I rent out living Christmas trees to replant after the holidays. It’s busy but fulfilling work.




Scotty Claus Martin living tree company The Living Christmas CompanyFounder Scott Martin and his pup Kota Claus.

Scott Martin is a landscape architect and the founder of The Living Christmas Company. Martin and his crew rent out living Christmas trees as an alternative to cut or artificial trees. This is what his profession is like, as told to writer Jenny Powers.

This as-told-to essay is based on a exchange with Scott Martin, a landscape architect and the founder of The Living Christmas Company. It has been edited for period and clarity.

When I was a teen, a close friend and I made a hassle delivering Christmas trees during the holidays in California where we lived. We deserved good money and obligated spate of tips-off, and everyone was always happy to see us when we arrived, tree in hand.

It was such a rush to pass by the houses we’d delivered to and blot the trees in the windows decorated so festively

But then shortly after Christmas, we’d go past those same residences simply to find the trees laying outside on the limit, divested bare of all their decor and tossed out next to the trash to be picked up and thrown away.

It struck me as such a detach between the happy on the front end of the tree knowledge and the misfortune on the back end of watching the very same trees that had made exuberance to their owners are currently under way disposed.

I recollect wondering why people didn’t introduced living trees in their homes instead of dead ones that they’d only throw out after the holidays, and the idea merely stayed with me. Over time, I found out there were people who actually grew trees for this very purpose.

So in 2008, I took some of my savings and gave it in living trees, leasing them out as potted Christmas trees, which become them reusable and plantable when they outgrew their potThe Living Christmas Company Scott Martin Shark TankMartin’s 2012 “Shark Tank” appearance with Mark Cuban on the consider of Tv Guide.

That first season I did a soft opening by lease out and delivering 100 Christmas trees locally in California. The years that followed, word of mouth spread and I was put forward a website. By the next season, I’d hired a marketing agency, and things precisely blew up from there.

In 2012, I appeared on “Shark Tank” and walked out with a $150,000 speculation from Mark Cuban in exchange for 40% equity in the company. To the working day, we’re still partners.

We start deliver trees on the weekend after Thanksgiving. In the off season for the past 10 years, I’ve manipulated as a professional mediator and conflict coach for the nonprofit Mediators Beyond Borders International.

We rent out Christmas trees within 7 bringing regions in Southern California and offering 3 different types that range in price from $135 to $295

Monterey pine is our most popular tree because of its dark-green, soft needles that smelling like Christmas. Aleppo pine is the easiest to care for and has the highest success rate of survival when seeded after retirement. And blue-blooded spruce is closest to a traditional royal fir Christmas tree and has open, rigid fields that make it the easiest to decorate, though it’s not highly sweet-scented.

Our trees weigh between 150 and 250 pounds and come with a bowl that sits atop a tray. The trees is essential to watered every 2 to three days. We joke that if a tree is returned to us dead or dying, your sanction is that we put you on the racy register.

Something that surprises a lot of people is that a tree can actually go into shock and die when its location is changedThe Living Christmas Company Employee JB out delivering trees.JB, individual employees of The Living Christmas Company, out deliver trees.

After all, it’s a living thing. We provide care instructions and encourage people to call their trees and irrigate them regularly.

Los Angeles tends to have a pretty transient population, and since a lot of people aren’t actually from here and tend to go home for the holidays, they don’t often get trees. But since the pandemic, more and more people are staying home and get trees.

This season, we hired out 1,000 treesScott Martin The Living Christmas CompanyThe company starts delivering trees the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Some trees is coming to us and can be kept a second year in the same pot, while the larger ones need to be repotted.

Any trees that return to us a little funky get gave to what I like to refer to as the “island of eccentric trees” and are embed in the dirt right away. Every season, we post our eccentrics on Craigslist and people can claim them as their own after the holidays. While they may not make good standalone trees, they’re great in groupings for hurricane or eroding self-restraint.

Our patrons are all ecologically-minded characters that rolled the scope from first-timers to diehards who’ve been renting from us for 10 to 12 years and elevate their children only knowing live Christmas trees.

We have a delivery crew of 20 to 30 parties, along with four’ elves’ who manage customer serviceCrew members of The Living Christmas Company enjoying some holiday treats. Scott MartinCrew member states The Living Christmas Company delight some vacation treats.

Each year, we partner with a local nonprofit and hire some of their members to work for us as well. By doing this, we’ve been able to employ ex-servicemen, the formerly incarcerated, and the homeless.

This holiday season, we’ve teamed up with the Adult Transition Program, which is part of the Long Beach Unified School District, to offer special-needs individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 who have aged out of foster care transitional work opportunities with us.

As for me, my Christmas tree is a 3-foot-tall, funky bonsai I’ve had for years

Some years, I get a chance to string glowings on it and dress it up. Other years, I’m too busy with work to do it.

Whether or not my tree gets embellished is a strong indicator of how busy we are at the nursery. This year, my tree was still bare four days before Christmas, if that tells you anything.




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