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'The Portable Forest Tree Library' Lets You Check Out a (Christmas) Tree From Its Living Library

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Photo by Renee Silverman via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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The Highland Park gallery Monte Vista is letting patrons check out a tree this season as a part of its latest seasonally-appropriate exhibit. You can call it a Christmas tree rental service, but they don't and the name they've chosen — the Portable Forest Tree Library — sounds way cooler.

Here's how it works: starting tonight at 8pm during the gallery's opening you can drop by to check out a tree from their "living library." They offer you a potted tree and in return you sign a care form and promise to love and cherish it for up to two weeks (hopefully, not until death do you part). The program will be going on until January 7.

The curators/artists of this exhibit are Bianca D’Amico, Nicole Antebi, and Amy Blount Lay. The trees are available for all sorts of happenings (and they have been since 2008). The organizers write: "Typically they are shown interacting with the space they are in or traveling metaphorically if not physically." When you check out a tree, there will be an outline of the tree left at the gallery.

Are you the kind of person who spills coffee on their library books and ends up paying fines up the wazoo? Are you worried that you are not only going to ruin something you checked out but that you might be held responsible for the death of a living thing? Well, don't. They write: "If you try your best and it dies, just return the tree, pot, and saucer as is. You will not be charged."

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For more information on the exhibit or the pick-up/drop-off schedule, visit the gallery's website.