In your home today, in our community
Every year in the U.S., 30 million holiday trees are grown, chopped down and sold. It takes an average of seven years to grow a tree, which after a month or so of display and decoration, get tossed out with the used wrapping paper. 9.5 million artificial trees are sold each year, 80% of which are imported from China. [Source list: National Christmas Tree Association, U.S. Commerce Department]
Our City Forest is helping Silicon Valley get green this holiday and change their wasteful practices by bringing living, potted trees into their home or office for decoration and festivities. Participants enjoy the traditional look and smell of a live tree with much less waste, mess, and fire hazard. Plus, a live tree cleans the air in your home, and after its holiday debut, lives on to be planted in a school, garden or park nearby. These trees are still growing and may appear smaller than the classic (cut) holiday tree, but the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your tree will go on living even after the holidy season is a gift we all can appreciate.
For the month of December, Our City Forest invites families, friends, companies and organizations to rent a living tree from its Community Nursery & Training Center in San Jose. Participants can reserve their trees immediately by calling, emailing or visiting the nursery. Tree species available include traditional options such as Western Red Cedars and Italian Stone Pines, as well as non-traditional options like olive trees, also known as the trees of peace. Our City Forest is asking for donations of $25 - $100 per tree, which is comparable or less than the cost of most chopped or artificial trees. All donations are tax-deductible and support the excellent cause of greening Silicon Valley.
The tree rental program was piloted in 2013 with great success, prompting Our City Forest to launch its first Holiday Rent-A-Tree program this year. Over 200 trees are available – and residents are urged to reserve their living tree now!
Reservations for Holiday Rent-A-Tree are now full, thank you to everyone who is participating in this groundbreaking event! Enjoy the trees & we'll see you all next year!
Our City Forest Community Nursery & Training Center: 1000 Spring Street, San Jose, CA 95110
Hours of Operation: Thursday through Saturday, 9AM – Noon
The time to reserve your Rent-A-Tree is now over. We'll see you next year!
- Our City Forest
There are 3 ways to order your Holiday Tree:
1. Order online
2. Order in-person at our nursery
Generally from 27 to 30 days depending on when you get the tree. Upon pickup, you will be given a 3 day window when you can return your tree. If you are getting your tree delivered, you will be given a 3 day window when your tree will be picked up.
How much do trees cost?
8' Tree - $95
6' Tree - $65
3' Tree - $40
18" Tabletop - $25
The price is to rent the tree for app. 30 days.
Can I rent it for longer than 30 days?
No. Trees should not be kept inside for longer than 30 days to keep them healthy. You can, however, swap out your tree for another one if available, and start a new rental cycle. Please contact us for more details.
I want to keep the tree and plant it. Can I buy it?
Yes, but...we at Our City Forest want the tree to receive good care to ensure its long-term survival. Please read and sign the Tree Grant Application and read the planting & care guidelines. Send in the signed stewardship agreement and a check for $25 to $100/tree as follows in addition to the rental fee:
8' trees: $100
6' trees: $75
3' trees: $50
Tabletop Trees: $25
We have 11 types of trees available ranging from 18in. to 8ft.
NOTE: Height is measured from the bottom of the container to the top of the tree.
8' Western Red Cedar
6' Western Red Cedar
6' Redwood 'Aptos Blue'
6' Monterey Cypress
6' Fern Pine
6' Strawberry Madrone
6' Bottle Tree
3-4' Deodar Cedar
3-4' Fruitless Olive Bush "Tree Of Peace"
3-4' Carolina Cherry
18" (Tabletop) Italian Stone Pine
How many trees are available?
The Monterey Cypress have the strongest fragrance. The Western Red Cedars and Redwoods have a slight aroma.
Yes! Thanks for asking. Please use only LED lights since they don't emit heat like traditional lights which can burn the foliage. Also "flocking" and tinsel are not allowed on rented trees. Light weight ornaments are the best.
How often should I water my tree?
It varies, but they will need water about every other day. We will provide care guidelines with each tree for specifics. Trees are rented with a plastic saucer to protect your floor.
We are counting on you to take good care of our trees during the rental period. The trees must come back in good condition. If it is determined that the tree was neglected, dies, or we are unable to retrieve the tree at the end of the rental period then you may be charged the full retail price of the tree as follows:
8' trees: $100
6' trees: $75
3' trees: $50
Tabletop Trees: $25
Why go through the hassle of renting trees, why not just let people buy it and do what they want with it?
Our mission at Our City Forest is to improve the urban forest and one of our key strategies is ensuring long-term survival of all the trees that go through our programs. We have found that educating residents on proper planting and care practices through the stewardship process results in an over 90% success rate. Unfortunately, many potted trees end up being planted improperly or in the wrong spot - ultimately resulting in removal years later. Also, most species typically offered as potted trees during the holidays do not perform well in our area, which brings us to the next question...
Why don't you carry Fir and Spruce Trees?
Simply because these are trees native to the Pacific Northwest that are not well-suited to our local climate. Since all of our trees will be planted locally, we want to make sure we use the right species. Spruces and Firs do well when young but do not live as long as they should here because they eventually succumb to pests and disease. Our climate is too dry in the summer and not cold enough in the winter.
Can I rent the same tree next year?
In many cases, yes. The tree will grow bigger each year, but we will make every effort to reserve it for you and your family for as long as possible. The great thing about this is that a family can literally "grow up" with the same tree, for several years. When it needs to be planted (assuming you don't want to plant it yourself) we will let you know where it ends up so you can visit it forever!
Where will my tree end up when it becomes too big to rent?
We take great pride in ensuring the trees live out their "holiday retirement" in a good home. Many of the trees will end up in local schools and parks. Others will be planted in neighborhoods, in someones yard or park-strip.
Do you rent trees to businesses or government agencies?
Trees can be returned to our nursery starting .
When can I pickup a tree?
You can pick up your tree at our nursery starting .
How do I get my tree picked up after 30 days?
Good news! If you select delivery services, we will automatically schedule a pickup date and come and get it. Please remove ornaments and place your tree on your porch prior to your pickup date. Because of our pick-up schedule we can not go inside of the home to retrieve the tree.