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The Christmas tree rental

There are farmed trees, there are fake trees and then there are living trees, those small pines and firs that are bought in pots and later planted. But this year, L.A. has another option: rental trees. Living Christmas Co. in Torrance is offering potted 2- to 7-foot-tall Christmas trees that are delivered and later picked up by a biodiesel truck. “For a lot of people, Christmas begins as soon as the tree shows up. It’s awesome -- all joy,” company founder Scott Martin said. But afterward, when the browning tree is lying by the curb? “There’s such a disconnect between something that symbolizes joy and life -- and that.” The rental trees can be permanently adopted, but most will be returned to the company’s storage area for maintenance and grooming until next December. The company has about 8,000 trees in five varieties, each renting for $85 to $185, including delivery and pickup. “We go from Long Beach up to the Pacific Palisades and as far east as West L.A.,” he said, adding that the company intends to expand its coverage next year.

-- Susan Carpenter


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