No Live Trees Allowed?

For the last umpteen years, hubby and I have gone to a local tree farm and cut our own holiday tree. These trees are fresh and lovely, smell great, and have served as homes for birds (most had old grassy nests in them). When we’re done with them, the branches covered my perennials, then got chipped and shredded in the spring (and boy did that smell good!) to turn into the compost heap. All good!

But now, we live on the fifth floor of an old building. The dictate here is: No Live Trees! Sigh. Well, I’m not about to run out and buy an artificial tree. I mean, what’s the point? I love the way live trees smell, how they are imperfect things (yes, there’s a bare spot there — just big enough for that large ornament, eh what?). I love keeping money in my own community, and keeping hills and fields near me covered with trees instead of tract housing. What’s a person to do?



I found pictures of these book trees last year, never imagining that I would ever need to create one. I admired their celebration of books, and the way that books are made of paper, and paper comes from trees, and now it’s a tree again, coming full circle.

This tree is also a compendium of our lives, hubby’s and mine. Cookbooks, engineering books, writing books, his biographies, my SF/F, his business themes, my art and garden references. Like a live tree, this one isn’t perfect; it’s leaning a bit due to the paperbacks compressing, I think. (In case you’re wondering, hardbacks work so much better than paperbacks.) I tilted it to the back, just in case it collapses; I don’t want to be battered and bruised by falling books while walking by the tree.

So that’s my tree this year. Pretty nice, don’t you think? I’m just hoping I don’t need one of those books until January!


About M.E. Garber

I'm an itinerant Ohio-born speculative fiction writer now living in north central Florida.
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6 Responses to No Live Trees Allowed?

  1. Awesome, Mary! I love it!


  2. Mary this is SO cute. I would totally make one if I trusted my pets not to think it looked fun to climb on (it’s hard enough to keep them away from the real tree!). Thanks for sharing!

    (In trade, here’s my unusual tree topper from three years ago: )


  3. akemi says:

    Never thought books could be useful in that way! Wonderful! I am going to share the picture with my Japanese friends, OK? HAPPY HOLIDAYS!


    • M.E. Garber says:

      By all means, share! Here’s a link to the first photo I saw last year. I’m sorry to say that I can’t remember whose site I found the link on; this year I simply googled “Christmas tree of books.” Happy Holidays to you, too!


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