If you are like me, you believe in the superstition that all Christmas decorations have to be taken down and stored by Jan. 1. For many people this involves returning all the Christmas decorations, including the tree, to the storage boxes and shoving them back into the attic. For those of us who still purchase a fresh tree, how should we dispose of now dried out Christmas trees? There are several ways to give such trees a second life, so to speak.
Flint Energies is sponsoring the Great Christmas Tree Round-Up from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday on Maple Street. The trees will be chipped into mulch or used to improve fish habitat. Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation has a program with multiple locations called Bring One for the Chipper. Visit its website at www.keepgeorgia beautiful.org/bring_one_for_chip per.asp for more information and locations.
If you are fortunate enough to have your own chipper you can make your own chips. The chips make good mulch for flowers bed and around shrubs.
In Houston County, as well as many other counties in Georgia, there are plenty of fishermen and private ponds. This provides another option for tree disposal. A tree, or several bound together, 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 branches and needles make them 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.
To reduce yard waste at the Houston County landfill all yard waste is mulched. According to the Houston County Solid Waste Collection website, Christmas trees are considered yard waste.
University of Georgia Extension is offering Garden Academy in 2015. Garden Academy is taught in the evening, thus allowing gardeners with full-time jobs to learn more about their hobby while continuing their careers.
The academy is planned for Tuesday and Thursday from 6-8 p.m. beginning Jan. 22 and running through Feb. 26. Classes will be taught in the Extension Office Multipurpose Room in the Government Building (old renovated courthouse) in downtown Perry. The $95 class fee provides specialized speakers on such topics as site analysis, landscape design, hardscaping, water features, trees, woody ornamentals, composting, propagation, turfgrass, and more.
There will be hands-on workshops, plus participants will receive a large binder of materials. The class is limited, so register before Jan. 9. Contact the Houston County Extension Office at 478-987-2028, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a registration form.
DATES TO REMEMBER
Jan.15: Georgia Peanut Farm Show, Tifton
Jan. 19: Office Closed, Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Jan. 22-Feb. 26: Garden Academy, Perry
January Production Meetings: Please RSVP
Jan. 27: Farm Bill, noon, Perry
Jan. 29: Forage, 6 p.m., Perry
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.