Having a live Christmas tree during the holidays isn’t uncommon. But what do you do with your tree when it’s time to take it down? WZDX found out how to dispose live trees while also boosting the environment.
According to the Huntsville Botanical Gardens Director of Horticulture, Niki Sothers, there are several ways to recycle your live tree.
One way to recycle a tree is to simply plant it outside.
“Once it’s all finished and the needles start dropping, what you would do is go ahead and cut that into smaller pieces, keep it off the ground and then you have some firewood for camping over the summer,” Sothers said.
When using the tree for fire wood, the wood must be properly stored and seasoned for future use. Sothers also mentioned only using this type of wood for outdoor fires. The oils and resins from the tree can stop up the chimney if burned in a fireplace.
Another way to recycle an old tree is turning it into a bird feeder. This technique can be used with the first one. Sothers said in order to do this the tree should be re-planted outside. Once in the ground, adding bird seed and fruit to the tree will attract birds and let the tree live out the winter season.
The last recyclable solution is to toss the tree into a lake. Sothers said attaching weights to the tree and putting it into a lake or pond can help develop the habitat. The tree must sink to the bottom of the lake for this technique to be effective. In order to pursue this, coordination through a lake property owner must be done so trees will not be using up unwanted areas.
“We don’t want to flood the lake with things like that. It needs to be somewhere where people are planning a spawning area so it’s not in the way of boats or anything,” she said.
In the past, live trees could be chipped up and used for mulch by the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. Unfortunately, the Huntsville Botanical Gardens no longer have access to this option. Chipping a tree without supervision is highly dangerous and should only be done by professionals.
If recycling isn’t accessible for you this year, there is still the option to leave your tree on the curb. Your trash pick up service will bring your tree to the landfill.