If you are thinking about having a holiday tree at your apartment this year, but aren’t sure you want to go to the expense of lugging a large fir or spruce into your home – and keeping it healthy and green until Christmas – here are some alterative options that will give you some of the festival spirit, but less of the fuss.
Do you have a ficus? If yes, this can easily become your holiday tree. Decorate it with lights and even ornaments if you wish. If it lives in an unnoticeable corner of your apartment, move it front and center and make it noticeable. Make sure it still gets some sunlight and a little extra water. Ficus trees can be sensitive to change, so decorating it with lights may cause a few extra leaves to fall off. As long as you remove the lights after the holiday is over, the tree should be OK.
Get a little rosemary tree from Trader Joe’s. Not sure for decoration, but the rosemary sprigs can be incorporated into all sorts of delicious holiday meals you are cooking this winter. (Even desserts!) If you keep the tree healthy you can plant it outside and have a nice rosemary bush for years to come. Be careful of over or under watering the tree. The soil in its pot should be moist but not muddy.
Buy a live tree that will live in a pot. This is complicated logistically simply because large live trees are planted in base pots that are very heavy and hard to transport. But if you get a smaller tree, it shouldn’t be too much trouble to use a standard moving dolly to get your tree into your apartment. After the season is over, be sure you have a suitable outdoor location to store it and keep it healthy for next year. Keep it watered and fertilized and it will be ready to bring back inside a year from now.
Rent a tree. Many civic organizations in major cities are now sponsoring programs where you can rent a tree that will later be planted on the streets of your city or town. Contact your city parks department – they will have contact information if such a program is in place. Convenient pick-up and delivery services are often offered as part of this program.
Get a fake tree. You probably already have a few fake plants, so why not get a tree that you don’t have to water, either? There are tons of realistic-looking and very affordable imitation trees that you can reuse year after year. Now that’s recycling.
Chai is a contributing writer for the RENTCafe blog, where renters can find information ranging from how to deal with roommates, personal finance, and design, plus search for apartments for rent nationwide.