The holiday season is in full swing, and for many people that means it’s time to bring a bit of the outdoors into the living room. But what can you do with your x-mas tree once the season’s over?
Marsha Gray, the Executive Director of the Michigan Christmas Tree Association said the answer is simple: Recycle!
“I would say probably the most common option in Michigan would be to chip those trees into mulch. But you’ll also see Christmas trees that get recycled and reused in other ways. You’ll see Christmas trees piled and dumped along the shore line. It helps to prevent beach erosion. I also know some people who have lakes where they’ll sink Christmas trees because they create a great habitat for fish.”
She said one town in Minnesota takes recycling their trees to the extreme.
“St. Paul, Minnesota heats and powers most of their downtown grid with waste wood. Trimmings, clippings, palettes, all sorts of things are put into this crazy massive grinder chipper and create this product, that is literally burned, and they use that to power their city. And during the holidays they go to that waste wood facility and end up powering their city.”
Gray said although this is an extraordinary example, everyone can do something with their tree. Turn it into mulch yourself, or simply check with your local government to see if they have a street-side pick up service.
For more information on what you can do with your tree visit here.
Autumn leaves are off the trees in many areas leaving behind trees that are vulnerable to the upcoming winter . Arborists say now is the perfect time for property owners to consider tree protection.
Winter is known for being a season of severe weather. Trees can be damaged by windstorms, lightning, ice and snow. Arborists say homeowners should know in advance how their trees will handle winter weather.
Ben Veling, master arborist with Timberwolf Tree Care, said a few tree species such as Chinese elm, silver maple and some poplars, have brittle wood that is easily broken and can cause serious damage.
“The best thing people can do is to be active with their trees, is to have an interaction. Have a baseline, understand what the potential risks might be, some species are more prone to failure than others, and some have characteristic growth that is more likely to fail in storms or ice buildup than other trees. So having a good discussion with your arborist would be a great way to start, another thing to do is keep up on the maintenance.”
According to Veling, it’s essential to pay attention to a tree’s weakness because the stability and integrity will decrease over time as it ages.
In the interest of full disclosure, Timberwolf Tree Care is an underwriter of CMU Public Radio. To find an arborist near you click here