Free to a good home for Christmas: one 24-foot decorative cypress tree planted outside a dentist's office in North Charleston. First come, first served.

The catch? You have to haul it away.

The operators of Trident General Dentistry at 6335 Dorchester Road are giving away the tree to a church or other legitimate charity group to use as a Christmas decoration.

The tree, about 25 years old, has grown too close to the office building. The owners want to replace it with something smaller and more appropriate for the space.

"I love it, but it really needs to go," said Joyce Rawls, wife of dentist Dr. Douglas Rawls, who said the roots are growing toward the building.

Anyone wanting the tree will probably need a truck or flatbed, and would probably only be interested in the top 20 feet or so.

She envisions it being put on display in a church sanctuary, or other focal point of a building, for decoration.

Rawls said she can arrange to bring the tree down by chain saw, but the recipient must furnish a method of removal. The roots are too messy to get out, she said.

Rawls said she would hate to see the tree wasted, and suggested that after the holidays it could go to Charleston County's mulch operation.

The dentist's office is on Dorchester Road between the Charleston County Library and the Jerry Zucker Middle School.