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Where exactly will your Christmas tree end up after the season?

Decorating a Christmas tree remains one of the most treasured and fun events of the holidays.  We find it comforting to know that the beautiful tree brought into your home will continue to have a long life.  Instead of ending up in a landfill, the tree will be planted back into the Earth immediately after the holidays. Replenishing the land in and around the San Diego area brings added joy to an already joyful season. Our Elves have done an amazing job compiling the stories of where our trees end up and who is now caring for them.  Read on to learn more about the families and organizations that have benefited from our customer’s Christmas spirit.



2014 Season

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All of the Christmas trees were split between TWO AMAZING CAUSES THIS SEASON:

1) The local San Diego Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. 11 new homes were built in Escondido, and some of our lucky trees found their forever home in the front and back yards of a most grateful family. Here they become part of a lasting neighborhood, a greener, kinder world, and a lasting legacy of giving back. By adopting a Christmas tree last season, you played your part in that legacy.

We must admit that we were SO EXCITED to partner with this great organization for the first time in 2014.


2) Of course we also donated DIRECTLY with The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center over in Ramona for the THIRD YEAR. They are a branch of the Humane Society. Since it is a non-profit and volunteer based organization we donated our time and resources to get all of the trees out to Ramona after we had picked them all up. It is a beautiful facility and they are really doing amazing things out there!


2013 Season

This season we were able to partner DIRECTLY with The Fund for Animals Wildlife Centerover in Ramona, which is a branch of the Humane Society. We had already donated some of our trees to them last season so it was nice to just partner directly with them this year. Since it is a non-profit and volunteer based organization we donated our time and resources to get all of the trees out to Ramona after we had picked them all up. It is a beautiful facility and they are really doing amazing things.


2012 Season

We were SO EXCITED to hear from Ali Crumpacker, who is the Director over at the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center over in Ramona, which is a branch of the Humane Society. We had already donated the majority of our trees to private residences that had lost acreage from the 2003 & 2007 fires but we were still able to get some over to Ramona for this great cause and we are looking forward to solely partnering with the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center for 2013.

Email from Ali:

“We would love to apply to receive several of the potted pine trees!  We are rapidly expanding our services at our Ramona location and need to establish new trees that can eventually cast beautiful shade onto future animal enclosures to continue to allow us to provide quality care to the animals who need our help.”

And she even sent a picture and follow up email as soon as they planted them:


“We have the trees we picked up from Elf Max planted now on our property.  They are set to grow between a natural pond and one of our pre-release rehabilitation enclosures.”







I will be planting these pine trees on my three acre property located in Alpine. Currently I have several very large pine trees and manzanita trees and I am happy to be planting more pine trees. I already even have the drip system set up! Thanks!

Mike in Alpine.


Hi, my name is Darren. We have 2 acres in Ramona off of wild cat canyon road. These trees will work out perfect for us. We lost about 6 pine trees in the cedar fire that were never replaced. We have 5 pines now that are doing great and we also have native oaks. The insurance would not cover the pines at the time because they weren’t fully burned. Later on they died and we had to remove them. We really appreciate these beautiful pines to replace the 6 that we lost.

Thanks, Darren (Romona, CA)


Thank you for the trees.  I am going to plant them on my property in deer horn valley, eastern part of jamul.  Our house burned in the Harris fire in 2007 and we rebuilt a strawbale house.  Most of the trees burned and I have been replanting oaks, pines, and other local species.  I have an auger and can plant the trees fairly quickly.

Best Regards,
Francisco Salgado (Jamul, CA)


I love Trees!!   My husband and I are tryng one tree at a time to bring back homes for the wildlife on our property.  The property was hit by the Guijito fire.  Each tree is named and cared for.   We have 47 acres and most of it is treeless.   We put up bird houses and owl houses and provide water and vegetation for the wildlife.  I have attached pics of our bird house, a tree we got last year ( Sam)  and the acreage.   My husband has a truck and can pick up the trees and even help with delivery.   Thank you so much for your time!   I love trees!!!.

Dee & Ed
Hi Christine,

 Thank you so much for the trees.   Please add us to your list for 2013.   We will  try to get some Pics to you and can’t wait for them to  get big enough for some birdhouses.
 Have a great year, we love our trees!
Thank you!               Dee & Ed


























Good Morning! I just bought my first house and have an acre that is fairly barren . My daughter is seven and we planted a live tree each year at the house we rented, so there is a nice line of trees , the landlord decided to keep them . It’s okay, he bought them but I wanted to do the same at the new house to surprise my daughter . My house is in western Ramona , 1400 ft elev. I will gladly plant and care for these trees you are kind enough to donate to us. After buying my house ,niceties such as landscaping ,etc., are not in my budget in the foreseeable future . I have an enclosed trailer for transport . Thank you Adopt a Christmas tree elves.
Doug Lane  (Ramona, CA)


