Think Green and Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Posted by brainjmedia03 on Monday, December 28, 2015

Stonebridge Mortgage Group_Old_Christmas_tree














Christmas always seems to be over in a flash. After the guests leave, and presents are opened, you’re left with your tree, which doesn’t hold quite as much holiday magic as it did three days prior. When you finally get around to taking it down, here are a few ways to recycle the tree:

The National Christmas Tree Association estimates that 30 million natural trees are sold each year. In a recent survey, 93 percent of respondents told the association that they participate in a tree recycling program. Here are a few uses for old trees.

Use it in your yard: If you have enough land, discard the tree on your own property, where it will provide shelter for birds and small animals from predators and severe weather. You can also cut off branches and place them over bare patches in your yard to retard soil erosion and to protect plants over the winter (just remember that pine needles are acidic and should be reserved for acid-loving plants like rhododendrons or blueberries).

Leave it on the curb: Many municipalities have specific dates for curbside collection, after which the trees are ground into mulch for use in parks and other outdoor spaces. Some places let you pick-up some mulch later in the year for your own use. Check your local government’s main, sanitation or parks and recreation department websites to learn more.

Get it back as mulch: Other local governments have collection events—such as New York City’s Mulchfests held in early January–where you can bring your tree and get a bag of mulch to take home for your own garden or, if you’re an apartment dweller, to maintain a street tree you adopt.

Habitat protection: The NCTA details programs that use old trees including to stabilize an Alabama beach and a Louisiana marsh after hurricane damage. They’ve also been used to provide safe breeding havens for herons and egrets in Illinois and to protect fish in waterways.

Practice planting a live tree next year: If you buy a live tree and and replant it in your yard, you won’t need any resources to recycle it. You can practice with a potted or ball-and-burlap tree this spring and repeat the process next year—in a hole you’ve pre-dug and protected—with your real Christmas tree.

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