Claytor Lake State Park shares tips for recycling Christmas trees

New River Valley News

PULASKI COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — In Pulaski County, Claytor Lake State Park has canceled the annual “Christmas for the Fishes” tree recycling event due to pandemic precautions. However, since real Christmas trees are biodegradable, they can still be reused or recycled for a number of purposes.

Normally, used Christmas trees are collected at Claytor Lake and used to enhance fish habitats around the lake.

In light of the “Christmas for the Fishes” cancellation, though, Claytor Lake State Park shared some other suggestions for recycling your tree this year:

  • Use curbside pick-up for recycling, which many providers will offer during regular pickup schedules in the two weeks after Christmas.
  • Take your tree to a drop-off recycling center.
  • Check with your local department of public works to ask about tree recycling and mulching programs, which will chip and shred the trees before making the mulch available for use in your garden.
  • Arrange an appointment with a nonprofit organization to pick up your tree. For example, some Boy Scout troops offer a pickup service in exchange for a small donation.
  • Cut the tree to loosely fit into your yard waste container.
  • Trees can serve as a refuge and feeding area for fish when sunk into private fish ponds.
  • Place the Christmas tree in the garden or backyard to use it as a bird feeder and sanctuary, but make sure all the decorations are removed first.
  • Remove the tree’s branches, chip it, and use it as mulch in the garden.
  • Get a rooted — either ball and burlap or containerized — tree and plant it in your yard after Christmas.

No matter what, you warned to never burn your Christmas tree in a fireplace or a wood stove.

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