Good Morning!
Thank you for the beautiful pine trees, I live in Ramona on a large piece of land and I have planted at least 10 trees over the last few years; I would really love to get my property covered in trees one day so I appreciate this donation.
Thank you for making our world a greener place.
Patty Tambio


We have an acre and a half full of dead trees so we are happy we will be bringing back some life to our property. We live in ramona and you guessed it, totally broke, so getting these trees for free is such a blessing. My land is in a well so don’t worry, watering is not an issue. We just could not afford to purchase trees to replant after I cut the diseased ones out. It broke my heart to have to take them out but they were a fire hazard but now we have replacements! Thanx for your donation!

Daniel & Marcia (Ramona, CA)


Hello my name is Justin. My wife and I are permaculturist on a 16 acre ranch. We live in Japatul Valley just 8 miles out of Descanso exit. We will use these pine trees to plant a wind break for the house and barn. The trees will get plenty of water In this location and will be well taken care of.

Below are a few photos of my property AKA the Christmas trees new permanent home ;-)

Thank you





























We moved to Deerhorn Valley (Jamul) this past summer and spent the (very hot) summer clearing @ 3 1/2 acres. The property is a fixer upper and the neighbors said the land was never taken care of, and nearly burned in the fire that hit this area a few years ago, but the firemen saved it. We have been told that the new fire policy isn’t to remove all brush, trees, ect…but to dot the land with them for erosion control. We have a few oak trees and sumac on the property but we would love to add some pine trees.

Whenever I pass properties that are barren I wonder why the owners never planted trees. It’s true that they take years to grow full size, and maybe they think in the short time why bother? But like, hopefully us, if they had taken the time to plant those trees, as time passes, they would have had beautiful trees to look at everyday.

The pine trees will help with erosion control, provide shade, wind break, and beauty to our property. Thank you SO MUCH for donating to our family. We are going to treasure them!

Also, I grew up with cut fresh pine trees for Christmas and remember going to Christmas tree lots to buy one with my parents. I even remember when some of the trees were silver, pink and blue metallic or foil trees! We always had to have a “fresh” tree for the pine smell in house. When I was married I had to have the same fresh cut trees for the same reasons, but after 10 years I began to hate the idea of the tree dying and disposing of the tree as garbage. I finally talked my husband into getting a fake tree and we’ve been using it ever since. That is why I’d like to plant real pine trees on our property and enjoy their freshness and beauty all year, every year. Also, I’d love Monterey pines because I’m from a coastal community up north and they always remind me have home. Thanks again!!


Marie Hawley (Jamul, CA)


We are two conservation/ wildlife biologists in Flynn Springs (just west of Alpine). We live on a property with several pines, but the last tenants who lived here before us did absolutely nothing to take care of landscaping or anything, so we have several dead trees from lack of water/ care. The area behind us burned several years ago as well (not our property).

We also have a potted Christmas tree we use every year – we don’t buy cut trees for the holiday – but this year the rats got a taste for it, and chewed most of the branches off. It is still alive, and we’ve taken care of the rat problem, but our tree is pretty pathetic so far.

We have a couple acres in Flinn Springs, and our property is an oasis (in the midst of disturbed grasslands) for all kind of raptors and other creatures, so added trees are always welcome; unfortunately our budget won’t allow us to buy trees at this point so we appreciate this donation. We do have bluebird and kestrel boxes, too.

Thanks for your generous offer!
Renée Owens
Owner, Principal Biologist
Owens Wildlife Biology


2011 Season

A VIDEO of Jeff in El Cajon accepting a delivered donation of 30 Trees for his land…..

VIDEO: Adopt-A-Christmas-Tree After the Holiday Season Donation “style=”color: rgb(0,0,255)”



My name is Rich, and this is my THIRD season receiving trees from your wonderful  program. I volunteer at a Special Ed. School here in San Diego where I teach gardening, planting, and landscaping to the students. I do not get reimbursed for any items I get for the students, so I am always looking for free or inexpensive items for the students to use.

I have received several Pine Trees from you for my students to use for school projects in the past 3 years. Once I bring the Pine Trees to the school, the students will then be responsible for researching the specific type of Pine Tree, possibly doing book reports on their tree, and then re-potting and keeping the tree healthy.

I appreciate that you are the Head Elf for this Project and that you were generous enough to donate these trees to me, and thus to my students.  I know they greatly appreciate it as well.



Hi, we live in east county on an acre and there is also an acre next door. Currently have pine trees coming up on the right side of our driveway about 150 long, will try to get pictures tomorrow in daylight.

