Eco-friendly holiday tree disposal

The holidays are over. And if you celebrated Christmas, the live tree you may have erected in – gasp – October is certainly at the end of its life span. What are you going to do with that tree? If you’re like most people, you’ve had it with the endless needles all over the house and just want to get rid of it. But when Christmas trees are thrown out with the trash, they end up either taking up the already limited space in landfills or being incinerated, which releases pollution into the air we breathe. Meanwhile, trees left out on the curb to rot can quickly become safety hazards. What you may not realize is that you have several green options for tree disposal.

Get Crafty

If portions of the tree still look good and provide a pleasant aroma, cut off those sections and place in a vase to extend the scent of the season throughout your home. You can also cut and treat discs from the tree trunk to use as coasters.

new life

While you can only replant a live tree, you can reintroduce a fresh-cut tree into the natural world. Depending on your property, you may be able to use your tree to create anything from an animal habitat to a natural barrier.

One suggestion is to create a bird habitat. Place the tree in open space and hang popcorn or fruit garland or even bird feeders on the branches.

Create Mulch

If you have a green thumb and the right tools, you can repurpose your tree as mulch to use in your garden. As a first step, use a handsaw or chainsaw to cut the tree into smaller sections. Then feed these small sections through a wood chipper. You can use the resulting chips to landscape and protect plants or use them in a compost bin to create a hearty mulch.

Recycle

Every year, Broward County Parks recycles over 5,000 trees in its Chip-a-Tree initiative. This free program encourages residents to remove all decorations from their holiday trees (decorated trees will not be accepted), then bring the trees to a participating park, where they are chipped and used for landscaping throughout the county park system. There is a limit of two trees per vehicle; artificial trees are not accepted and commercial vehicles or garbage trucks are not allowed.

Two parks in Coconut Creek participate in this event:

Fern Forest Nature Center

201 Lyons Road South

954.357.5198

Tradewinds Park & Stables

3600 W. Sample Road

954.357.8870

You can check the Broward County website for additional participating parks and tell your friends about it: Broward.org/parks.

All of these post-holiday options will help to keep trees out of our local landfill while providing a second life for the tree that brought you and your family so much joy. λ