As seen in: Issue 35

New Holiday Tradition: Potted Christmas Conifers

It’s that time of the year again — a time when millions of families rush out to pick a holiday tree to decorate, only to throw it out after a few weeks. The other common alternative is a plastic tree bound for the same pile of trash. With an ever-increasing knowledge of the environmental impacts of our actions, we have to ask, why are we still disregarding nature to such a degree?

Potted Conifers

If we look at nature, one thing is sure; there’s a better solution than the throwaway mentality so rampant in our society. Nature is regenerative, fecundating, and life-giving. Why do we push against the natural way of life? There’s a better solution for the holidays, and it only takes a hint from nature to see it—potted holiday conifers.

A potted conifer will not only live well past the holidays but if trained in their pot, they can live long-term in your home or yard. Some might even choose to plant a holiday tree annually, creating a ‘forest’ of memories and life for the coming years. Imagine if millions of families went out every year with joy in their hearts and planted their holiday trees instead of chopping them down? We could change the face of the Earth and give future generations positive thoughts about their elders as they walk among forests containing past holiday evergreens.

potted conifers

Every home that acquires a cut holiday tree could source a potted conifer. Even if one would like to maintain their tree in a pot, bonsai conifers are known to live for hundreds of years. One particular bonsai is more than 300 years old, and somehow, lived through the atomic blast at Hiroshima!

There is a joy that a living tree brings into a home that cannot be imitated by a cut spruce or plastic look alike. A real tree brings with it fresh air, fragrance, and potential for tea if the correct species. Some species will grow into seed-producing trees that are an excellent source of nutritious pine nuts.

Good For The Earth, Good For The Soul

A potted holiday conifer is good for the soul, the family, and Mother Nature herself. No more needles on the floor or storage boxes. And if you source the right species, you can put it outside after the holidays, and it will live on unhindered as nature intended.

potted conifers

Our Earth has a finite amount of oxygen produced daily, and combustion is quickly depleting our supply. The air we breathe once contained 33% oxygen. Today, in some inner cities, it’s less than half of that.

We can’t go on living with such a disregard for the very thing that allows us to be here in the first place. We can make things better with our everyday actions. Choosing a potted holiday conifer this year and beyond has a never-ending list of benefits. Year after year, the living trees will bring back fond memories of years past, allowing us to pass these precious souvenirs and natural gifts on to future generations.

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  • Hans says:

    We have been using “plantable” conifers for some years with a few surprises thrown in. In 2012 I bought my last cut tree, a Balsam Fir, which still carried a cone. Two of the seedlings I took along when we moved in 2015. One survived and is now about 5′ high. Another finding was used for two years in a pot and is close to eight feet now. One problem we had, using live candles since childhood, last year’s sale-bought Blue Spruce had the twig tips overheated by the metal candle holders and the tree looks rather poorly; I do hope it will yet recover.


Growing up on a deer farm located on 79 acres of land along the banks of one of Lake Michigan's tributaries, Tom grew a love for nature and all the beauties it could hold. Through that passion Tom has channeled his influences into educating the community on sustainable agriculture, becoming an activist, writing for magazines and creating music tuned to nature in his band Cosmic Knot.