Did you enjoy a fresh cut tree for Christmas this year? There are many benefits to having one in your house for the season, but soon, they need to be taken down and removed from your house. There are a few ways that you can get rid of your Christmas tree in the Barton County area after the season. If you live in Great Bend or Ellinwood, you can take your tree (with lights, ornaments and tinsel removed) to the city composts sites. For Hoisington, you can take them out to the local burn site and they will burn them. If you are looking for trees for ponds, or other uses listed below for habit, the burn site in Hoisington will be a pick up place as well. Another option is to donate your tree (once again, with everything removed) to the animals at Brit Spaugh Zoo. The animals will love the enrichment of your tree! Call 620-793-4226 to schedule a drop off time and place to recycle your tree this way.
For other ways to recycle your Christmas tree this year, I found an article from the Horticulture Department at K-State Research and Extension that gives a few more ideas and uses for your tree now that the holiday season is over.
After the holidays, many municipalities allow old Christmas trees to be placed curbside. Trees are then collected and ground up for mulch or burned. If you miss the designated date, or your trash collector doesn’t accept trees, there are several options to prolong the useful life of the tree.
An old Christmas tree can be used to benefit birds, fish, and the landscape by placing it in a corner of your deck, and spreading some birdseed nearby, or tying it to a deciduous tree or post near a bird feeder. The birds benefit from having escape cover nearby when hawks or cats threaten, and the dense boughs reduce the wind chill on a cold night.
Sinking your Christmas tree in a pond is an easy way to improve fish habitat and fishing. The tree serves as little coral reef, in that the branches provide substrate for water plants to grow, and cover for minnows and other forms of small aquatic life. Larger fish are drawn by the shade and the presence of prey.
How do you sink a tree? Tie the base to a cinder block with a short, stout rope, and toss it in. Just be sure to get permission from the pond owner first! Using the little tree around the landscape requires clipping off all of the branches. Use the boughs to add extra insulation around semi-hardy perennials or to trees and shrubs that were recently planted. The leftover trunk may be used as a garden stake next spring.
Or, cut and let it dry for a few weeks, and you will have some easy lighting firewood. Just beware that most conifer species tend to spark and pop more than hardwoods, as resin pockets in the wood make tiny explosions. This can delight the youngsters, but for safety’s sake, keep an eye on the fire when burning Christmas tree logs!
Alicia Boor is the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for Barton County K-state Research and Extension. One can contact her by email at email@example.com or calling 620-793-1910