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Give your tree the gift of life after the holidays

The giving of gifts during the holiday season is one of the many thoughtful ways we can share glad tidings with our family and friends. This year, give a gesture of winter cheer to your own backyard or King County open space by choosing a living tree that will extend the life of a family tradition in a meaningful way.

King County Parks has partnered with Swansons Nursery to offer a living tree program that will ensure your tree’s life will continue well beyond the holidays and for many years to come in one of King County Parks' protected open spaces. Plus, planting trees can help restore salmon habitat by reducing water runoff – who doesn’t want that gift under the tree?!

Here’s how it works: Three easy ways to make your holidays green

1. Purchase a living tree at Swansons Nursery – For every living Christmas tree purchased, Swansons will also donate a native plant for volunteers to plant at a King County Parks’ restoration site. You take the living tree home and plant it in your yard (see care instructions) -OR-

2. Donate your living tree - Choose one of the species available for your living holiday tree signed with a “Donate This Tree." After the holidays, simply return your tree to Swansons Nursery and it will be added to the trees destined for restoration projects. Interested in planting the donations with your own hands? Volunteer to join a scheduled living tree planting event.

3. Show your support with a gift - Purchase a $5 “Sammy” medallion at the cashier during your visit and Swansons Nursery will donate another plant towards the restoration effort. Hang the ornament on your tree at home or give it as a gift!


How much does a living tree cost?
Depending on size, the cost of living trees range from $50 to $125.

What species of living trees can be donated back for habitat restoration?
The living trees available for specific restoration projects are selected species that can be planted in King County Parks’ lands. The available species include: Douglas Fir, Grand Fir and more species to be added. These species are specifically labeled, “You Can Donate This Tree.” Other non-native trees or plants that are available to purchase through this holiday program can still be donated back for other planting projects in King County Parks.

How big are the living trees?

Living trees vary in size from 18” to six feet. The trees that can be donated back to King County Parks are typically no more than 4-5 feet.

How do I care for a living tree?
Read this handy guide for important and specific instructions on how to care for your living tree.

How long will a living tree last in my home?
Swansons Nursery recommends that you keep the living tree indoors no more than 5 to 7 days. Please read the care instructions for more information.

How can I get involved with the volunteer planting events?
Sign up for a King County Parks planting event and start off the New Year by lending a hand in a park to help install all of the donated plants (list of events coming soon).

Swansons Nursery
9701 15th Ave NW, Seattle
Tel: (206)-782-2543

Living Tree Care Instructions

King County Parks Volunteer Program

Swansons Nursery

King County Native Plant Guide

How to make a bird seed ornament