Friday, December 27, 2013

GMG's Friday Find: Treecycle your Christmas Tree

Treecycling is the simple act of recycling your Christmas tree at the end of the season, rather than throwing it away.  By doing so you extend the tree's usability by allowing it to be turned into something else. There are 33 million trees sold in the U.S. every Christmas season and 98% of these are grown and harvested as a crop.  It is important to keep these trees out of our landfills where oxygen levels are too low for biodegration.  You can help by treecycling.  Here are several available options once you've totally de-decorated your tree.

* Most areas will collect trees curbside on regularly scheduled pickup days, normally 2 weeks after Christmas.  Free drop-off locations are commonly available if you miss pick-up.

* Call for an appointment to have a non-profit pick up your tree.  Many boy scout troops offer this service for a small donation.

Courtesy nytimes.com
* Take your tree to a drop-off recycling center.  Home Depot is collecting trees in many areas, free of charge.

* Soil Erosion Barriers -- if you live near a shoreline you can donate your tree for an effective sand and soil erosion barrier.

* Fish Feeders -- trees sunk into private ponds make excellent refuge, breeding and feeding areas for fish.

* Bird Feeders -- you can place your tree in your backyard or garden and use it as a bird feeder and sanctuary.  The birds can use the branches for shelter and you can add birdseed in cavities or containers to help feed them during the winter months. When the branches eventually turn brittle you can cut or chip the tree to discard.

* Mulch -- since the tree is biodegradable, you can remove the branches and have them chipped for mulch in your garden. Add some garden lime to this mulch to counter the acidity.

* Paths for Hiking -- Many counties use shredded trees for renewable and natural path material, fitting the needs of the environment and hikers. 

There are many options when it comes to discarding your Christmas Tree, most of which are earth friendly and provide sustainability.  Trees are a natural resource that we cannot live without, and when we grow and use them for a holiday season, it makes sense to use them for more than just decoration.  Treecycle this year and let your tree keep giving.

~Peggy
Garden Media Group

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