A Message from Parks & Rec on Christmas Tree Recycling

The Department of Parks and Recreation is pleased to announce that residents may begin to bring their Christmas Trees for recycling starting Wednesday, December 26, 2018. Christmas tree recycling will end on Thursday, January 31, 2019.

All trees to be recycled must be undecorated (ornaments, tinsel, lights and stands must be removed). The Parks & Trees Division will be recycling resident’s Christmas trees by chipping them. The wood chips can be used by residents as mulch or compost. Tree chips retained by the Town will be used in parks as mulch for trails in woodlands, shrub beds, and soil stabilization.

Nationally, Christmas trees are recycled for five main types of large-scale uses.
• Chipping; chips to be used for mulch or compost
• Beachfront erosion prevention
• Lake and river shore stabilization
• Fish habitat; trees are sunk in lakes to serve as cover for young fish and sustaining insects
• River delta sedimentation management.

Homeowners may also consider retaining their Christmas trees for domestic uses such as:
• Songbird and wildlife habitat: Christmas trees placed near bird feeding areas are used by the visiting birds as shelter from the wind and cold, and as protective cover from predators while consuming the bird food. Trees can also be ‘decorated’ by hanging peanut butter filled pine cones, suet and seed mixes, or fruit.
• Erosion control: Whole trees can be placed in gullied areas to prevent or slow erosion.
• Flower bed protection: Boughs can be cut off the trees to place on flower beds to protect roots and bulbs from winter cold in a decorative way.

These are just a few ways trees can be recycled without the energy expense of mechanized chipping.

 Some interesting facts about Christmas Trees:*
• There are approximately 30–35 million real Christmas trees sold in North America every year.
• American Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states
• Real Christmas trees are a renewable, recyclable resource.
• For every real Christmas tree harvested, up to three seedlings are planted in its place in the following spring.
• There are about 500,000 acres in production for growing Christmas trees.
• Each acre provides the daily oxygen requirements of 18 people.
• There are about 21,000 Christmas tree growers in North America and over 100,000 people employed full or part-time in the industry.
• It can take as long as 7-15 years to grow a six foot Christmas tree.
• The top Christmas tree producing states are Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Washington.
• The top selling Christmas tree species are: Balsam Fir, Douglas Fir, Frasier Fir, Noble Fir, Scotch Pine, Virginia Pine and White Pine.
• In a national survey 93 percent who used a real Christmas tree recycled theirs in some type of Community program.
* Source: National Christmas Tree Association