside for as long as possible. Prices start from £45 for a 3ft, plus a deposit of £15 – which is refunded when you return your tree in good condition. Alternatively, leave your deposit and get the same tree next year – but remember it will have grown a bit bigger!

    Find out more about Rental Claus and rent your tree for 2021 here.

    6. Rental Christmas Trees, Stroud

    You can bag yourself a premium rental tree at this Gloucester-based farm. The shop only sells one potted tree for rent, a potted Norway Spruce, which you’ll need to water every day. The trees at Rental Christmas Trees range in size from 3ft to 7ft. And with the price of each tree (they start from £45), there’s also a £15 deposit which is returned to you once you give the tree back, when Christmas is over.

    Find out more about Rental Christmas Trees and rent your tree for 2021 here

    7. Festive Tree Hire, Berkshire

    Festive tree hire rental prices - graphic

    Credit: Festive Tree Hire

    Homes in Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire can receive a rented festive fir via the Festive Tree Hire company. The business does not take online orders but operates a first come first served basis at their site in Arborfield Cross. Which is open everyday from 9am to 6:30pm until 19 December. Go pick your tree and organise for the experienced team to both deliver and re-collect your evergreen beauty again in January. Prices start at £32 for a 3ft and go up to £82 for a 7ft (which includes a maintenance fee).

    Find out more about Festive Tree Hire here

    How to care for your rented Christmas tree:

    In order to keep your tree looking lovely and healthy, rental services suggest the following tips. These recommendations will also give your tree a better chance of surviving till next year too:

    1. Water: Just like us humans, these trees need water to live. According to the British Christmas Tree Growers Association, they should be watered daily. Aim for about a litre a day to keep the soil moist and avoid over-watering them.

    2. Temperature: Being too hot or too cold can seriously affect the tree. And it’s a big Christmas tree no-no to place it near an open fire or radiator as this will dry the tree out. Supplier Love a Christmas Tree also recommend storing your tree in a shed or garage for a day or two before bringing it into the house. And similarly when you want to leave it outside ready for collection again. This is an intermediate step that will help the tree adjust to the change in temperature.

    3. Space: Give your tree room to breathe. And make sure you choose one that fits the height and size of the area you want to keep it in. Most trees will come with measurements, so be sure to measure ahead before purchasing our rental.

    4. Don’t trim it: Love a Christmas Tree also advocate against cutting or trimming your tree. This is because it increases the chance of infection, that could then contaminate the forest where it is returned to grow again til next year.

    If you think you’ll be away for a long period over Christmas then a rental is probably not for you. Companies often advice against this as you won’t be able to give the tree the care and attention it needs. And this subsequently means it can’t then be re-planted and used for next year.