Dobbies garden centre at Lasswade gave away a free Norway spruce seedling to each customer who bought a real tree.
Head of horticulture Neil Fishlock said:
"It's fantastic that customers have become more eco-conscious and helped the environment by not only purchasing a real Christmas tree but by planting a new one in their own garden. Our customers have told us they want to do their bit to help the planet, but we're really astounded by how many people have taken us up on the free seedling tree. By giving our customers the chance to plant a sapling, they can have their own homegrown Christmas tree in a few years."
Meanwhile, Dobbies sold 400 chickens across its Scottish stores throughout 2010 – more than double the previous year’s figure of 155. Sales of chicken coops were up 27% on last year, chicken food is also up 261% and health care for poultry is up 203%.
The hens are priced from £25-£30 and the top-selling breed is the Isa Brown which retails for £25.
Susan MacDonald, buying director at Dobbies, said:
"It’s quite unusual for chickens to be so appealing at this time of year because they don’t tend to lay a lot of eggs during the winter months, but we have been inundated with inquiries. Not only does keeping chickens give families a greater sense of wellbeing, but it provides people with real value for money because ‘growing’ their own eggs links with growing their own food while building on the rise of environmental consciousness."
Estimates suggest more than 500,000 homes in the UK now have their own supply of fresh eggs.
Dobbies gave away 25,000 trees overall and sold almost 1,000 chickens in all.