In an effort to combat flooding, a Yorkshire woman realized that thousands of wasted Christmas trees every year could be used as natural flood protection, and started a unique business to do just that.
The Rooted Christmas tree rental delivers a potted Christmas fir, pine, or spruce to a family for the festive season. When the lights are taken down, the company then collects their rentals and replants them to enjoy another growing season.
When the trees get too tall, they are placed on the slopes of the nearby Calder Valley as natural floodwater breaks.
The Sunday Times reports that the towns of Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire have been inundated by serious floods 4 times in the last 15 years, with the most-recent one causing $180 million (£150 million) in damages.
Rooted founder Sara Tomkins established a Christmas tree plantation in the spring of 2020 with 400 trees. Dozens of those original 400 have now become too large for the average living room, and have been hauled off for planting in the upper parts of the Calder Valley to stop floodwaters running down into the two towns below.
What started as a sustainability project turned into a flourishing commercial enterprise. When residents learned how their Christmas tree purchases could be used to protect their towns from floods and reduce waste from rotting trees, all of Tomkins’ original trees were rented out.
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