Go, Christmas tree

Published 11:39 pm Friday, December 30, 2011

Recycling offers an alternative

Now that all the gifts are unwrapped and the decorations are put away, you might have a live tree on your hands that you don’t know what to do with.

You can always put it at the curb, and it will get taken to the landfill. But there are some alternatives you can choose that could make life easier for the wildlife in your area. Here are some ideas from the National Christmas Tree Association.

  • If you have a private pond on your property, trees can make an excellent refuge and feeding area for fish.
  • Prop up the Christmas tree in the garden or backyard and use it as a bird feeder or sanctuary. Fresh orange slices or strung popcorn will attract the birds, and they can sit in the branches for shelter. Just make sure all decorations, hooks, garland and tinsel strands are removed.
  • If you have your own wood chipper or know someone who does, the tree can be made into fresh mulch.
  • If you have forest on your property, the tree can be thrown into the forest and provide habitat for small rodents.
  • Next year, get a living tree. The roots are kept in a ball of earth, and the ball can be wrapped in burlap or set in a container or pot. The tree then can be planted after Christmas is over.

It is important to remember never to burn your Christmas tree in a fireplace or wood stove. Pines, firs and other evergreens have a high content of flammable turpentine oils and burning the tree may contribute to creosote buildup, which presents a higher risk of a chimney fire.

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