Choosing a Living Tree
for the Holidays


Make your holiday greener this year by buying a living tree from a nursery and donating it on the first three Saturdays of January to Our City Forest from 8 AM to 3 PM (or by appointment) for planting afterwards. Drop your tree off at Our City Forest's Nursery. Your donated tree will be planted at a school or park in San José. If you are unable to drop off your tree at this time, please call (408) 998-7337 x117 to arrange an alternate drop off time.


Here are some important tips:

    1. Choose an appropriate species that can be replanted by OCF (See below).
    2. Gradually introduce your living tree to the indoor growing environment over three or four days via the garage or enclosed porch.
    3. Locate your tree in the coolest part of the room and away from heating ducts.
    4. Water your tree slowly every day or every other day when the soil on top is dry. The warmer your house is, the more water it will need. Make sure it gets enough water to reach all the roots. You will know it has enough water when you see water draining out the bottom.
    5. Leave inside no longer than 10-14 days.
    6. Never add nutrients or fertilizers.
    7. Carefully introduce tree back outside using the reverse of #2 above.


      What to Buy
      The following is a list of evergreen conifers that can make great holiday trees and are well suited for planting in the Santa Clara Valley. The trees that have the most potential to be replanted are the incense cedar, any of the true cedars, and some of the pines. 



      Calocedrus decurrens (incense cedar)
      Cedrus atlantica (atlas cedar)
      Cedrus brevifolia (cypress cedar)
      Cedrus deodara (deodar cedar)
      Cedrus libani (cedar of Lebanon)
      Cupressus arizonica (Arizona cypress)
      Pinus eldarica (afgan p.)
      Pinus pinea (stone p.)
      Pinus ponderosa (ponderosa p.)
      Sequoia sempervirens (coast redwood)
      Taxus baccata (english yew)
      Taxus brevifolia (Western yew)
      Torreya californica (CA nutmeg)


      Avoid if Possible:
      Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas fir) – due to size, soil & climate limitations.


      Do Not Buy:
      Pinus radiata (Monterey pine)- These trees are short lived and are susceptible to the pine pitch canker disease, so we cannot use them.

      * If you would like to donate a tree species that isn't listed, please contact us to ensure we can accept it.

      If you have any additional questions, please contact OCF at (408) 99-TREES x 117.

      Contact Us

      (408) 998-7337
      1590 Las Plumas Ave
      San Jose, CA 95133
      Nursery: 1000 Spring St.