Kokedama Christmas Trees:

The Newest option in Sustainable Christmas Trees! 

By: Patrick Moran, TLC Design Co.

The holiday season is upon us, and for many families, that means it’s time to buy a Christmas tree and bring out the decorations! At TLC, we’ve undertaken a massive effort to help rethink our collective personal actions that could one day help stem the tide of climate change. By changing small facets of our lives, together we can set a new standard and hopefully create a new normal. 

In the Christmas spirit, we want to offer year-round environmentally positive options starting with this year’s Christmas Tree. Join us in learning more about how you can have a green holiday with a new artisan Kokedama Christmas tree.

Christmas Tree Farms

The typical Christmas tree at a Christmas Tree Farm requires six to twelve years to grow into a marketable 6’-8’ tree. While this can be a long time, it is significantly less time than other timber trees, which require upwards of 30 years before harvest.

The most common types of Christmas trees include Douglas Fir, Balsam Fir, Fraser Fir, Scotch Pine, White Pine, White Spruce, Norway Spruce, and Blue Spruce. To learn more about what makes these different types of Christmas trees unique, please check out our Christmas Tree Resource Guide on Tacticallandcare.com.

Traditionally, Christmas trees are harvested by cutting the trees down and sending them on their way, whether it is to a wholesaler or directly to consumers. If sustainable farming practices are employed and you are sourcing your Christmas tree from a local farm, this is not a bad process and can be a charming Christmas season staple. 

But is this the best way? At TLC, it strikes as an awful shame to cut down a tree for temporary use, and we recognize that there is a missed opportunity here for those who want to see their Christmas tree grow with them year after year.

Unconventional Christmas Tree: Balled & Burlapped Goes Kokedama

The unconventional Christmas Tree saves trees. Rather than cut down the tree and temporarily sustain it with sugar water through the Holiday Season, why not keep your tree alive? 

By shifting from a cut to living tree, you will be able to bring the outdoors inside, and with it, all the benefits of trees! We love balled and burlapped trees as the symbol of continuing growth and life. But we recognize that burlap is a unique style that may not pass muster for your house plant standards. 

That’s why beginning this year, TLC is collaborating with Tropical Plant Biomes, an Alexandria-Based Artisan and Woman-Owned Small Business to introduce Kokedama Christmas Trees–a truly beautiful and unquestionably unique Christmas icon.

Kokedama is a centuries-old Japanese art form tied to the art of Bonsai. “Koke” translated means moss and “Dama” means ball. Artisans use a special technique that includes peatmoss. To apply this ancient technique to Christmas Trees, we begin with balled and burlapped trees. 

Balled and Burlapped Christmas Trees are either grown in a container or are extracted from the ground using heavy equipment and a tree spade.

They are then bucketed, or balled and wrapped in burlap. With the root ball and soil still intact, we have a heavier Christmas tree, which may require reinforcements when picking up the tree and setting it up. But it’s still alive, and as a benefit, the added weight serves to keep the tree upright.

To incorporate the Kokedama artform, the tree’s root ball is wrapped in a biodegradable and organic coconut husk and moss that look beautiful as an organic modern aesthetic. There is a wide range of sizes and handcrafted stands with self-watering capabilities that can meet the needs of any space. 


Photo from Bauma Light 

 As the tree lives, it continues to emit oxygen and sequester carbon in its branches and roots. Live and reusable Christmas Trees are an amazing way to borrow from nature safely. It is also a wonderful way for children to learn the capabilities of nature and the lifecycle of trees.

Properly cared-for living trees are healthier and eliminate potential fire hazard. They also provide the opportunity to teach children all about trees, their amazing capabilities, the care they require, and how important they are for our environment.

Kokedama Christmas trees are more fragrant and make a grand statement compared to cut trees. 

Kokedama Christmas Tree Care Tips! 


As with any live plant, water is key. Most stands are equipped with self-watering wicks and bowls that keep the roots most, while enduring that water never covers the roots entirely so that they can still breathe. Placing crushed ice over the root ball is another great way to maintain the perfect moisture level. Spraying your tree with a light mist of water on the foliage is another great way to help the tree retain water. 


We also recommend only using LED lights. LEDs shine using light-emitting diodes, and they use 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs. Saving energy means saving money. LED lights also last about twice as long as incandescent bulbs, again saving money and physical energy in the long run. Less energy is also reflected in less heat, which can dry out your tree. When you’re shopping to replace that pesky string of lights that don’t work because of a mysterious bad bulb, save yourself the future hassle and spend a little extra for the LEDs.  

Tactical Land Care

Tactical Land Care is net-zero to help protect our world and environment for all of us. We specialize in sustainable construction, conservation landscaping, and stormwater management solutions, including permeable hardscape and rain gardens. By working together, we can maximize the ecological benefit of your property.

Your yard endures a twelve-month cycle and our team at Tactical Land Care stands ready to work with you on all your fall and winter maintenance needs. Please give us a call at 703-879-7091, or email us at info@tacticallandcare.com, where someone from our TLC team will develop a plan with you to help enhance your yard or property for many years to come.



Patrick Moran, PMP, LSC, HIC, LEED | CEO Tactical Land Care

Patrick utilizes his passion for the outdoors along with his professional skills as a licensed Landscape and Home Improvement contractor in Virginia and Maryland, as well as a Project Management Professional (PMP) and LEED Green Associate. Patrick has a BA from Yale University, where he studied climate change and its impact on society.