We are going to put some more around the perimeter of the property here and next door. I am from West Seattle, lived on Whidbey Island, many years surrounded by fir, pine trees, rowdies and azaleas. Love the park like setting, smell the fresh pine/fir. These will be on the property for many years, for as long as we are here and no doubt our older son a firefighter and his family will take this property over.

We can take as many as you are willing to part with and thank you for this very generous offer!

-Ron J.



2010 Season

Dear Adopt-a-Christmas Tree,
This year we plan to use the trees from Adopt-Christmas tree to continue our reforesting effort on our property on Palomar Mountain. The trees from last year made a significant visual difference and made great strides in returning evergreens to a fire ravaged landscape. We commend Adopt-a Christmas Tree for aiding us, other fire victims and the environment for coordinating and implementing this worthwhile program. Here is a picture of the trees you were nice enough to donate to us last season…..















Conrad Macy

Hi there and Thank You. My mother had a pine tree in her yard that she planted when my father died 10 years ago (they were married on Christmas Eve 1945) that’s why she planted a living Christmas tree. Well, the recent storm with the high winds uprooted the tree and it came crashing down, fortunately it didn’t hit anything but the tree was a goner. My mother was beside herself. This donation you are extending to our family is answering our prayers.
God bless,



I am thrilled Christine, Thank You. I would love to plant a few of the trees on my
land. I have a large yard in Jamul. I feed the native birds and enjoy developing a sanctuary for them with a diverse planting. Fruits, nuts and berries are currently in the mix. Not to mention the way their roots help stabilize the slopes in the rainy season.

I applaud your generosity.
Larry Proctor



My name is Rick, and I live outside of Lakeside. I have 2 acres of land. When I bought this place in 1990 it had 7 trees on it, 4 are Black Walnut trees, 2 are Olive  trees, and 1 is a Brazilian Pepper tree. I now have over 100 trees , the majority were sprouts transplanted from the 4 Black Walnut trees, 10 of them were sprouts that I transplanted from my parents Ash trees, and 8 were sprouts from the Brazilian Pepper tree The remainder were all living Christmas Trees, some from friends, and of course mine,  I would never buy a cut tree, it’s such a waste. I planted my live Christmas tree the day after Christmas.
I really appreciate the six trees that you able to donate to us. They will be planted as soon as I get them home, and they will only be drinking  well water.

Thank You,



We recently moved to an area that has no trees around us except the shrubs and wild weeds, our and wild weeds, our house is at the bottom of the treeless hill. We are planning to plant a few evergreen trees such as the pines to provide us with some shade and shelters for the birds so we can see these lovely creatures flying in and out as well as listening to their beautiful chirping sounds. Another reason we will be planting these trees is to keep the soil from the hill from being erode whenever there is rain like the big rain that we had recently.
Have a great day,



To the folks at Adopt-A-Christmas-Tree:
We lost over 700 trees in the 2007 wildfires. The Monterey pines will be perfect to plant in a row along the driveway where we lost 15 trees.

Thank you so much! Your help has officially blown FEMA out of the water. (Inside wildfire joke!) Anyone is welcome to come out to the ranch and see where they will be planted and hopefully enjoyed for generations to come.

John Carter

I live in East County where we were evacuated during the fires. Also, we have lost trees in our area (Oak Trees) due to the Bark Beetle.  I will utilize the trees for their beauty, to keep our air clean and to shade our home in the Spring and Summer. I promise to pick up my trees and provide a good home for them. I live next to the Cleveland National Forest. I will pass on this opportunity for trees to others in my area, too.

Thanks for your generosity :-)



HELLO and Happy New Year ! We live up in Alpine on 1 acre and behind our house used to be 100+ blank acres, but somebody just bought some of the property directly behind our house and these trees will be planted as a privacy barrier between the properties.  Plus, I lived in Harbison Canyon until the Cedar Fire burned the house along with a Christmas tree that was planted from a pot in 1974.  I would replace that tree also !  If I can find the pictures of the fire, I’ll get them to you.THANK YOU.




I have a small (5 acre) ranch in Ranchita with not a stitch of greenery besides the weeds, no trees, no nothing. It’s not a real ranch because we do not have any animals.  It’s a 2nd home (for our retirement) that we go to on the weekends. Pine trees are perfect because of the altitude (4000 feet).  The main benefit will be the beauty of watching them grow up and to add color to our barren yard. Our ranch is located right across the street from the Ranchita store so you would be able to watch them grow up if you are ever in that area.
Thank you for donation!

Donna Vanner



Our family lives in Campo and we had fire ravage through our property in 2004. We are very grateful for these free trees since we typically have to buy live trees and plants.

