Merry Christmas, Tree
Wondering how to dispose of your live Christmas tree? Here are the different ways you can recycle your Christmas tree when the holidays have ended.
"Real trees can be recycled in a number of ways that help nature renew itself," says Charles Barden, forester with Kansas State University Research and Extension's horticulture programs.
In the short term, one easy use is to strip the tree of its ornaments (along with all tinsel and any other decorations) and set it upright in the garden, well away from buildings. There, it will
protect and shelter birds through winter.
Mulch, mulch more
Increasingly, communities have programs to collect old Christmas trees and chip them into mulch used in public parks or offered to local residents. Wood-chip mulches conserve water, moderate soil
temperatures and provide some weed control. Then, when chips decompose, they improve the soil, Barden says.
Swimming with the fishes
In some parks near lakes and reservoirs, state biologists collect trees to sink for fish habitat. "By January, there are mountains of trees at the designated collection sites," says Barden. "You
can find out if such programs are going on in your area by calling a nearby Wildlife and Parks office."