Since loads of us love Christmas trees and all things that bring Christmas cheer, here’s a way to indulge in your tree without killing it (strange tradition we’ve had all these years, eh?) The city of San Francisco has launched a program offering live local trees that you can take into your home. Then after the holiday cheer has run its course the tree lives on where it belongs — in the ground! Better yet, these non-traditional trees have been specifically selected to live in San Francisco’s climate, so your tree is sure to thrive long after it’s christening.

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For just $95, Friends of the Urban Forest and SF Environment have teamed up to offer San Francisco residents living, potted Christmas Tree varietals that have been handpicked for your selection. The trees are all approximately 6’ to 8’ tall, and after the holidays Friends of the Urban Forest will let you know when they are ready to plant them on San Francisco’s City Streets. You can even help out if you choose to!

The trees will be available at the City Hall Plaza Green Christmas Tree lot on December 5th and 6th, from 10am until 2pm. All varieties will be available on a first come, first served basis, but if you miss the tree lot, you can pick one up at Friends of the Urban Forest offices from December 7, 2009 through December 11, 2009. Get there early for the best selection!

San Francisco has become known for its gorgeous urban tree varietals and currently has about 110,000 trees occupying its 7 square mile grid. A 2003 Street Tree Analysis estimates, however, that the City could accommodate roughly twice as many trees, and the positive effects of trees on urban dwellers is clear to see.

Urban trees also reduce water pollution by capturing storm water runoff and save energy costs by providing shade to neighboring buildings, not to mention the much needed windshield for pedestrians. This is the perfect solution to not just pollution, but to displaying all the holiday cheer so many of us love without leaving us with dead trees lining our streets after the holidays!

+ Dreaming of a Green Christmas

+ Friends of the Urban Forest