Avoid the landfill when disposing your Christmas tree

January 1, 2014 

If you are like me, you believe in the superstition that all Christmas decorations have to be taken down and stored by Jan. 1. I also enjoy starting the New Year with a house that is clean and back in order. For many people this involves returning all the decorations, including the tree, to the storage boxes and shoving them back in the attic. For those of us who still purchase a fresh tree, how should you dispose of your fresh, now dried out, Christmas tree? There are several options of disposal that do not involve a landfill.

Many of the large chain stores that sell trees will also have tree drop-off sites for you to take your tree. At these sites the trees will either be hauled off and chipped up, or often they are chipped on site and the chips can be picked up to use as mulch. If you are fortunate enough to have your own chipper, you can do the same thing with your tree. The chips make good mulch for flowers and shrubs.

In Houston County, there are plenty of fishermen and private ponds. This provides another option for tree disposal. One or several trees bound together and sunk in a pond creates a great structure for game fish, such as bass, and provides habitat for bait fish. This is a great way to make a “honey hole” in your favorite pond.

Another use for these spent trees is as erosion control. They can be used the same way hay or straw bales are used in new road construction. The dense branching and needles make Christmas trees excellent at holding soil in place. If you have areas that are prone to severe washing, these trees do a good job at slowing down the process.

If you have a neighbor with some land or know people with ponds, contact them. They might be glad to take a tree off your hands, and it will be better than leaving it on the curb for the garbage men to deal with.

In addition, Keep Warner Robins Beautiful will hold its annual Great Christmas Tree Roundup 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at the water tower on Maple Street. Most trees will be chipped into mulch, and others will be placed in lakes and streams, according to KWRB. Residents who recycle their tree on Saturday will receive a free seedling. However, Christmas trees may be dropped off near the water tower for recycling any time after Christmas.

For more information on any program area, contact Houston County Extension at 478-987-2028 or drop by our office in the old courthouse, downtown Perry, 801 Main St. Office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Visit our website at www.caes.uga.edu/extension/houston for more news about your local Extension office.

Dates to remember

Wednesday: Extension Office closed for holidays

Monday-Jan. 8: Beltwide Cotton Conference, New Orleans

Jan. 16: Georgia Peanut Farm Show, Tifton

Jan. 21-Feb. 20: Garden Academy, Perry

Jan. 24: Georgia Ag Forecast, Macon

Jan. 29: Georgia Ag Forecast, Tifton

Production meetings for the Macon County area

All meetings will be held at the Macon County Extension office at noon.

Jan. 17: Disease Management

Feb. 17: Corn Production

Feb. 19: Weed Management

Feb. 25: Cotton Production

The soybean meeting is still in the planning stages.

Charlotte Mote is the Houston County agricultural and natural resources agent. Contact her at 478-987-2028 or cmote1@uga.edu.

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