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Rent a living X-mas tree

Photo by by Sappymoosetree

What’s the best way to have a Christmas tree…and not feel like you’re killing it?

The Adopt-a-Stream Foundation in Everett says if you don’t mind something that looks a bit scrappy, you can have your tree and plant it too.

The foundation says it rented out 100 trees over this past weekend…and they have about 100 more available. They’ll be open 9-5 through Friday.

The non-profit group has been around since 1985. Making it easier for endangered creatures and people to co-exist is part of their mission, says executive director Tom Murdoch.

“We teach people how to become stewards of their watershed so that the stream systems that drain through them will have better water quality and better habitat for fish and wildlife, ” Murdoch says.

One way of getting that message out there is to offer live trees to people who want a Christmas tree to decorate, without feeling guilty about all the junk it produces.

You can rent a tree from the foundation for $35 and take it home over the holidays, then bring it back to be planted by volunteers in areas where wetland restoration is needed. Or you can keep the tree and plant it in your own yard.

Murdoch just got his tree for the year, which is a small grand fir.  He put it on a deck outside his living room.

“My tree came in the front door, was inside for ten seconds and I took it out onto a table right next to the sliding glass doors.”

Decorating it there reduces the mess, he says, while not traumatizing the tree with a radical change of temperature. And he suggests you can still have outdoor lights on it, maybe even dress the tree with balls of suet, to attract native birds.

Save a Stream's  goal is to help restore the riparian zones that are home to salmon and other wildlife in watersheds around the region. He says they have a variety of living trees in pots, and the come with easy instructions for care while you have them at your home. 

The location for picking up and dropping them off is in an education ccenter in Everett, where you can also learn about local watersheds.

Bellamy Pailthorp covers the environment for KNKX with an emphasis on climate justice, human health and food sovereignty. She enjoys reporting about how we will power our future while maintaining healthy cultures and livable cities. Story tips can be sent to