London’s Christmas Tree Rental Provides A Simple Solution To The Real vs Artificial Debate

What kind of tree do you put up every year? Do you drive out to a Christmas tree farm and buy a real Christmas tree, use an artificial tree year after year, or get creative with contemporary materials? Well, if you happen to prefer propping up real or artificial trees, we’ve got some news for you. Did you know that you contribute a substantial amount of greenhouse gas when you go for either one? Apparently, this is also another thing we have to give up if we want to keep having happy holidays for longer! So why not start a new seasonal tradition by going for a Christmas tree rental this year?

Yes, you read that right. You can now rent a real live Christmas tree. If you live in London, that is! The idea of leasing trees for the holidays came to Jonathan Mearn and Catherine Loveless as they strolled along the streets of London in January 2018. The pavement had turned into a Christmas tree graveyard and Jonathan decided, right then and there, that enough was enough. So they set up the London Christmas Tree Rental in an effort to provide people with a more sustainable way to decorate for the holidays!


London Christmas Tree Rental offers a sustainable decorating option for the holiday season

It didn’t take the startup long to attract the attention of the public. In fact, they even got featured on several major online media outlets last year! And this year, their reach has expanded even further thanks to a tweet from Alexandra Lautarescu (@AleLautarescu). In her tweet, the PhD student showed off her yet-to-be-decorated 6-foot Christmas tree rental and called it a “sustainable Xmas gem”. She also briefly explained the service to her followers. Her tweet unexpectedly went viral, and has, as of writing, accumulated over 64.9K likes and 7.7K retweets. The tree rental’s co-founder Catherine Loveless further explained:

“We explored the rental concept and in our research we learned that 7 million cut trees go into landfill each year and when they rot they emit greenhouse gasses. The average rotting 6ft tree produces 16kg of CO2. When we realized this, we felt we had to try and made this rental idea work.”




They grow the trees in a farm then transfer them in pots so people can rent them during the holidays

London Christmas Tree Rental’s trees are similar to the one you’ll see at Trafalgar Square. The service exclusively offers Norway Spruce, as it is more suitable for potting than the more popular Nordmann Fir. The trees come in different heights ranging from 3 to 7 feet. Then, when the tree reaches 7 feet, it’s retired and planted permanently back in the forest. And to make things even cuter, the service gives the tree names, which are: Mr. Kensington, Miss Fulham, Mr. Westminster, Miss Islington, and Mr. Bromley. In statement, Loveless explained how they chose these names for their trees:

“The trees have names based on London boroughs according to their sizes. Our smallest tree, Mr. Kensington, is because Chelsea and Westminster is the smallest borough in London. Mr. Bromley, our mighty 7 footer is due to Bromley being the largest borough. Miss Fulham comes in at a delightful 4 feet, Mr. Westminster is our 5 footer, and Miss Islington is our 6 footer.”




“We encourage the family to give them first names so that they can welcome them into their home each Christmas, on the whole, the trees are very well behaved and make perfect house guests!”


You can select the tree you’d like to ‘invite’ to your home online or at their pop-ups

The process of renting out a tree from London Christmas Tree Rental is relatively easy and surprisingly affordable. The tree rates start from £39 ($50) for a 3-foot Mr. Kensington tree up to £69 ($92) for a 6-foot Miss Islington tree. Customers can choose to select their tree online through the service’s website.

However, the downside to ordering the tree online is that you don’t really know what your tree will look like until it’s delivered to your doorstep. (For insurance reasons, they can only bring the tree to your door. You’ll have to take over from there.) So if you’d rather personally select your tree, you’re better off dropping by their hubs (you’ll need to transport your chosen tree by car and keep in mind that the potted tree will be very heavy).


Then once your chosen tree is in your home, you’re free to decorate the tree however you want. But there are certain care instructions that you’ll need to follow during your Christmas tree rental’s stay. For instance, you have to make sure that the tree is placed away from a heat source or any warm spots as it will confuse the tree into ‘thinking’ that spring has already come. And since your tree is alive, you also have to make sure that it doesn’t get dehydrated – it needs half a liter of water every day. The potted tree will come with its own drop plate, so you won’t have to worry about any spills.


The trees are taken back to the farm after the holidays

Once the holiday is over, London Christmas Tree Rental will collect your tree sometime in the first week of January. Simply schedule the date and time for the collection. But don’t leave your tree outside unsupervised! Apparently, some renters left their trees out last year, and the tree was taken by other people instead of the collection team.

“All the trees are returned to the farm in January where they are cared for till the following year. If a customer has liked their tree, then it can return to them the following year. 97% of these rollover trees survived the 2 heatwaves this summer and were able to return to customers this year. They become part of the family and the customer is excited to see how much it has grown.”



London Christmas Tree Rental also has a sister company

But what if you don’t want to commit to renting a tree that you’ll eventually have to say goodbye to for good after it reaches 7 feet? Fear not, because London Christmas Tree Rental’s sister company, Holly Berry Trees, has something special for you and your little one. Holly Berry Trees has a somewhat similar structure to their cousin. Except for the fact that they post potted mini Christmas trees to children that they can not only name and decorate but also keep! Loveless elaborated:

“We have a sister company, Holly Berry Trees, where Holly Berry, who is Father Christmas’s next door neighbour, posts out mini grown Christmas trees. These are predominantly to children and come with lights, decorations, reindeer poop (compost), and a beautifully illustrated story about life in the North Pole living next to Santa.”

“They are not rented, but bought. After Christmas, the child can either keep the tree in its pot and it can come back in to the house again the following year, or they can plant it directly in the garden. It is the child’s own tree, to name and care for. It educates the child from a young age to the importance of the environment and learning to care for something living, whilst wrapped up in a magical Christmas character.”

London Christmas Tree Rental’s vision and service is definitely awesome! The founders’ initiative is definitely admirable, and we hope that the Christmas tree graveyard in London’s pavement in January decreases significantly in January! Have we finally found the perfect solution for our holiday decorating dilemma? We certainly have high hopes for this seasonal service!


These folks are loving London Christmas Tree Rental’s mission

ellie asks why this isnt a thing


Hailegh says that the christmas tree rental service gives you the best of both worlds


joy says she thinks its a fantastic idea but her allergies dont


Kristin says the London Christmas Tree Rental service is awesome


linda's dad planted their trees in the back


Lisa purposely purchased a little potted tree for this reason


Rachel reminisces after reading about London Christmas Tree Rental


Sharon says her hometown has a similar practice


susan might end up killing her christmas tree rental


tim says the christmas tree rental service is a great solutiontim says the christmas tree rental service is a great solution

Source: London Christmas Tree Rental Website | Instagram | Facebook