Merry Christmas, Tree!

21 Dec



Pine Tree.

Originally uploaded by webBev48.

Every Christmas season in Mexico City brings the same cheery sight – hundreds of pine trees, their trunks nailed with a big, wooden X’s like cartoon drawings of Christmas trees, on sidewalks for sale or tied to the roofs of cars like dead game.

It never seems to occur to anyone that they will be vacuuming up needles for weeks – or maybe they don’t care because their maids have to do it.

And should you want to remove the planks and put your tree in water, break out the chainsaw. Two years ago we tried to pry them off and ended up having to saw the trunk itself, they were so difficult to remove.

Apparently, 1.7 million trees get axed – and X’ed — every year, (a million imported from Canada) before being unceremoniously dumped on the street or down a ravine. But this year, there’s a great new idea to the rescue: a rented tree from Siempre Verde.

The company will not only deliver the tree to your house, but pick it up again and replant it after Three Kings Day in January. They actually put a substance in the ground around the tree several months beforehand that slowly loosens the soil, carefully dig it up and then replant it in a pot where it is treated with organic fertilizer.

Juan Cortina is the environmentally aware young man who came up with the idea. He works for a company that looks for sustainable alternatives for big companies, and thought about renting out live trees for Christmas two years ago. “The objective,” he says, “was to save the largest quantity of trees possible.” They have already found homes for all 2000 of their stock, an indication, says Juan, “that people were eagerly waiting for this kind of option.”

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