Country Lore: Free Christmas Tree

If you need a free Christmas tree and live in an agricultural area where they're considered pests, a scrub cedar tree might be the answer.
By Bryan Hancock
December 2009/January 2010
Add to My MSN

An eastern red cedar can become a lovely free Christmas tree.
PHOTO: DAVID CAVAGNARO


Content Tools

Related Content

Earth Gauge Tip of the Week — Which Tree for Me?

Tips on how to choose the best Christmas tree and what to do with it after the holiday season.

Throwback Thursday: DIY Holiday Decor That Graced President Obama's Guest House

Two years ago, the Natural Home & Garden staff had the honor of decorating President Obama's gue...

The Blacksnake

We do not always recognize who, or what, may be watching over us, taking care of us in some way. In ...

Tree Conservation Opportunities at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

The Washington State Conservation Commission gave away trees at the Mother Earth News Fair as part o...

This past Christmas, we were really busy and Christmas was coming up quickly. We needed to get a tree, but they were $38.  We thought we might find a free Christmas tree on our property.

We had planted various pine trees, and now had a fresh pine forest. Many were the right size and shape. The only problem was, the more we looked at individual trees the more we hated the idea of cutting down a thriving young pine.

My wife and daughter had seen a scrub cedar (eastern red cedar) near the road and took me to look at it. Against the horizon it seemed sort of small, but it had a good Christmas-tree shape. I measured it and found it stood a surprising 6 feet tall.

I cut it with a chain saw, and carefully (with gloves, as the needles on a cedar tree are sort of prickly) carried it into our house, placed it into the tree stand and watered it.

And did it drink and drink! I noticed the color of the cedar was green with a pronounced red tinge to it at first. After several days of watering, it seemed to become greener. My wife loved the aroma that permeated the house.

We strung lights gently and hung all of our Christmas ornaments with care. Soon the cedar was surrounded by Christmas gifts. It was a wonderful free Christmas tree. I felt a bit sad that even a cedar tree, which is considered a pest by many local farmers, had to give up its life for Christmas, but this one had to go sooner or later anyway because it was directly under the power lines. And, we couldn’t argue with the price.

Bryan Hancock
Fairfield, Iowa








Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.