Christmaslede.jpgSan Francisco’s Department of the Environment is providing a green way to celebrate Christmas by offering living, potted trees that will eventually be planted on the city’s streets when they are returned after the holiday season.

The program, a partnership between the city and the nonprofit Friends of the Urban Forest, is part of San Francisco’s efforts “to be one of the greenest cities in America,” said Guillermo Rodriguez, director of San Francisco’s CityBuild program.

After residents briefly foster the 6- to 8-foot trees, they will be returned and planted in the city’s nursery in the Presidio, then uprooted and replanted on city streets, Rodriguez said.

“What better way to make a difference this holiday season, instead of going to a traditional lot and cutting down a tree,” he said.

“We have tons and tons of trees that end up becoming compost here in San Francisco,” he said. “At least we can compost them, but this is a way to avoid this … it’s a great, different tradition you can start with your family.”

The trees, which cost $75, can be picked up between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday at the Green Christmas Tree Lot outside the Environment Department’s headquarters at 11 Grove St.

Trees will then be available at the Friends of the Urban Forest offices at 1007 General Kennedy Ave. in the Presidio during regular business hours from Monday to Dec. 20.

A limited number of trees will also be available at the headquarters through Dec. 20.

People are asked to call (415) 355-3700 to check if trees are still available there before coming to pick one up.

The trees will have to be returned to the Friends of the Urban Forest offices by Jan. 13.

Trees can also be picked up from homes for a $25 fee.

More information about the program is available at

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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