If the practice of buying a new tree each year seems wasteful--and purchasing a fake conifer isn't an option--you may want to look into buying a potted tree.
"You can buy a five- to six-foot tree that's in a 15-gallon container," said Michelle Dunn, manager of Nature's Best Nursery in Camarillo.
"One of the best trees to use is the Aleppo pine," Dunn said. "It's a real compact tree that grows well in Southern California and is easy to prune a nice Christmas-tree shape."
Dunn said to keep the potted tree outside in full sun after the holiday season is over and the decorations are put away. "You'll also need to keep it well watered, especially during the summer--water it a couple times a week."