A tree should be for life, not just for Christmas
PUBLISHED: 17:00 16 December 2017
It takes a long time to grow a Christmas tree, even a relatively small one, writes Sheena Grant.
According to the website of Scottish Christmas Trees, a reassuringly authoritative sounding source, firs generally take about 10 years to grow from seed to a size ready for cutting.
Of all the waste and unnecessary expense of Christmas, the annual harvest of trees has to be one of the worst. Nothing epitomises the decadent frivolity of the modern consumer Christmas better than the fate of all those firs, stripped of their tinsel and lights and thrown away once 12th night is past. Those unadorned trees seem to become a metaphor for Christmas itself in the cold light of a January dawn - all the hype and razamataz, so long in the build up and over so quickly.
I’ve taken part in this annual tree massacre - eight million firs are ‘consumed’ each year in the UK. But not any more.
My Christmas tree is no longer unwanted or unloved once January comes. Quite the opposite.
In fact, I’ve got two - one is in its third Christmas with me and the other its second. And I’m hoping that’s just the start.
We all know a dog is for life, not just for Christmas. Well, maybe a tree should be too. Both my trees were bought relatively cheaply (the smallest for £4 and the biggest for £20), in the pots they were grown in.
I’ve repotted one since and the second will be repotted after Christmas when it is returned to the patio for another year.
There are many benefits to keeping a tree in this way. The two obvious ones are environmental and financial. The other big one is more subtle. It’s all to do with the value we place on things.
The fact that my biggest tree came with a tag attached, allowing me to view online the plantation where it was grown, gave a connection that buying something disposable, with no roots and a short lifespan, could never match.
The fact that I have nurtured both trees throughout the year has only added to that ‘bond’. As I look at my decorated tree, slightly taller than last year but still familiar, I get a warm fuzzy feeling that seems particularly appropriate for the time of year.