– Jenny

We have 8 ac. in Jamul, CA 91935 off of Honey Springs Rd.  We had at one time 200 Aleppo Pine trees planted.  We lost some to rabbits and gophers!  But we lost the last ones in the 2007 fire.  The fire went over our property and there was a small group of 5 of the trees that came back.
We spent a lot of time watering our little trees and do really miss them!
I never think we have too many trees out here. We are located across the canyon from a beautiful avocado grove that has been here for 30 some years, I believe.  Many of the avocado trees have came back since the fire! We are so very greatful for the trees Adopt-A-Christmas-Tree will be donating to us on Jan 8th.
The previous trees we had before were all planted by my husband and me and taken care of by us.  We would take good care of the trees!
Thanks for the opportunity,

For the last six months or so I have been working on a personal project that involves my yard. This is the project in a nutshell….I live in a rental that has a side yard and a backyard in El Cajon Ca. When I moved in the outside was literally just hard clay dirt, no plants or landscaping of any kind, just hard dirt. Since it is a rental and I live on a basically fixed income of money so the amount I can devote to beautifying the yard is very limited. But slowly over the first 5 years of living here a plan formulated. I decided not to accept the idea that you have to own the home and have lots of money to make your personal environment better and enjoyable. So here is the project……
I gave myself one year and 100 dollars to turn my yard into a beautiful outside area that my family and friends can enjoy. When the year is up I plan to create a website that chronicles our yard’s transformation. I am using only reclaimed items that would have ended up in a landfill etc. I am not posting a website during the process as I want it to be a pure example of what people on limited incomes can do with just a little ingenuity and elbow grease.
We so far have reclaimed patio furniture, aloe vera plants, succulents, a fountain, paving stones, and much more. By this summer I believe that we will have a lovely yard to enjoy, AND will have saved many many plants and other items from the landfill. I think it would be a very fitting inclusion to have a Christmas tree as part of our project.
Just as an aside, I know my concept works, I redid my son’s room for him as a Christmas present. His room was very spare and depressing, so I started collecting, bartering and reclaiming, thrift storing for items about 5 months ago. He went to his Dad’s for xmas, and came home to a brand new room he was thrilled with. The cost was only about 50 bucks. I made him cool furniture out of discarded tire rims, used free paint, rugs, furniture, etc all from Craigs List. Everyone that has seen his room says it looks like it is from a magazine!! We are convinced our yard project will be just as fabulous!!!!

I hope I haven’t rambled on too much, but this has turned into a project I am very excited about.

Thank you for the donation,


2009 Season

Dear Adopt-a-Christmas Tree,
Our family was the lucky owners of a ten acre heavily wooded parcel on the south grade of S6 about a mile from the summit.  On October 24, 2007, we were engulfed by the Poomacha fire which started at the base of Palomar, and quickly climbed up the mountain.  We had bought the land in 1970, and had built a 500 square foot weekend cabin that could sleep our six young children and us.  We had our own water well, but no electricity or telephone.

Last year we purchased 200 “two- year- old” pine and cedar seedlings, and with the help of 20 or so volunteers pulled together by the Forest Service, planted the trees in early December.  Even with watering the trees on a regular basis, only 50 of the seedlings survived the first year. The Forest Service says that was a very good outcome.   This year we planted 50 more cedar seedlings using the lessons learned from our first attempt. When we learned of the “Adopt-a-Christmas Tree” program we were elated.  The 38 “five to six” foot trees we received and planted, will jumpstart our re-foresting effort to return our property on Palomar Mountain to how we remembered it.  Many, many thanks to the folks who dreamed up the concept and implemented the “Adopt-a-Christmas Tree” program and to the ecology- minded people who chose to have a living Christmas tree, and were willing to gift us with their trees after the Holiday season was over.

Lillian Macy



Head Elf Christine & Fellow Elves,

Thank you again for the generous donation of Aleppo Pines and Monterey Pine trees. I have 300 acres and I had lost 57 trees Beatles and a drought, so this is truly a blessing.

P.S.- I had such a great time filming the segment with NBC (

David Raybould
Raybould Equipment


2007 Season

After the 2007 San Diego wildfires, we knew there were numerous families that had acres upon acres of devastated land, so we personally located many that would love to welcome the trees onto their land. Below are before and after pictures of the Maisch family and a sweet letter from them, expressing their appreciation to all the families that participated in Adopt-A-Christmas-Tree last season. They’d lost 10 acres to the Witch Creek Fire. We donated 20 trees to them last year and they’re willing to accept even more this year. We also donated 85 trees to Mr. Leon, who’d lost 40 acres to the Harris Fire, and more to the Canfields, who lost 10 acres to the Witch Creek Fires in Ramona. The most heartfelt donation was to the Deer Habitat for Project Wildlife, which was almost destroyed due to the Harris Fire.


B9HTpIf you know any families or organizations in San Diego that would love to give these gorgeous trees happy homes next season, feel free to let us know and we can make the proper arrangements.

Happy Holidays and Have a Happy, Healthy, Eco-friendly Holiday!