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A Tree Business Takes Root

A company called Rooted Christmas Trees plants used Christmas trees to help stop floods.

Many pine trees in black pots sit on ground covered in pebbles.

© YinYang—iStock/Getty Images Plus

Did you know that trees can help control floods? Their roots take in some of the water. This gave one woman an idea. Why not plant old Christmas trees?

Many Christmas trees are cut down, which means they can’t be planted again. These cut trees no longer have roots. Sara Tomkins, who lives in the United Kingdom, decided to plant Christmas trees in pots. These trees have roots. They keep growing, just like houseplants. 

Tomkins has a company called Rooted Christmas Trees. The company rents potted trees to people who celebrate Christmas. People decorate the trees and enjoy them until the holiday is over. Then, they return the trees to Tomkins. Tomkins keeps the trees at her farm all year. She rents them out again the following Christmas.  

At some point, the trees get too tall to fit inside people’s homes. So Tomkins plants them in the ground, in places where floods often happen. She knows that trees can help stop floodwater from reaching towns, where it can do a lot of damage. 

When people heard that Tomkins’s trees were being used in this way, they wanted to rent their Christmas trees from her. Now Tomkins has a lot of customers. They know that their Christmas trees will someday become an important part of the environment.

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Fun Fact

The biggest tree in the world is a giant sequoia tree called General Sherman. General Sherman is located in California. Its diameter is more than 36 feet (11 meters). 

How big is 36 feet? A telephone poll is 36 feet high. Now imagine a tree as wide as the telephone poll is high.

© Gerhard Zwerger-Schoner/Getty Images, © Nikol275, 3drenderings/; Photo illustration Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

© Gerhard Zwerger-Schoner/Getty Images, © Nikol275, 3drenderings/; Photo illustration Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Tree Magic

The Pando clone made up of clones of trees in fall colors.

John Zapell/USDA Forest Service

When you think of trees, you might think of forests. Forests are pretty to look at and fun to visit. But they’re also very important in many ways. Here are just a few.

  • Tree cover helps keep Earth’s temperature cool.
  • Trees take in carbon dioxide. Too much carbon dioxide leads to climate change.
  • Tree roots hold soil in place. Soil is very important for many living things.
  • Many living things depend on forests. Forests are home to about 80 percent of the world’s plants and animals!

Forests Full of Life

Francesco Veronesi (CC BY-SA 2.0), © Lee Prince/; Photo composite Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

There are many kinds of forests. Have you ever heard of rainforests? Rainforests grow in parts of the world where it is very wet. 

Did you know there are tropical rainforests in warm locations and temperate rainforests in cooler locations? 

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Word of the Day


Part of speech:



: a bush or tree (such as a pine) that produces cones and that usually has leaves that are green all year

Definitions provided by
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