What to do with your tree after Christmas

What to do with your tree after Christmas

BENTON, IL (KFVS) - The holiday season is over and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has a few suggestions to help with tree disposal.

According to the Missouri DNR, mulched holiday trees reduce weeds, help regulate soil temperature and increase moisture retention. Many cities and towns offer chipping services after the holidays, so check with your Public Works Department or Sanitation Department to learn more.

You can re-purpose your Christmas tree to give fish have a new home.

To make the tree into a fish habitat, secure a cement block to the stump end of the tree with quarter-inch nylon rope. Ideally, the top of the tree will be 4 to 6 feet below the surface.

If you don't have access to your own lake or pond, you can contact the Missouri Department of Conservation to find a collection location near you.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Rend Lake is also asking for your old Christmas trees. The donated trees will be bundled together to create underwater fish structures.

Christmas trees can be dropped off at any of the following three Rend Lake boat ramps or parking lot locations:

  • Sugar Creek parking lot, located at the intersection of Licata and Mine 21 roads
  • Dam West boat ramp, located on the west end of the main dam
  • Jackie Branch boat ramp, located north of Rt. 154 across from the Barren Township building.

Christmas trees will be accepted at these locations until January 16, 2018.

If you are closer to Mt. Vernon, Christmas trees may be recycled at the areas designated by signs at the Veterans Park women's softball field:

  • Forest Avenue; Optimist Park, 903 Pace Avenue
  • Airport Park, 1101 Airport Road until January 5, 2018.

Two additional collection locations have been added through a partnership with the Marion Park District.

  • The first location will be in Ray Fosse Park, which is located just north of Route 13 on the east end of Marion.
  • The collection point will be located in the “Goofy Golf” parking lot, just behind the swimming pool, at 519 Parish Ave.
  • The second collection point will be located at the northernmost picnic shelter parking lot as you exit Pyramid Park at 1300 Bevabeck Drive.

Trees will be accepted until January 16, 2018, at the Marion collection sites. No artificial trees will be accepted.

Wappappello Lake is also collecting trees.

They will be accepting the donations from Dec. 26 through Jan. 19 at the Redman Creek boat ramp. The drop-off location will be marked with a sign. Once the trees are deposited at the collection site, they become the property of the Corps of Engineers for fish shelters and small game habitats.

The Missouri DNR also suggests decorating your tree as a food source.

After removing all of the decorations from the tree, redecorate it with food items that can be eaten by birds, chipmunks and squirrels. These can include popcorn, cranberries or pine cones covered in peanut butter. You can also hang apple rings or create a bowl from an orange that has had the juice and pulp removed and filled with unshelled peanuts.

The tree will need to be secured so that it will not blow over with the first strong gust of wind.

The best method is to dig a hole and place the trunk of the tree in it. The tree can also be staked for extra security.

Some general things to remember about managing a tree after the holidays:

  • Remove all of the trimmings. Most are reusable and could contaminate the environment or harm wildlife if left on
  • Do not burn a tree in wood stoves or fireplaces if it is still green. The resins could cause a flue fire
  • Always dispose of the tree in an environmentally safe manner

You can click here for more treecycling information.

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